14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Great Dane Senses Toddler About To Have Epileptic Fit

A mum claims her pet dog can sense when her three-year-old daughter is about to have an epileptic seizure.

Arabella Scanlan, mum to toddler Brianna, says her Great Dane Charlie can sniff out changes in the little girl up to 20 minutes before she has a fit.

Ms Scanlan says Charlie will start to walk in circles around Brianna, and gently pin her against a wall to stop her from falling.

The little girl was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was three months old. The condition can
lead to seizures, which can cause her to go into a trance-like state, or have violent convulsions.

Her mums says that although Charlie is not a trained 'seizure alert dog' he has developed some kind of instinctive response to Brianna's condition.

"If you see a child having a seizure, it's pretty horrific, it's frightening, it's terrible, it's gut-wrenching," Ms Scanlan said.

"Charlie will know about 15 to 20 minutes before she's going into seizure. He'll get ever so panicky and giddy, almost as if you'd think 'this stupid dog is going to knock her over'."

The BBC reports that the worried family had first thought they might have to rehouse giant Charlie in case he caused Brianna to fall.

"He's a big boy - it isn't like he's agile. When Charlie turns the whole room turns with him," Ms Scanlan said. "But he has never once knocked her over."

She added that Charlie was 'very protective' and rarely leaves the toddler's side.

"We kept an eye on this and, sure enough, I went into the yard one day and she (Brianna) was buckled over to the side, on top of him (Charlie). She was actually having a seizure.

"She was leaning against the wall, bent over him and he just looked at me as if to say 'I don't know what to do'. But he stayed with her, he didn't move."

"I actually don't know the psychology behind it but, no shadow of a doubt, people are mesmerised when they see him in action. It would actually melt your heart to see them together," she said.

Brianna's mum told her local newspaper that despite Charlie's 'care' of Brianna, her husband Brian and their four other children, Farrah, 17, Harry, 15, Mia 13, and Rose, 11, all know that the little girl must have her medication within two minutes of a seizure to sedate her.