What is Deafness?
Deafness is the complete or partial loss of hearing. It may be caused by a number of conditions that originate within the ear or the nerves to and from the ear.
How does my dog become Deaf?
There are over 20 breeds with a predisposition to congenital deafness that will be present at birth. Any dog may develop deafness as a part of the aging process or as a result of chronic ear canal disease.
How do I know if my dog is Deaf?
It is rare that deafness in one ear is detected or identified. Thus, deafness usually is bilateral when it becomes evident. You may notice that your pet no longer responds to normal everyday sounds, doesn’t respond when called by name, or is difficult to awaken when asleep. In puppies, a failure to respond may be more difficult to determine but a failure to turn towards squeaky toys or whistles may be noted. Your veterinarian will examine your dog thoroughly with an emphasis on the ears and may recommend referral to a specialist to do specific neurological testing (BAER-Brain Auditory Evoked Response) to confirm the diagnosis.
What can I do about Deafness?
Congenital deafness is irreversible. Acquired deafness by be treated with focus on getting the ear infections under control, decreasing inflammation within the ear canal, or other middle or inner ear surgical or medical treatments.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from becoming Deaf?
Breed selection to avoid the high risk breeds is step number one in prevention. In other cases, early diagnosis and treatment of ear infections with the goal of avoiding chronic ear conditions will decrease the likelihood of acquired deafness.
Are there certain breeds that become Deaf more often?
Dalmation, English setters, Australian shepherds, Border collies, Shetland sheepdogs, white cats with blue eyes, English cocker spaniels, Australian cattle dogs, are just a few of the breeds identified.