Adopting a pet is one of life’s greatest joys, and most pet owners go into it with visions of the great times and the incredible bond they will share with their furry friend. Discovering that your pet has partial or full hearing loss can shatter those dreams – but it doesn’t have to.
Hearing loss in pets is not a diagnosis pet owners want to hear, but with good veterinary care, patience, and a good dose of love and compassion, deaf pets can enjoy a long, full, and meaningful life.
Causes of Hearing Loss in Pets
Age – Aging pets are prone to a condition called otosclerosis, in which the tiny components of the inner ear lose the ability to function properly. This affects the ability of the ear to transmit sound waves to the brain and is the most common cause of hearing loss in pets.
Infection – Chronic, recurring ear infections (also called otitis) can lead to inflammation and the buildup of scar tissue in the inner ear, which can damage the components of the inner ear.
Drug toxicity – Certain medications and drug interactions can increase the risk of hearing loss in pets.
Congenital – Some breeds are predisposed to hearing loss-related birth defects, such as Dalmations, English setters, and bull terriers.
Injury, etc. – A foreign body in the ear canal, tumor or other growth, brain disease, or injury to the ear or head can contribute to hearing loss in pets.
The Song Remains the Same
If you suspect your pet is suffering from hearing loss, don’t wait to make an appointment with your Long Animal Hospital Veterinarian.
We can make sure there is no infection present or another medical concern present, and help you set up a plan to improve your pet’s quality of life.
A small investment of time is all it takes to make a hearing-impaired pet’s life easier, and preserve the bond you share.
- Use praise and rewards to teach your dog visual cues, such as hand signals, as a replacement for former verbal communication. Senior pets can easily be taught appropriate responses to visual cues, and it will help them to feel secure even without their hearing.
- Research vibration collars to see if they are right for your pet and you. Remote-controlled vibration collars can be used to alert your pet to daily occurrences, such as your arrival to the home so that they can be prepared to greet you at the door. This allows you to maintain the routine and consistency that pets thrive on.
- Have patience, and remain calm! Pets respond to our emotional cues, so your positive, upbeat attitude can make all the difference for a hearing-impaired pet.