Dogs are commonly referred to as ‘man’s best friend,’ and as it would seem, this is far from a misnomer. Dogs serve as loyal pets to a significant portion of the human population; they even serve as service animals for the blind and as K9 sniffers for police, but that’s not even the end of the line for everyone’s favorite canine.
According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, dogs have another incredible ability: they can use their powerful noses to detect seizures in humans before they ever happen. And if that seems astonishing, then consider this: many of the test dogs performed in this department with almost 100% accuracy apart from those that weren’t trained as long.
If your jaw hasn’t already dropped, then consider this: the dogs could detect a variety of different seizure types using odor molecule samples collected from people with epilepsy before, during, and after a seizure event. But perhaps more strikingly, the dogs could detect those samples when taken from different people rather than the same person repeatedly.
Seizures can be incredibly dangerous because they cause sudden and unpredictable changes in behavior, feelings, and/or body movements. Because of the circumstances, detecting a seizure before it happens can be life-changing, especially since it provides ample time to get that person into a safe place before a seizure transpires or to give them seizure-inhibiting drugs.
The findings are indeed preliminary, but it’s tough to argue a number as convincing as near-100% accuracy. With that in mind, it’s possible that all epileptics may one day have a trained seizure-detecting dog by their side.