National Deaf Dog Awareness Week starts September 30th. Deafness is not uncommon in our furry companions. Roughly 5 to 10 percent of our canine pals suffer from hearing impairment. The good news? Fido can still live a wonderful, happy life if his cute ears don’t work. An Emerson, NJ vet discusses deaf dogs in this article.
Any dog can go deaf, and at any point in their lives. Our canine friends often lose their hearing as they age, just as many people do. That said, certain breeds are more susceptible to hearing issues than others. In fact, more than 80 breeds have been confirmed to be susceptible to congenital deafness. That list includes Dalmatians, Bull Terriers, Australian Cattle Dogs, English Setters, English Cocker Spaniels, Boston Terriers, and Parson Russell Terriers.
Fido can’t tell you if his cute ears aren’t working right, so you ‘ll need to watch for warning signs. He may bark excessively and/or at a higher volume than he used to, because he can’t hear himself. He may ignore commands or sounds, and you may have a harder time getting his attention. You may also notice your pup getting grumpy about being startled. That’s a huge pet peeve for pooches that can’t hear well! You’ll also want to watch for signs of ear infections, such as green, black, or red discharge, a foul odor, and constant shaking or pawing the head.
For the most part, Fido has the same needs as any other pooch: food, shelter, veterinary care, toys, exercise, and, of course, lots of love and belly rubs. However, there are a few things you’ll need to do differently. Your furry pal may need to learn to obey visual cues, rather than spoken commands. You may also want to teach him to come when you wave a flashlight or wave a laser pointer. Deaf dogs should always be kept leashed on walks, as they won’t hear things like car horns. We also recommend using a double connection on your pet’s harness, just to ensure he can’t slip out of it. Your pup may also sleep better with a fan on: the air flow may be a sort of white noise to him.
Do you know or suspect that your canine buddy has hearing trouble? Contact us, your local Emerson, NJ animal clinic, today!