Wellness Wednesday – National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

NATIONAL DEAF DOG AWARENESS WEEK – SEPTEMBER 24-30th

This week is national deaf dog awareness week. Did you know that 30 breeds of dogs are known to have a susceptibility for deafness? Among these breeds are Australian shepherd, Boston terrier, cocker spaniel, Dalmatian, German shepherd, Jack Russell terrier, Maltese to and miniature poodle and West Highland white terrier. Deafness refers to temporary, partial or total loss of hearing in one or both ears. Though it can accrue in young dogs, deafness is more common in senior dogs. Below are a few symptoms to keep an eye out for it you feel your dog might be at a loss.

SYMPTOMS – DOES YOUR DOG HAVE LITTLE/NO RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING

  • No response to squeaking toys
  • No response to clapping
  • No response to snapping fingers behind the head
  • No response to doorbells or other loud noises
  • No response when called by name
  • No response when you enter the room
  • No response to other dogs barking
  • Difficult to wake
  • Startled when woken
  • Excessive barking

There are two types of deafness. These types are either congenital or acquired. Congenital deafness is when an animal is born deaf. This can be due to a genetic inheritance or a birth defect. Acquired deafness is when an animal is born normal but later develops deafness through trauma, infection, blockage of the ear canal or geriatric nerve degeneration.

CAUSES – BELOW ARE A LIST OF WAYS ONE MAY ACQUIRE DEAFNESS

  • Old age which is also called natural geriatric nerve degeneration
  • Repeated exposure to loud noises
  • Foreign object blockage (this includes wax build up, inner ear hairs, grass or fluids)
  • Injury (trauma to the ear canal or ear drum, head trauma causing injury to the brain)
  • Infection (outer, middle or inner ear bacterial or yeast infection)
  • Inflammation
  • Tumors (of ear or Eustachian tube)
  • Heavy metals (exposure to mercury, arsenic or lead can lead to hearing loss)
  • Drug toxicity (certain drugs can lead to deafness is used incorrectly or as a side effect)

If you suspect that your dog may be experience hearing loss there are ways you can test your pups hearing. Start by clapping at your dog or shake an object that is loud in its direction. If you think your dog might have partial hearing loss you can try using softer sounds like snapping towards both ears to see if the dog responds the same way to both sides. If your dog does not respond to these different tests, then its best to make an appointment with your veterinary so your dog can get a proper exam and in return give you a peace of mind.

*resources www.wagwalking.com