The Common Causes of Deafness in Dogs

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Dogs are adorable creatures. They’re man’s best friend. Sometimes we think these friends of ours hate us as they get older because they don’t come when we call or respond in any way. In most cases, it’s not actually because they hate you, but because they simply can’t hear you/ Deafness is a common condition in aging dogs.

What exactly is deafness?

Your dog experiences deafness when he’s unable to hear the sounds around him. The loss could either be partial or complete. If the dog has been deaf from birth, the signs that tell you he’s deaf would be abundantly clear to you from when he is just a pup itself. Deafness is most common among elderly and aging dogs and there are around 30 breeds that are more prone to developing it at a later stage in their lives. These breeds include Boston terriers, Australian shepherds, cocker spaniels, German shepherds, Dalmatians, Jack Russel terriers, Maltese, miniature and toy poodles, and the west highland white terriers.

What are the symptoms of deafness?

A good sign of deafness is when your dog doesn’t have any response to sounds.

  • Unresponsive to squeaky toys
  • Unresponsive to clapping
  • Unresponsive to snapping fingers
  • Unresponsive to especially loud noises like doorbells
  • Unresponsive to his own name
  • Unresponsive to you entering the room
  • Unresponsive to other pooches who are barking
  • Really difficult to wake
  • Excessive barking
  • Often startled when you wake him up
There are different types of deafness that your dog could experience.Congenital

The animal inherits his deafness from genetics. There have been defects in the early developments of the nervous system involved with hearing or the ear itself.


Acquires deafness through a number of factors like trauma, infections, geriatric nerve degeneration, or blockages in the ear canal.


Sounds from outside cannot be properly conducted to the nerves that are inside the inner ear.


The nerve signals that are primarily responsible for transporting sound signals from the ear to the brain are unresponsive or unable to interpret the sound data.

What are the causes for hearing loss?
  • Genetic inheritance or underdeveloped nervous system or ear.
  • Old age (the natural degeneration of the geriatric nerve)
  • Blockage by a foreign object (wax buildup, grass, hair, fluids etc.)
  • Being repeatedly exposed to really loud noises like music from stereos or gunfire.
  • Injury to the ear drum or ear canal, or injury to the head, leading to brain bleeds
  • Yeast or bacterial infection of the middle, inner, or outer ear.
  • Inflammation
  • Tumors
  • Heavy exposure to metals like mercury, lead, or arsenic.
  • Medication (some drugs can lead to deafness when used improperly. Sometimes deafness can occur as a side effect of the drug. Make sure you know the drugs you give your dog.
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