The dog anticipates the attacks of a little mistress with epilepsy
Nine-year-old Millie Webb from Cheshire has epilepsy, and seizures can only start from the fact that the girl laughed. This is called refractory epilepsy and means that it is almost impossible to control seizures with medications. An emotional impulse can provoke seizures, which Millie has 50 times a day. If left unattended, as a result of an attack, she can get a serious traumatic brain injury or choke and die.
Playing with friends, birthday parties and even swimming in the pool cause Millie cramps. Now she has a friend who saves her life: this is Elmo's one-year-old dog, who seems to have learned to anticipate seizures before they begin.
(4 photos in total)Source: Daily Mail
Stuart Webb, the girl's dad, tells: "Fun, such as active games with friends on a holiday or laughter, can provoke an attack. When Millie was younger, it was easier because she didn't like to walk, but now she wants to play outside with friends and live a full life. Sometimes we want her to just sit and watch TV, but she loves to walk outside and wants to ride a bike and roller skates with friends."
Doctors are puzzled by the unusual form of epilepsy found in Millie, as medications do not seem to help control seizures at all. "Millie is under the supervision of specialists in Alder Hey, and she is also being monitored by a local nurse, and this is wonderful. Doctors are shocked by how she has seizures. She can have anything from a couple of seconds of stupor to bouts of clonic seizures," says the girl's dad.
Over the past five years, since the first onset of symptoms, Millie has tried 12 different types of medications, but none of them affected the number or quality of epilepsy attacks.
"Millie is a wonderful girl, restless. She has this amazing power, and she doesn't let epilepsy ruin her life. As soon as she can get up after the attack, she gets up. She just wants to be normal, and we don't stop her as much as possible," says Linda, the girl's mother.
When Millie was swimming in the children's pool this summer and she started having seizures, Elmo ran to save her and pulled her out of the water. When a girl has a convulsive seizure, the dog reacts to crying. She runs to the girl, licks her face to bring her to her senses. It also helps to remove excess saliva and prevents the girl from choking.
In June, when Millie fell asleep on the couch, Elmo suddenly jumped up and started licking her face. Linda tried to drive the dog away, but then realized that the girl was having seizures. "This was the first time we saw Elmo trying to warn us about a future attack," says the girl's mother.
Now Millie's family really wants to develop Elmo's talents, find her a trainer who can turn her into a full-fledged companion dog that warns about seizures. The Webbs were advised to contact a local dog training center. Linda says, "Elmo doesn't need to be taught how to deal with seizures, she already knows how. She just needs to be taught to warn us. If Elmo had been trained, she could accompany her daughter everywhere and provide moral support. It seems to us that Elmo has a gift for helping Millie. We just need an experienced person to train the dog."
Keywords: Illness | Friendship | Help | Prediction | Dogs