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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Does anyone have a service dog for Crohn's?


 
03-20-2013, 12:02 AM   #1
Zac with no K
 
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Does anyone have a service dog for Crohn's?

I'm just seeking advice on where or how to start applying for a service dog to help manage my Crohn's. I just don't know where to start looking. Any responses are greatly appreciated!

If it matters, I live in Washington state.
03-20-2013, 12:50 AM   #2
rollinstone
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I'm very curious to how a dog could help you? Mine just seem to cause me more work ha
03-20-2013, 01:46 AM   #3
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I'm helping train service dogs in my college. Service dogs are great for invisible illnesses! A service dog for Crohn's can predict an upcoming flare up and alert the owner! Now they can be pretty expensive so if you have free time it may be easier for you to get your own dog and take it to service dog classes. Any dog can take them actually!

I found this link about Summit Assistance Dogs, it's in Anacortes Washington. I don't know if that's close to you but there should be more in your state!

http://www.summitdogs.org/

Service dogs can do amazing things!!!!! I've seen it!
03-20-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
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Okay I was told the dogs in our club are worth $6,000..... So maybe I was wrong cuz the summit dogs are only $150-$800!
03-20-2013, 01:55 AM   #5
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Sorry! I made a mistake! The dogs that are $150-$800 are dogs that did not exactly make good service dogs!

Here's the actual information about getting a service dog from summit assistance...

http://www.summitdogs.org/apply.html

Sorry about all of that!
03-20-2013, 02:17 AM   #6
rollinstone
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How can they predict flare ups?
03-20-2013, 03:11 AM   #7
Zac with no K
 
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Thank you! After a little google-ing I came across the summit dogs also! They sound great. I also believe it may be more beneficial for the dog sense when things are acting up for myself if I get a pup.

You know the facts but I've read they need to be at least 12 months before the service training also. And it may be possible to find free registrations for them around here.

I've never owned a dog before so just the basic training I would need to do would be new to me also.

I just finished recovering from a November surgery and will slowly be getting back into school and a job so I don't think there will be much problems trying to train a younger dog.
03-20-2013, 03:12 AM   #8
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Joshuaa, I've read can predict many things- including coming seizures and low blood pressure!
03-20-2013, 07:43 AM   #9
SarahBear
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In most cases, they sense chemical changes in their owner's body, I believe. Is that right, skirv?

I've looked into it before and had a difficult time finding the information I needed. Skirv, could you help me find information on classes or dogs available in my area? Also, if you're putting a dog in classes to become a service dog, what is the best age for that dog to be when you start them?
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03-20-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
rollinstone
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That's pretty cool, very interesting, I just still don't understand what services they could do for people with IBD, for instance say they can pick up that you're about to flare, how does this affect the outcome? My dogs are nothing but hard work haha, they think they're human and can't be left alone for a moment without crying, they are super cute though
03-20-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
SarahBear
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Service animals can be used for anxiety - petting an animal has a calming affect on humans. Since stress and anxiety plays a big role in IBD, this is why I would consider having a service animal. I don't know how useful predicting a flare would be, either. Predicting individual symptoms would be useful - the dog could warn you that you need to find a restroom. I don't really know how they could do that, though. Predicting a flare itself wouldn't be extremely useful - especially if they keep 'predicting' over the entire course of the flare.

A trained service dog wouldn't behave in the same way as a normal dog. I believe they might when their collar is off, but when it's on they're 'working,' and they behave as such.
03-20-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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I reckon they would be able to predict if you were going to have an anaphylactic shock which would be good during infusions. I don't know how much warning you would get though!
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03-20-2013, 09:33 AM   #13
nogutsnoglory
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I think a dog would be great for reducing anxiety but other than that I can't see how they would be helpful for IBD. I don't need a dog to know I need the bathroom, it's pretty obvious to me lol.
03-20-2013, 09:35 AM   #14
SarahBear
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Haha. I mean, if they could let you know before the symptoms actually manifest themselves that they are about to do so, it would give you more time to get to where you need to be. Sounds pretty useful to me! I don't know that they could do that, though.
03-20-2013, 09:35 AM   #15
rygon
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Personally I think it could be more hassle than its worth. I know when I was in a proper flare all I wanted to do is sit around the house and sleep. A dog wouldnt be able to cook, clean etc for me but I would have to take it for walks twice a day, feed it, keep it company. Things that I could not be bothered to do when I was ill (I looked after my parent dogs for a weekend and that was enough)

What exactly do you expect from this dog?
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03-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #16
nogutsnoglory
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Can the dog go to work for me? Ill pay $6,000 if it can do that
03-20-2013, 10:55 AM   #17
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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Personally I think it could be more hassle than its worth. I know when I was in a proper flare all I wanted to do is sit around the house and sleep. A dog wouldnt be able to cook, clean etc for me but I would have to take it for walks twice a day, feed it, keep it company. Things that I could not be bothered to do when I was ill (I looked after my parent dogs for a weekend and that was enough)

What exactly do you expect from this dog?
Haha, this made me laugh!
If a dog could do all that I would definitely have one.
(I hate dogs I'm a cat person)
03-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
Ihurt
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Dogs are unbelievably smart in general. My best friend lost her baby a couple months ago. It was devastating to her. Her baby actually died inside her and was dead for about 2 weeks or more before she actually miscarried. Here is the thing, she has two dogs. Well the one that is really close to her would not leave her side during that two weeks before she miscarried. I still remember my friend telling me that her dog was following her around everywhere, would not let her out of his site for that two weeks. Also she said that one night I guess her husband wanted to be intimate with her. Well the dog would NOT let him near her, he actually snapped at her husband! This was very unusual. My friend called me that night and told me about how weird Tobias was acting. She even mentioned to me that she was worried something was wrong. The next day she miscarried! After the miscarriage the dog went back to being his old self again. Dogs are just amazing. We had a dog who passed away it will be two years this April. A part of me died that day. He was everything to me. HE was a dachshund( a weiner dog ) I gotta tell ya, he always knew when I was not feeling well, always! WHen my stomach was feeling real bad he would actually come to my side of the bed and snuggle up next to my tummy. He was like my personal heating pad! I mean it actually felt good when he did that, I mean it gave me some relief. I Miss him soo much!

I think a service dog could be very good for a person who has a chronic illness. I mean it is true, they are a lot of responsibility, but if you can handle it, it is well worth it. They give so much in return. They are wonderful and will be the most loyal friend you will ever have!
03-20-2013, 12:29 PM   #19
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I think a dog would be great for reducing anxiety but other than that I can't see how they would be helpful for IBD. I don't need a dog to know I need the bathroom, it's pretty obvious to me lol.
nogutsnoglory- I was going to say also, if I'm in a rush to get the bathroom a dog will just slow somebody down. And what if you're out somewhere and have to go, is the dog going to sit in the stall with you?
That poor dog lol


I would just get a normal dog so you have something at home with you
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03-20-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
plaidknitter
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I love dogs, but I'm also not sure what a service dog would do for IBD. I've been researching them for my daughter (who is disabled by a different condition and could use the mobility help), and from what I've seen there is no actual regulation for service dogs in the US. But the dog is supposed to perform a specialized task. Even if it is only one task, if there is a task the dog has been trained to do to help directly related to the disability, the dog counts as a service dog. There are also emotional support dogs, which don't do tasks but help with anxiety just by being good tempered dogs.

So if I trained a dog to pick up stuff I dropped, it wouldn't count as a service dog because my IBD does not prevent me from picking stuff up! But if my daughter gets a wheelchair when she's older, and I trained a dog to pick up stuff she dropped and put it back in her lap while she's in a wheelchair, that would count.

That's my understanding of how it works, but the laws probably vary by region... I would check your local laws if you are thinking about a service dog.
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03-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #21
skirv710
 
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In most cases, they sense chemical changes in their owner's body, I believe. Is that right, skirv?

I've looked into it before and had a difficult time finding the information I needed. Skirv, could you help me find information on classes or dogs available in my area? Also, if you're putting a dog in classes to become a service dog, what is the best age for that dog to be when you start them?
Yes, the dogs sense chemical changes before you even feel symptoms. They also reduce stress in general which can also help with IBD. They also can help out if you are stuck in the bathroom for a long time- they can go get things for you like a magazine or whatever. If you are sick in bed they can bring certain foods or drinks to you too! They can pretty much bring whatever you need to you. Sarah, I can definitely help you! Where are you from?

Oh and for people who think the dogs would be a hassle, they are trained to behave and from what I have seen, they listen very well. Every dog is different of course, but from the different things they can do, they are very helpful!
03-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #22
SarahBear
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03-25-2013, 06:41 AM   #23
sanni
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The dog should be able to find a bathroom for you when needed.

I also dont really soo how a service dog is of use to IBD. If you need the company and are up for the responcibility any good well trained dog will be one to give company and realive anxiety. I know my dog is. But a special service he cannot do.. just love me thats it.
03-25-2013, 04:27 PM   #24
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We don't have a service dog, but we do have 5 service chickens that live in our backyard On our weekend at any given time, my husband and I have a chicken in our arms that we carry around.

Plus, right now they're laying eggs so well that we could probably feed the whole block. They're easy to keep and quite often are fed by both sides of the fence. And, when they get about 3 years old we can donate them to our friend to feed his family while we start over with new chicks!
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03-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #25
GutlessWonder86
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My basset hound, Bailey Grace, saved my life when she was 7 months old. She kept on nipping at my right knee. I thought she just wanted to play but then she started to lick behind the knee so I decided to check it out for the heck of it.

Well, I felt a HUGE lump, the size of a small tennis ball, behind my right knee so I called my MD and told her about it. She had me go in for a STAT doppler study on the entire knee as well as the entire leg. Come to find out, I had a HUGE DVT starting from my groin area, to the knee where there were little clots present, and below the knee.

I told my hematologist what Bailey was doing to the leg for a few days, the nipping and licking, and she stated that Bailey saved my life because if I hadn't of looked, I would've had a total blockage in the main vein in my leg. So she changed my bloodt hinner to Arixtra and told me to give Bailey a hug and a treat.

I did better than that, I bought her several toys, told the breeder where I got her that Bailey saved my life due to her super sniffer and how to this day, she will tell me if the clots are gone or still there. As of now, they are still there because she licks the areas affected.

I mentioned to the vet how her nose saved me and they were in awe and said that there are some dogs that have sensitive noses & can even detect cancer in patients.

Bailey will lick my face if she sees me crying and then will sit on my lap with her back against the couch just like a human. If I have one of my migraines just starting, she will come out of nowhere and jump on my lap and go crazy licking my entire face until I take something to prevent it from going to a #12 in the pain scale.

She is definitely my angel.
04-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #26
Zac with no K
 
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I was talking to my aunt about this and she told me about her friend who's a breeder. She sometimes donates dogs to people in need of a service animal! Unfortunately for me, half my parents don't support the idea of a service dog or just a normal dog as a pet whatsoever, which is pretty disappointing as I really think it might help. Not that I should expect anyone without this disease to understand anyways
04-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #27
Cross-stitch gal
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In all honesty. There are people who are allergic to dogs, cats and/or birds. They might not be able to be around either their hair, fur, feathers or just the animal themselves. My husband and in-laws are part of these people.

I'm sorry Zac because I seriously doubt you and your family are any part of this and this might not help you much But, I would suggest that anyone looking to purchase a service animal find out for sure if you or your loved ones have this allergy before spending the money and time on one. Good luck to all and take care. Xxxx
04-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #28
GutlessWonder86
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what would a service dog do for crohn's patients?? I'm just curious.
04-07-2013, 06:27 PM   #29
GutlessWonder86
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I mean, I realize that for some folks, their dogs or cats are their "children with fur" and are spoiled and loved greatly. And yes, it does lower BP in people and offer companionship for single folks as well.

If that is the case, why not go to the rescue shelter and just get a pet. there are so many longing for a "fur ever" home.
06-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #30
Crohn's gal since 1989
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In all honesty. There are people who are allergic to dogs, cats and/or birds. They might not be able to be around either their hair, fur, feathers or just the animal themselves. My husband and in-laws are part of these people.

I'm sorry Zac because I seriously doubt you and your family are any part of this and this might not help you much But, I would suggest that anyone looking to purchase a service animal find out for sure if you or your loved ones have this allergy before spending the money and time on one. Good luck to all and take care. Xxxx
My dog is a cross breed that is hypoallergenic, so no allergies

My story:
I had a good laugh tonight!
My dog is a Shorkie (Yorkshire Terrier Shih Tzu cross breed). She is very loveable and 8 pounds fully grown. My problem with Princess is she is a lap dog who loves to snuggle and as soon as my dinner plate is put aside she walks across my lap for cuddling and attention.

Normally not a problem, but I'm currently fighting a flare and each time she walks over me her feet are like tiny daggers piercing my gut!

Tonight I had major gas & bloating and some tummy pain. As Princess hopped onto the sofa next to me I looked at her and said, "You had better not step on my stomach Princess!" Princess looked at me, walked down my leg which was resting on the ottoman, crossed the length of the ottoman and hopped back onto the sofa landing on my opposite side and proceeded to lie down between my husband and I for a much deserved belly rub!

Amazing that a dog could be more sensitive to my condition then some of my human contacts are!
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