Testing and Management of Deafness in Dogs
Table of Contents
"Deafness in dogs can be due to an inherited condition or a disease
such as an untreated infection. Hearing loss can also be
brought on by noise, medications or is age-related (ARHL or presbycusis).
Signs of deafness include being unresponsive to sounds such as a toy
that makes noise, or if a dog doesn't awaken after a loud noise. Dogs
with hearing loss in one ear can have trouble in localizing a sound
source. Some causes of deafness result in a permanent hearing loss
while others could be temporary. It is often difficult for an owner to
detect the slow progression of deafness in dogs since a pet will try
and compensate for the hearing loss.
Diagnosis includes a physical examination and
neurological examination. Advanced imaging tests (MRI or CT scan) are
needed for a full evaluation of the inner and middle ear. Other methods
such as a test of the nerve impulses generated by the cochlea is
conducted using a
BAER test. Treatment starts with the elimination of any disease or
debris. Genetic disorders cannot be treated. Use of dog hearing
aids and advanced methods such as cochlear implants are not commonly
recommended or used. Puppy deafness requires special training.
Hearing loss can affect the relationship between the owner and dog since a dog cannot respond to sounds. If your dog is deaf this can be overcome with counseling and special training. Being deaf is not linked to other health congenital health problems or concerns. Deaf dogs are also not more aggressive."
Dog BERA Test for Hearing Loss
A BERA test is used to test hearing loss in dogs. The patient receives light anesthesia. Electrodes are used to detect sounds such as clicks.