Poppy is a seizure alert dog and helps give her owner, Shannon, warnings ahead of her epileptic seizures and helps her during the seizures as well. In the video below, you’ll get to see Poppy in action.
When this video was filmed, Poppy had given Shannon a 15 minutes warning that she was about to have a seizure. Shannon then got herself to a safe place and set her camera. Before Shannon got Poppy, Shannon had no warning and it would take her hours to come around.
Poppy usually gives Shannon a 15 to 20 minute warning by signalling her. “Generally she does this by using her paws to distract my sister on her mm lower legs or use her snout to press on the back of her knee. Shannon will then have enough time to switch anything off and make herself safe.”
During the video you will see Poppy licking Shannon’s mouth excessively. Shannon’s brother, Ryan, explains that Poppy does this for two reasons. 1) To help Shannon come around quicker and 2) To lick away excess saliva to help prevent her from choking.
Poppy not only has helped Shannon considerably by helping her manage her seizures, she helps Shannon live a more independent life.
“Due to years of some pretty epic and embarrassing public seizures she has developed anxiety problems too, these also increase when she feels like a seizure may happen,” explains Ryan. “Poppy is very reassuring in these cases because she can confirm than one is imminent. In public the assistance dog coat is useful for members of the public.”
What Ryan says is a very important reminder to not to distract service dogs when they are out in public with their humans, as one teen with epilepsy recently pointed out when her dog was distracted and unable to alert her!
Ryan says his sister is on drugs for her epilepsy to help reduce the frequency and severity of her seizures. “Like many sufferers, she’s covered in cuts, bumps and bruises, but the situation is improved,” says Ryan. Although Poppy is not a preventative, she helps Shannon considerably. Ryan adds, “Poppy literally is a lifeline to Shannon and deserves a reward for her work!” She certainly does!
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If you thought this video of Poppy was informative, you’ll want to see this one of Sampson, a dog who helps his owner with Asperger’s. These videos are important reminders that service dogs have critically important jobs and should never be distracted while they are out in public with their humans.