August 23, 2010

Living with a Deaf Dog

Filed under: Dog health — Dr. Amber Reed @ 10:10 am

deafness in dogsA costly trip to the veterinarian and the application of the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response test will help you to determine if your dog is going deaf or just ignoring you.  Likewise, you can conduct a few simple tests from home to self-diagnose deafness in your dog.  For example, you can clap your hands loudly or call his name when he is sleeping, or have another family member bang some pots in another room and watch for your dog’s response.  In either situation, if your dog is unresponsive, this is a good indication that he may be deaf or beginning to go deaf.

If you suspect your dog is deaf, you really should visit the veterinarian.  Your veterinarian can inspect your dog’s ears to look for blockages or malformations that can sometimes be treated to restore your dog’s hearing.  Still, as is the case with elderly humans, older dogs may become deaf naturally.  If your dog’s hearing cannot be restored, you must learn how to live with a deaf dog.

deafness in dogsYou must take extra precautions to protect a deaf dog.  First of all, never take your deaf dog off leash in an open area because you won’t be able to call him back.  Furthermore, deaf dogs are at greater risk of accidents or attack as they will not be able to hear potential dangers.  Deaf dogs also tend to be more anxious so you must always approach your dog calmly and carefully so as not to startle him.  Finally, when in the company of other dogs, always make sure there is somebody keeping a watch over your dog.  Dogs regularly use vocalizations like barking or growling to communicate aggression, danger, or other information.  Obviously, deaf dogs will not be able to hear these communications and this can put them at risk.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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