Common among older dogs who are advancing in age is hearing loss. It’s not always easy to tell if your dog is suffering from dog hearing loss, but the folks at Petside Advisory Board have some simple tips that might help you figure out.
Experts agree that making a loud noise is the easiest way to tell if a dog has hearing loss. The range of noises you can make varies—from whistling and clapping your hands to even banging a pot together or a nonbreakable bowl. These are sounds that are bound to elicit some kind of reaction from a dog, and if yours doesn’t respond, it might be time to take your old buddy to the vet.
Another smart yet simple technique is to crinkle the bag that has your buddy’s favorite food. Your dog probably has default reaction whenever greeted with his or her favorite treat. If you crinkle the bag of treats and don’t get any reaction, then it might be a red signal for hearing loss.
Of course, you can never know for sure if your dog has hearing loss until you visit the vet. For that matter, Nancy Taylor, the CEO of Bideawee has an insightful remark on how to determine hearing loss for your beloved pet.
“Deafness can be congenital or acquired. Dogs with white pigmentation, such as the Dalmatian are predisposed to congenital deafness. Breeders will sometimes have puppies tested, using a hearing test called BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response). Because we can’t ask the pet if they can hear certain frequencies, this test is the only definitive way to detect hearing loss in animals as it measures electrical activity across the pathways in the brain and inner ear that conduct sound. Typically this test is performed by a veterinary neurologist, usually at a teaching hospital.
Short of BAER, you can reason that an animal is hearing impaired by certain behaviors or lack thereof. Typically, animals respond to noise stimuli, like the sound of your voice, the squeak of a toy, the car door slamming or the front door opening and the sound of the food bag. If you notice that these sounds don’t elicit a response from your pet, especially when he/she is not looking at you, it may indicate that there is hearing loss. You can investigate further by trying some in-home investigation. While your pet is not looking at you, you can whistle, ring the doorbell, clap your hands or use a squeaky toy and assess the response. Your veterinarian can also assist you.” (Read More Here)
If you’ve determined for sure that your dog has hearing loss, you don’t have to despair over it. This is a normal part of the aging process. Your dog needs you more now than ever—and the first way for you to show your support is by being strong for you both.