Sunday, August 18, 2013

Service dog for vertigo

Dogs are amazing animals! They can use their incredible sense of smell to aid man in many different ways and they can also be trained as service dogs to help those who are disabled. Usually when you think about service dogs the thing that comes to mind is seeing eye dogs which have been around for quite a while.  Apparently they can also be trained to help those with balance issues such as vertigo and Meniere’s disease.

Juanita Maranda suffers from sensory vertigo which is caused by her surroundings rather than an inner ear disorder.  

“Juanita also has the help of her service dog, Ben, a mutt that she rescued from a shelter and had trained to alert her when an anxiety or vertigo attack is coming on. “I don’t know how it works,” she said. “But he can sense it and alerts me by rubbing against my leg.”

I don’t think that I have ever heard of someone using a service dog for balance disorders.

“ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities) is also the closest organization that trains dogs specifically to help with balance. They continually breed their own dogs and train them, so new dogs are available to clients as soon as possible. According to Juanita, she will most likely receive a golden retriever (one of the most common service dogs) or a Great Dane/Labrador mix.”

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  1. What an incredible concept! It's got me wondering if it would be helpful for me, but I'm somewhat dizzy 24/7, so the poor dog would be going crazy!

    Seriously, though, this is a wonderful idea, and I'm glad it exists.

  2. This week I kind of wish I had a service dog, just for the company and a little moral support. I'm feeling dizzy every day, and it's worst in the morning. Does anyone else find that the dizziness starts in the morning and is really bad, but then tapers off a little bit as the morning progresses? I'm getting tired of feeling like mornings are a dead loss to me, but I don't know what to do about it. Maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep.

    1. For me it's not dizziness any more (thankfully), but the mornings are indeed a 'lost' part of the day. I used to be able to get up and go, literally, but now I find I need a fairly slow 3-4 hours to gather some energy and for any residual tinnitus to settle down. I don't like to schedule anything in the morning if I can avoid it, as that means rushing (relatively!) and we all know that that's not a good thing.

    2. Thanks, Jeff. That all sounds quite familiar, too. I wonder if for me it's still largely about stress. We are getting ready for some work to be done on our kitchen, and I'm finding it very tough to integrate myself into life in CT with frequent, very difficult visits with my mother in assisted living and adjusting to things here generally, so I'm living with way more stress than I anticipated. I ended up taking meclizine at lunch today because I was so dizzy just trying to talk to my husband and mother. Argh.

    3. My Mom was dizzy every morning and nauseous and lethargic. She slept upstairs of her two story Victorian home. During the day she worked inside the house downstairs. Doctors couldn't figure it out. She was sick for a long time, maybe years. She had work done in her attic after sometime and it turned out there was Carbon Monoxide leaking in the attic and because it was such an old home it was escaping but each night she would sleep upstairs and slowly breathe in that poison. I sure do appreciate the man that discovered the source of my Mom's mysterious illness I just wish the doctors could have found it sooner.

    4. Anonymous, that's very scary. Gives new meaning to the requirement that homes have carbon monoxide detectors on all levels now. I hope your mother is doing better now?