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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Our best friends- dogs!

Pet dog Charlie 'can predict toddler's epileptic fit'

An Irish family has said their pet dog is helping to protect their three-year-old daughter by warning them when she is about to have an epileptic seizure.
Charlie the Great Dane and Brianna Lynch

The Lynch family, from County Clare, believe their Great Dane, Charlie, can sense changes in their child up to 20 minutes before she has a fit.
Brianna Lynch has epilepsy since birth.
Her family said Charlie will alert them by walking in circles around Brianna. He also gently pins her against a wall to stop her from falling during a fit.
Brianna's condition was picked up when she was three months old.
It can lead to traumatic seizures, some of which cause her to go into a trance-like state, while others cause violent convulsions during which she is at risk of falling and hitting her head.
Brianna's mother, Arabella Scanlan, said Charlie is not a trained "seizure alert dog" but was just a normal, family pet who appears to have developed some kind of special skill through his own instincts.
They first noticed it some time ago when the huge Great Dane began to get agitated and walk in circles around Brianna. Minutes later the toddler had an epileptic fit.
"If you see a child having a seizure, it's pretty horrific, it's frightening, it's terrible, it's gut-wrenching," Ms Scanlan said.
"Charlie will know about 15 to 20 minutes before she's going into seizure. He'll get ever so panicky and giddy, almost as if you'd think 'this stupid dog is going to knock her over'."
In fact, at first the family thought they might have to find another home for their clumsy Great Dane, amid concerns that he would knock the toddler down as a result of his agitation.
"He's a big boy - it isn't like he's agile. When Charlie turns the whole room turns with him," Ms Scanlan said. "But he has never once knocked her over."
She said the family began to notice a pattern to Charlie's behaviour, with his increased agitation often preceding one of Brianna's fits.
Charlie the Great Dane and Brianna Lynch
Brianna's mother said Charlie is "very protective" and rarely leaves the child's side

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