Home Dog senses Companion dog that detects owner’s seizures receives PDSA award

Companion dog that detects owner’s seizures receives PDSA award


A pet that warns its owner before they have a seizure has received an award for their loyalty and dedication.

Robert Stuhldreer’s medical assistance dog, Kin, a six-year-old Japanese Akita Inu, received the Commendation under the Pet Charity’s PDSA Rewards Program for recognizing acts of devotion and bravery towards animals.

Robert, 60, from Holloway, who has atonal epilepsy, has no idea when the seizures are going to occur and has already broken his nose, cheekbone and shoulder falling to the ground.

But Kin is able to detect before the seizures occur and gives him a signal so that he can get to safety or at least lie down on the ground beforehand.

Robert said: “Akitas are an independent breed, and normally they would be alone elsewhere in the house, but before a seizure Kin will find me and give me direct eye contact.

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“If we are walking she will stop dead, which is not unusual for a Japanese Akita breed, so if I don’t pay too much attention to the first signal she insists and she’ll block me so that I can’t go any further and I know that at that point a crisis is imminent.

“If I’m really stupid and chose to ignore this signal, she’ll gently put my hand in her mouth.

“It’s hard to express, but all I can do is describe my dog ​​as a guardian angel.”

He added: “Without having a service dog, life would be very difficult, in that there would be the constant worry of going out and having a fit and being alone, of falling, of being alone. breaking bones and having to go to the hospital.

“In the past, I had a seizure and someone stole my wallet.

“You are extremely vulnerable, and that takes away the vulnerability.”

Robert had a former helper dog, Flora, who died last year, who had specialized training in a service dog, but he himself trained Kin using the same techniques.

He said: “With epilepsy it’s actually very difficult to put the dog in a situation where you, as a handler, can have a seizure, but some dogs have an inherent skill.

“To be really cheesy, there is a scientific theory called theory of mind, and it is seen in some dolphins and higher primates, and in a few dogs.

“The theory is that one species can detect that another species is endangered and communicate that danger so the other species can take action.

“It is not something that can be taught.”

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