Author Topic: Service dogs and blood clots  (Read 7709 times)

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Offline KRLee

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Service dogs and blood clots
« on: May 17, 2014, 04:50:29 PM »
I've been doing some research and trying to find out if service dogs can be trained to detect blood clots. I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and I have been on fluctuating Coumadin therapy and have even had the coumadin coupled with another blood thinner to try to stop the formation and destroy blood clots.

Seeing that service dogs can detect the change in blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, migraines, seizures, and are even able to now assist Alzheimer's patients, I'm wondering if it is possible to train dogs to detect blood clots?

I have discussed it with my doctor and he said if it can be done, it is a viable option for me, but I don't know if it is possible.
Could someone help me with research on the option of it and possibly help me find out if a service dog would be a good option for me?
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Service dogs and blood clots
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 05:26:04 PM »
In order to train a dog to detect something it needs to be something the trainer can detect (or cause to be present) first.  If the trainer has no way to detect when the condition is present, then it is not possible to cue the dog to give the response behavior or to pair the response behavior with the presence of the condition.
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Offline poet_kelly

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Re: Service dogs and blood clots
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 06:18:31 PM »
Are you disabled by the blood clots?  Or do you have another disability and are just wondering if a service dog could also be trained to detect blood clots?

As Kirsten said, I don't see how a dog could be trained to do that.  Even if a dog could be trained to do it, though, a service dog would only be an option if you were disabled.  I just didn't know if that was a disabling condition or not.  I'm not saying it's not, I just wasn't sure.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Service dogs and blood clots
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 11:09:52 PM »
As a recent survivor of numerous leg and lung blood clots numerous times in the last 6 months, plus the almost always fatal Pulmonary Embolus, I will tell you no: a dog can't be trained to detect them. At least at this point in time.

I am disabled by blood clots.... and many other things.

The symptoms are either absolutely none (and one just keels over), or the symptoms are extremely pronounced and detectable by one's self or even people around them (gasping for breath, excruciating immobilizing pain, sweating, wheezing, massive swelling of extremities, collapse, death)

One can teach response, rather than alert - because no alert is necessary - - - one knows when they are dying (at least if they are awake).

One might teach the dog to pull an emergency cord to summon paramedics (available in some housing), bring the cell phone to you, have an emergency SD phone the dog can push the button for help, or even have a panic button the dog can press. (similar to screamers truckers use to wake up from sleeping). Teach the dog to keep nudging, pawing or licking the person down in an effort to keep them semi-roused as long as possible while waiting for paramedics.

Keep specific ICE info on your dog's collar, vest and harness, and on your person, and on the fridge for paramedics to prevent delay of treatment.

I am trying to find a GPS locater my dog can operate as I am still running around like a crazy teen trying to cram as much fun - joy - wildness - helping others as I can before I die. (Also, if I keep busy maybe the Grim Reaper or the Devil won't be able to catch me!)

I now have an aneurysm in my spleen at risk for rupturing in addition to repeat bouts of blood clots. I am on Xarelto and Plavix plus Quinnapril and Bystolic, and am being tested for blood cancer because I have 3 abnormal markers out of 5 re: blood cancer. <sigh>

I wish you safety. I am very sad to hear someone just starting life has to go through such a rugged diagnosis, that can be quite frightening and sobering. Hang in there! Sounds corny: but think positive and determined and focus on living life on your terms and speed. (I'm on warp speed now)
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Offline arrianya

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Re: Service dogs and blood clots
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2014, 03:14:45 AM »
Sadly a SD cannot be trained to find blood clots, HOWEVER a dog MAY be able to telltheir person is in distress before the person realizes it themselves, which a well loved pet would be your best bet there.  Please understand though that as there is nothing the dog would be able to do to directly mitigate your disability, it would not be a SD and would not have public access.
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Offline Magesteff

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Re: Service dogs and blood clots
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 12:49:51 PM »
While there are some illnesses a trained dog may be able to detect on a person, diabetic's blood glucose being too high or too low, or cancer, that is because there are specific scent markers for these illnesses, and with the cancer, I am not certain how deep in the dogs were able to detect it.

You would have to figure out what would change that a dog could detect then train that dog to signal you. That is how it is done with DADs (Diabetic Alert Dogs).

One BIG note: A service dog does not replace medication or other therapies. A dog is a tool (even if it is a living one), and really is not accurate 100% of the time. By the time the dog would be signaling you, it would be because a blood clot has already formed, not that it is getting closer to being formed, so by the time that a dog would signal, it might be too late to prevent the clot from doing damage. A service dog will not be able to tell you if you need additional medication or less medication. Only you, in consultation with your doctor can make that decision.
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