Amidst the recent overhaul of policies regarding service animals, the National Service Animal Society (NSAS) has announced a new type of service animal who has completed training and is ready to serve: Dogs who can administer the rectal anti-epileptic diazepam with the help of peanut butter.
Once the seizure dog barks or “alerts” its owner of an impending seizure, owners can administer peri-rectal peanut butter (from a container stored in the dog’s collar) in a matter of seconds. Dogs are trained to then break a container of diazepam (Diastat) in their mouth. Initial studies demonstrate it takes approximately five minutes for them to lick one container of peanut butter. Conveniently, this is the same length of a seizure that the American Academy of Neurology recommends using medication for.
A statement released by the NSAS states:
“Thousands of hours are put into training a dog to not only just sense a seizure, but to perform a variety of unnatural tasks in order to prevent injury or stop a seizure. It only makes sense for us to take advantage of what dogs do naturally: love peanut butter. A fact you have probably have never heard in your life before is that dogs noses’ can smell 1000x better than a human’s can. Once you administer the peanut butter, dogs are instantly drawn to the source and can administer the lifesaving anti-epileptic.”
The NSAS states that these dogs can start working immediately because hospitals already give out over 1.2 million packets of peanut butter a year. Additionally, the NSAS spokesperson states that they do have one peanut-butter seizure peacock in training, but the current trainer has had cringe-worthy reviews about the bird’s ability to perform the same task.