Hearing Loss in Dogs


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Dogs experience hearing loss, just like humans do. The loss of hearing can either be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing loss is usually caused due to wax build-up or any foreign particle in the ear canal. Permanent hearing loss is caused either due to old age, ear infections that haven't been treated for a long time or congenital hearing loss.Temporary deafness can be treated by a veterinarian. It is usually done by removal of excessive ear wax or the foreign particle that has entered the ear canal. Temporary hearing loss is most often non-treatable. Certain breeds of dogs are born with congenital deafness, which they have acquired by birth.

Common symptoms of hearing loss
  • Excessive barking.
  • Non-responsive when called.
  • Non-responsive to any sort of loud noises.
  • Non-responsive when someone enters the room.
  • Non-responsive to snapping fingers at close proximity.
Causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss can either be conductive or sensorineural. In the conductive type of deafness, the sound doesn't reach the nerves in the inner ear. Whereas in the sensorineural type of deafness, the sound signals cannot reach the brain from the ear.Congenital deafness is found in certain dogs by birth. Certain breeds of dogs are known for it. Whereas acquired deafness can be due to the following reasons:

  • Old age
  • Infections
  • Foreign object in the ear canal blocking the sound
  • Continuous exposure to loud noises
  • Injuries to the ear drum
  • Brain trauma
  • Tumours and inflammation
Diagnosis of hearing loss

Owners need to find out if their dog is suffering from hearing loss. To do this, one can simply make loud noises such as rattling or screeching of metal parts close to their ears. If the dog doesn't respond to it, it could be suffering from hearing loss. It must be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that he can find out what's causing the defect. Based on the observation, he would either remove excess wax, hair or attend to any infection causing the loss of hearing. If there are tumours in the ear canal, a surgery will have to be performed.

Recovery of hearing

When there is an infection involved, the doctor would prescribe oral antibiotics and an ear flush, if required. If the dog responds to it well, then the infection must be cleared within a couple of weeks.However, animals facing permanent deafness should be taken care with great cautiousness. As they don't hear, they may get hit by moving vehicles if taken outdoors. Various techniques can be used to get a deaf dog's attention. They can also be trained to respond to various hand signals. Abandoning a canine just because it's deaf is not something that one would want to be doing. A deaf dog is just as faithful as a healthy one. Just a little extra care is what it would expect from its owner.

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