Hearing Loss in Dogs

Hearing Loss in Dogs
by guest blogger Cathy from Bloggydoggies

Most of us know that dogs are far superior when it comes to their hearing ability. Humans can hear within the range of 20Hz to 20 KHz. By comparison, most dogs can hear between 67Hz to 45KHz.

What happens though when your dog can’t hear? It’s more common than most of us realize. Some dogs are born deaf. Dogs with this genetic predisposition include Dalmations, Boston Terriers, Rottweilers, English Setters, and Border Collies. Dogs without pigment, white dogs and merle colored dogs also seem to have this problem more often than other dogs. When the hearing loss is genetic, there is nothing that can be done to help the dog medically. These dogs still make great pets though. They can be trained with light and hand signals. There is a common misconception that deaf dogs are more aggressive. This is not the case at all with dogs that are born deaf.

Dogs who lose their hearing later in life, may become aggressive but it is only because of their confusion. Unlike humans, they do not understand what is happening to them and can lash out in fear when startled. Never come up behind a deaf dog who is sleeping. Even when he is awake, if he can’t see you come up behind him, he may be momentarily startled and and act aggressively.

Other causes of deafness are ruptured eardrums, fluid in the ears, chronic infections, nerve problems, reactions to anesthesia or other medicines, blocked ear canals, and age. Some of these conditions can be treated medically.

So if you think your dog may be deaf, how do you test for it? First, get behind the dog and make some noises. Even if he doesn’t have an obvious reaction, you should see what is called a Pryor’s Reflex; which is that his ears will twitch. If there is no reaction at all, the next step is to make an appointment with your vet. It may be treatable. Even if it isn’t treatable, your dog will adjust with a little time and patience. You will have to be more careful in keeping an eye on your dog since he can’t hear the dangers around him. Also, it’s a good idea to put a bell on his collar to make finding him easier should he get away from you.

Interested in being a guest blogger? Email blog at bigpawdesigns dot com.

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  2. If you suspect that your dog is having trouble hearing, there are some simple tests that you can do. One test involves sneaking up behind your dog and snapping your fingers or clapping your hands and observing your dog’s reaction to the sound. You will want to do this from a distance so your dog doesn’t sense you. If you determine that your dog is suffering from some level of hearing impairment, have this confirmed by your veterinarian. Some of the causes of hearing loss are treatable. Also, there are veterinarian specialists (neurologists) who are able to confirm deafness.

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