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Including events, news, and almost-daily updates on how training is progressing for the service dogs.

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Proof that dogs can smell seizures!

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40721-4 Dogs demonstrate the existence of an epileptic seizure odour in humans Amélie Catala, Marine Grandgeorge, Jean-LucSchaff, Hugo Cousillas, Martine Hausberger & Jennifer Cattet  Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 4103 (2019) Abstract Although different studies have shown that diseases such as breast or lung cancer are associated with specific bodily odours, no study has yet tested the possibility that epileptic seizures may be reflected in an olfactory profile, probably because there is a large variety of seizure types. The question is whether a “seizure-odour”, that would be transversal to individuals and types of seizures, exists. This would be a prerequisite for potential anticipation, either by electronic systems (e.g., e-noses) or trained dogs. The aim of the present study therefore was to test whether trained dogs, as demonstrated for cancer or diabetes, may discriminate a general epileptic seizure odor (different from body odours of the same person in other contexts and common to different persons). The results were very clear: all dogs discriminated the seizure odour. The sensitivity and specificity obtained were amongst the highest shown up to now for discrimination of diseases. This constitutes a first proof that, despite the variety of seizures and individual odours, seizures are associated with olfactory characteristics. 

Palmer doesn't mind waiting to board the airplane

Napping on a lap. What could be better?

Biomarkers for Fibromyalgia

Experimental new blood test to find biomarkers for fibromyalgia: http://m.jbc.org/content/early/2018/12/06/jbc.RA118.005816.abstract This study isn’t about finding the cause, but rather, finding physical markers of the metabolic results of having the symptoms long-term.

Lexi holding Down-Stay during kung-fu

Down-stay with the three Ds of distraction (duration of one hour, distance of twenty feet, distraction of Kung-fu class). Yay, Lexi!

Holding Down-Stay at Kung-Fu

Palmer held her Down-Stay for an hour-long Kung Fu class, so as a reward, she got petting from a little girl!

White paper (draft) by by AVMA about service dogs

In 2017, the American Veterinary Medical Association created a peer-reviewed white paper, written by their Welfare Division. it was created by their Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions.  Continue reading

New stimuli

It’s another snowy day, so today we worked on exposure to new things, including seeing costumes, wearing costumes, balloons being inflated and deflated (and popping!), smelling perfumes, wearing a basket muzzle, and hearing the sound of banging on pots and pans.