We have all read about or heard of instances where a dog naturally senses something is wrong, be it a home fire, intruder, or the dog’s owner needing help and the dog either protects his owner or goes for help. These are amazing and great stories concerning the bond formed between man and dog but have you ever considered this: can dogs sense seizures and heart attacks?
Can dogs sense seizures and heart attacks?
Consider the case of a lady from New England who suffered a heart attack. Her dog “sensed” she was about to have the heart attack, and when the lady in fact did, her dog stayed right by her side keeping her awake until medical personnel arrived. Later, at the hospital the doctor who gave her care told her she would have died had the dog not kept her awake. So, the answer is yes to the question of can dogs sense seizures and heart attacks?
The evidence is irrefutable that dogs have a keen ability to sense when a major event is about to occur. They sense impending earthquakes as well as the onslaught of weather related events. Dogs are being trained to detect cancer in humans as well. Research has shown this uncanny ability is not linked to a change in a humans electromagnetic waves as many thought but has been narrowed down to smell. The typical dog has ability to smell at least ten thousand times better than a human and the research is showing this is the sense a dog uses to detect the onset of a medical crisis in their owners.
The human body apparently gives off a distinct odor as a result of specific chemicals being released in to the blood stream before or perhaps during a seizure or heart attack. Your dog can smell and associate this change of you normal smell and understand you are in impending danger. This is amazing, and lends credence to the many stories we have heard about over the years of a dog saving his owners life by warning of the onset of serious medical issues. The woman described above told of how her dog pawed at her, nudged her, and even nipped at her clothing to keep her awake until help arrived. How the dog knew if she went to sleep she would die is a mystery but her faithful dog did know this and saved her life by keeping her awake. Can dogs sense seizures and heart attacks? The research and actual evidence suggests the answer to this question is an emphatic yes!
Whether or not a dog can sense this before the event happens is an area of considerable disagreement. Even the Epilepsy Therapy Project has this to say on their website:
The truth is, seizure dogs can not be trained to “alert” a person of an oncoming seizure. Therefore, a seizure dog may be useful in assisting a person during or after a seizure, but is not guaranteed to be able to “alert” a person of an oncoming seizure.
Maybe some dogs can sense it beforehand, but professionals in the field generally don’t think so. What are your feelings on this story? Comments are welcome below.