The deafness of dogs is something that all dog lovers fear facing. It is almost impossible to cure hearing loss. Deafness can make your dog and you unhappy.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Deaf? – It might be challenging to know if your dog is deaf. But there are many signs through which you can understand how to tell if your dog is deaf.
If your dog is not responding to your calls, you should realize that he is affected by hearing loss. Not responding to banging objects or clapping from a distance is a worrying sign. Your dog might shake their head or have trouble waking up from sleep too.
If you carefully observe these unusual behaviours, you can understand if they are deaf. There are a lot of reasons for deafness in dogs. It may be due to ageing, injuries, or due to genetic factors.
Like us, dogs can also have deafness. For them, it might not be easy and can affect their safety. Deaf dogs can face accidents or get lost somewhere. So it is essential to give deaf dogs enough care.
What are the Symptoms of Deafness in Dogs?
The first way you can understand your dog’s hearing loss is when your dog starts ignoring commands or your calls. Some of the symptoms of a dog with hearing loss include:
- Lack of activity
- Changes in behaviours like obedience and attentiveness
- Not responding to sounds
- Unresponsive when calling out their name
- Unresponsive to verbal commands
- Difficulty in waking up
- Excessive barking
- Shakes head often
How to Tell if Your Dog is Deaf?
You can check if your dog is deaf at home through simple methods. Some of the ways are:
- Stand away from your dog and ensure he cannot see you. Make loud noises like clapping or banging on the door. Check whether he is turning his head or shaking his ears. If he is not doing anything like this, hearing loss might be a sign.
- You shouldn’t be doing this near the dogs. There are chances that your dog senses your presence and responds. This may fail the test. Keep sufficient distance from them and make noises.
- There is a chance that only one ear of your dog is affected. In such cases, your dog may respond through the other ear. This also fails the test. However, if you carefully observe, you can see your dog getting confused and localizing the sound.
- If you find any difference in the way they behave or the test becomes positive, immediately call your vet. They can check if your dog is deaf through different tests.
What are the Signs of Deafness in Puppies?
Through the signs, we can determine deafness in dogs. But choosing deafness in puppies can be more challenging. Since they can be easily distracted and a little strange in behaviour, it is often difficult to know whether they are deaf.
However, there are tests for finding this. You can try providing exciting sounds to get the attention of your puppies. You can give the sound when the puppy walks through or is simply sitting.
Check if it is turning its ears toward the sound source. If the puppy is not deaf, it will turn towards the sound. If you are unsure about the condition of your puppy, get help from the vet.
Causes of Deafness
If your newly adopted dog is hearing impaired, or you decided to adopt a deaf dog, or due to some injuries, your dog had a hearing loss, you may want to know about the causes of deafness in your dog and how to care for them properly. A lot of reasons: can cause deafness.
- Congenital disabilities
- Head injuries
- Drug toxicity
- Old age
- Diseases like a tumour or ruptured eardrum
- Ear infections
What is Congenital Deafness in Dogs?
Deafness at birth is known as congenital deafness. For some breeds, it is an inheritable disease. How deafness is inherited is still a mystery.
Breeds Prone to Deafness
Congenital deafness is seen in certain breeds of dogs. The dog breeds in which congenital deafness is seen are:
- Bull Terrier
- English Setter
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Australian Cattle Dog
- English Cocker Spaniel
- English setters
Congenital deafness is linked to their coat colour. The four types of coat colours associated with the disease are:
Deafness and Coat Color
Though deafness and coat colour are not related, they do. The reason for inheriting deafness in dogs is unknown as of now.
But it is found that the genes that control hearing and coat colour are connected. Dogs with white coats have a high risk for congenital deafness.
Ear Inflammation in Dogs
This is one of the causes of hearing loss. Ear inflammation occurs due to a lot of reasons. There are three classifications of ear inflammation.
- Inflammation of the outer ear (the external part of the eardrum – ear flap and canal)
- Inflammation of the middle ear (internal part of the eardrum, but not part of the labyrinth)
- Inflammation of the inner ear (parts including the labyrinth- parts such as semicircular canals and cochlea)
Hearing Tests for Dogs
To check the hearing ability of a dog, vets use the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test. In this test, a clicking sound is used to check whether the brain responds to it. th
- Affected–bilateral in which the dog is completely deaf in both ears
- Affected–unilateral in which the dog is completely deaf in one ear and the second ear is normal
- Unaffected in which both the ears are entirely normal in hearing
When to Conduct the Test?
Breeders who wish to conduct the hearing test on their pups before taking them to new houses can wait for the period of sleep. You can carry out a hearing test when your puppy is around 5½ to 6½ weeks of age.
Until two weeks of age, the ear canals of your puppies don’t open. After this age, dogs can undergo testing at any time. Age doesn’t matter for the test, so your adult dogs can also take the test.
How to Help Your Dogs with Deafness?
Deafness is a helpless condition for your dogs. This not only makes dogs sad but also you. Less activeness and unresponsiveness will make you sad.
But you should accept the situation and help your dog go through it. There are many ways to manage your dog’s deafness.
Meet your Veterinarian
You can meet your vet and try to find the cause behind the hearing loss. If it is an ear canal disease or infection, your vet can help prevent it from becoming complete deafness. Effective treatments for illnesses and ear canal diseases might help restore hearing to an extent.
Train Hand Signals
This is an excellent idea to continue the communication between you and your dog. By teaching him hand signals, you can communicate with him, making him feel safer and a feeling of emotional support.
Avoid Startling Your Dog
Give him gentle touches when you are not within his field of vision. Otherwise, it may scare him.
For instance, waking him up from sleep, do not suddenly put your hands on him. Instead, provide a gentle touch, ideally in the shoulder area.
You can also go near him gently. He can sense you and will wake from sleep. Keep kids away from your dog while they are sleeping.
And make sure any guest is to not startle them with loud noise or touch. If you are taking care of these, you can make your dog feel safe.
Be Vigilant Toward Your Dog
It is hazardous if we are not giving proper attention to a deaf dog. If your home is not fenced, be careful not to let your dog go outside. Make sure to put your dog on a leash when you go outside or if cars are moving in and out of the yard.
Dog’s Smelling Sense
Dogs with hearing loss are extremely good at other senses. Their sense of smell is especially good. The loss of hearing sense can be rectified by providing them with new scents. This can make them happy.
Deafness is a common problem, and you should be ready to accept it. What you can do is to help your dog recover from the sadness and help to cope with the new soundless world.
In elderly animals, there are high chances of getting affected by hearing loss, whereas some breeds are affected by congenital disease. There are signs of understanding hearing loss. If you are paying attention to these signs, you can determine whether it is deafness.
There are solutions for some hearing issues. And if there is not, you can adopt different ways to make your dog’s life happier again.
It can be through a new form of communication through hand gestures. You can also go to a vet for assistance and improve your pet’s quality of life. Or you can also note down tips on how to tell if your dog is deaf.