A service dog can greatly increase the quality of life for someone suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, also known as TBI. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury can take over a veteran or first responders life. At Operation Overwatch we will train service dogs to combat the daily issues that someone suffering from TBI has. 

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is a physical trauma to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. War inflicted injuries like vehicle accidents, explosive devices, bullet wounds, and other head traumas are common causes of traumatic brain injuries among veterans. There are medications and surgeries that can combat the symptoms of traumatic brain injury, but treatment is hard and medications are expensive.

How A Service Dog Can Help

If you are suffering from the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, a service dog will help. A service dog will help during a medical or emotional emergency, aiding with memory related tasks, and providing security in public places. A service dog is able to pick up on the subtle changes in a handler’s mood, heart rate, and stress levels making it able to intervene. Having a dog by your side will help combat the hardships of living with traumatic brain injury.  

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A service dog will always be by a handler’s side, and will immensely help combat the feelings of loneliness and disassociation. The positive attitude and energy of a service dog can be the difference between feeling lonely and feeling welcomed.

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Memory Difficulty

A loss of memory can affect your daily function and can impact your health by forgetting to take certain medications or eating. A service dog can be trained to execute basic tasks like retrieving lost items and reminding you to take medications.

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Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is a common symptom of TBI and can pose harm when in busy environments and in public places. A service dog will be able to act as a lead or guide dog to someone who is having vision issues. A service dog will guide you to safety and give you the help that you need until you regain vision. Losing vision is a frightening experience, and a service dog will be by your side to assure that you are safe.

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Service dogs create complex patterns of daily routines, awareness of physical environments and are able to alert others for help. If a handler is confused and lost a service dog will be able to lead their handler back to a safe place. Service dogs are also trained to retrieve items like medications and clothing items to make daily tasks easier.

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Loss of Consciousness

Fainting can occur sporadically and poses a danger to people suffering from TBI. A dog can be trained to help with mobility assistance and will wake up their handler and move them to safety. A dog can be trained to nudge and lick the handler and will bark to alert others of the emergency.

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Having a service dog by your side when going outside, running errands, or completing tasks will help combat anxiety and nervous emotions. Service dogs will be trained to calm a handler when they pick up on anxious behaviors or nervousness symptoms like a rise in heart rate. A dog will be able to mediate the anxious feelings and bring the handler back to a grounded or calm environment.

Operation Overwatch Can Help