Is My Dog Deaf?
Hearing is one of the most valuable senses a dog has, and they can hear up to 4 times the distance that we can. Unfortunately, deafness is not uncommon in dogs and although some breeds are more at risk than others, any type of dog can be affected by a loss of hearing.
If you’ve started to notice that your dog doesn’t react to noises or their name when called, it could be a sign of deafness. However, some dogs are mischievous and purposely don’t react, making it difficult to diagnose deafness yourself, so it is important that you can tell the difference.
This guide will help you to spot the signs of deafness in dogs and explain the different types of deafness as well as how it can be formally diagnosed:
Types of deafness in dogs
In canines, there are a variety of types of deafness that affect different parts of the ears. The most common are:
If your pet is bilaterally deaf, their hearing will be affected in both ears. Dogs who develop this health condition often carry genetic material that influences the illness.
Dogs that are unilaterally deaf only experience a loss of hearing within one ear. Generally, this type of deafness is harder to diagnose.
How can I tell if my dog is deaf?
The most common method for testing for deafness in dogs is to conduct a Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) test. This is done professionally and works by recording brain activity in the animal when sounds are played
How your pet reacts to the sound stimulation gives a good indication about the health of their hearing, along with identifying which type of deafness your dog is suffering with, if any.
Clapping your hands
You can also perform some at-home test to diagnose whether or not your dog is suffering with deafness. The easiest method is to clap your hands when your pet is at a far distance away and note if they respond to it.
This method is most effective when you’re not directly beside the dog as they are able to pick up on wind directions and vibrations, so eliminate this by standing further away before clapping.
Gradually increasing the sound of your clap will give you a rough estimation on what level of sound they are able to hear.
Ringing the doorbell
Because dogs are extremely inquisitive pets, their senses will heighten when they’re left alone and you exit the room. For this reason, you could try getting another family member to ring the doorbell outside of your home at an unexpected moment.
If your dog responds to the ringing with a bark, pricked ears or stares at the door, it could be a sign that they’re not suffering with deafness.
As you can imagine, diagnosing deafness in dogs is not an easy task and often requires a professional vet to make the diagnosis.
Consider getting dog insurance to avoid the chances of paying for excessive vet bills and ensure that your pet is happy and healthy, without worrying about the costs.