Service Dog Helps Detect, Stop Seizures
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Service dogs are invaluable for the people they help. One service dog in Minneapolis not only helps his owner with the basics, but also uses technology to help keep her medical problem from getting out of control.
Brody is an 85-pound Labrador and he can alert his owner, Terri Krake, just before she has an epileptic seizures.
“My seizures were so intense they would sometimes last 40 minutes, they’re grand mal … I’m flopping on the floor like a fish for that 40 minutes,” Krake said.
Brody uses a magnet on his collar to trigger a device implanted in Terri’s chest that sends an electrical impulse to her brain, stopping the seizure.
“The VNS implant was implanted in September of 2008. It’s called a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. It is a pacemaker for the brain, if you will. If he alerts me to a seizure, I’ll have 10 or 15 seconds to lay flat, I just let gravity take its course,” explained Krake.
Brody was trained locally by Can-Do Canines to not only help the seizures to stop but to be there for Krake.
“He climbs across from my right to my left and does a snuggle,” said Krake. “He puts his nose up against my neck and by doing that, they’ve measured exactly where that magnet is gonna hit and it always hits the implant and knocks the seizure out within a minute.”
Krake’s implant fires every five minutes automatically, so her seizures are limited to five minutes.
But having Brody with her at all times means a seizure can be over in a matter of seconds. In the last year, Brody has fired her implant 55 times.