If you’ve had your dog for a long time, as they grow older, you should start to expect lots of health problems, including the one they have from birth that hasn’t yet manifested.
And Deafness is definitely one of them, you would be surprised as to the fact that you may not even be able to tell when your dog is going deaf, especially when your dog is very stubborn to start, you may keep asking yourself why is he suddenly more stubborn, but no he is actually going deaf.
Causes of Deafness in dogs
There are various cause of deafness in dogs such as, damaged nerve due to accident, head injury relating to the ears, conduction problems, poor hygiene, presence of foreign objects in the ear, ear infections, heredity, drug misuse or as a result of natural old age.
- Damaged nerve: If your dog was previously involved in an accident which affected some nerves near the ear and led to damaging of the nerve, your dog might start to go deaf little by little, in one or both ears or go deaf at once.
- Drug misuse: Assuming your dog is or was on some kind of medication, and you fail to make use of such medication properly as advice’s by your vet, it may lead to deafness in your dog. Some other medications such as antibiotics, antiseptics or chemotherapy which when administered to a dog for long period can produce a side effect such as deafness.
- Accidental poisoning: We cannot know everything, but we should know some things that may prove to be harmful to our health. You may have accidentally poisoned your dog by feeding him highly unbalanced meals continuously, foods which contains heavy metal such as lead, mercury and arsenic compounds can be poisonous to dogs when consumed in large qualities and may lead to permanent deafness.
- Conduction problems: This is a type of issue where by sound waves from outside the ear are not able to get to the inner ear, and this can be caused by inflammatory activities going on in the middle ear or the outer ear. Such inflammatory activities are products of various sickness, tumors or ear canal damage.
You should also be aware of the fact that some breed of dogs are more likely to have genes with issues that can cause deafness inherited from there parents, that is, dogs with white fur on their body or on the top of their head are most likely to go deaf in the future.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Going Deaf
Research has also shown that more than 30 breeds of dogs has deafness or causes of deafness in their genes. However, it is not 100% certain that dogs of those breeds will go blind, some dogs inherits little percentage of the gene and may not go blind in their life span. But it is a good idea for you to know some signs and symptoms of deafness in dog’s so you will know when or if your dog is going deaf.
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How to look for symptoms of deafness in younger and older dogs
No matter the breed or age of your dog, looking for symptoms of deafness is slightly all the same, if you have a puppy and you feel he is deaf, you cannot know right away because you will have to wait for at least 14 or 15 days after its birth to start to find symptoms of deafness.
For the first 10 to 15 days after dogs have been born they are deaf because their ear canals are closed. So once your puppy is 14 days old, you can now start looking for symptoms of deafness in your dog, symptoms like;
In younger dogs:
- When younger, puppies will play with their other siblings or friends, and such play’s involves biting each other, and when the bite each other the puppy being bitten will make sounds to let the other puppy know he is hurting him. If your puppy does not stop biting the other puppy despite the other puppy’s sound of discomfort, then you puppy may be deaf.
- During feedings, sometimes the puppies are not around their food bowls but will come running towards it when they hear the sound of cereal being poured into their bowl, but if your puppy does not come running towards his bowl even when you are filling it just behind him, then you have a deaf puppy.
- If when you call out the name of your puppy or make any loud noise around him, and he turns to a wrong direction, or moves in an haphazard motion, that means your puppy may be partially deaf, or deaf in one ear.
In older dogs:
Looking for symptoms of deafness in older dogs may prove to be a little more difficult than symptoms in puppies, because puppies were born deaf, so their character is standard. But older dogs going deaf may not always have change in character, and may still exhibit their old habits, for example a stubborn dog that was not deaf, but later went deaf, will still be stubborn.
- When they start to disobey your every command even when they are looking at you scolding them, meaning they can not longer hear what ever it is you are saying.
- Sleeping longer and more peaceful; most dog’s aren’t peaceful sleepers, they wake up at the sound of slight noises, but when you notice your dog suddenly sleepy very peaceful even when the house is noisy and even when you call his name.
- Sudden change in character; You could have had your dog for long and you know very well how he behaves, but suddenly he changes character such as your dog running to the door when the bell goes off but doesn’t do so again.
- Getting startled or suddenly jumps violently in response to a noise especially when the noise has been on going for a while but didn’t realize it.
- Some dogs has some phobias such as the noise of the vacuum cleaner, if your dog previously has a phobia of the vacuum cleaner, but suddenly doesn’t run out of the room when you are using the cleaner but just stare at it, then, he is definitely going deaf.
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How to test if your dog is going deaf
After checking for symptoms of deafness and your dog has proven to have hearing problems, just to be very sure, you can also test how good or faulty your dog’s hearing it because it can just be that you have a very stubborn puppy or your dog has just gotten more obedient or more disobedient with old age.
Testing your dog’s hearing will help you acquire more information about the cause of their change in behavior. Below are a few methods on how to test if your dog is going deaf:
- Assuming your dog is Deaf, you may want to start training him using sign language or demonstration, but when you start doing it and your dog doesn’t seem to care or does not show any desire to learn the new training, and he still disobeys your command or any verbal advancement you make, then he is not deaf, but just very stubborn and difficult to train. You should take your dog to a special dog behaviorist for such dogs with personality disorder.
- Another way to test if your dog is deaf is by making loud noises around him, preferably at a distance, but without him facing you. You can make noises by banging a pot and it’s cover or a spoon together to make loud noise and if he does not respond, you can ring bells, clap your hands, whistle. And if he still doesn’t respond, you can try shaking a bag of his favorite snack or cereal and if pray tells her does look at you, then he definitely isn’t deaf, but does have a personality disorder. When doing this test, you should make sure to stand at the same distance while making the sounds and try various sounds, as many sounds as you can make. Do not stand too close to your dog while doing this because if they are deaf, their other senses may be heightened, they may smell your perfume coming from behind them, or feel breeze or just feel something is behind them, dogs are very smart animals.
- For some brave dogs, they tend to loose their courage sometimes due to old age, but it could be more than old age, it could be due to deafness. If during your weekly trip to the park, you notice your dog is now very uncomfortable around other dogs and people, if he is always looking at you to make sure you are still there and if when you call him or her, she starts turning in a wrong direction or turns around in circles, or looks at you for a while before coming to you, she is probably struggling with partial deafness, or deafness to one ear which is making her disoriented.
Treatment for deaf dog’s
Once you have done a lot of tests and come to the conclusion that your dog might be deaf, the next step is to take your dog to the veterinarian for further tests and an accurate diagnosis. Your vet will carry out most of the test that you have already do at home just to be very sure just what is wrong.
Your vet Will ask you various questions about the change is your dogs character and tell you if your dog is truly deaf. And apart from the normal test, other medical tests will be done such as how fast or slow your dogs brain activity it, or if there is any forgiveness object in his ear, or what type of deafness your dog has, or if there are any lumps or bumps in your dogs ear that way be a reason for sudden deafness.
Afterwards, treatment suitable for your dog will be started immediately and recovery will follow in a few weeks.