Deafness in dogs: signs, how to check, treatment methods

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Canine hearing is several times more sensitive than human hearing. If the animal does not respond not only to commands, but also to its own nickname, then there are problems.

Deafness in dogs occurs for various reasons. It is necessary to determine the factors that provoked the development of pathology in order to find an opportunity to help the animal.

Types of hearing loss

Deafness in dogs can be congenital or acquired. In the first case, it is almost impossible to help the animal.
Hearing loss resulting from injuries or illnesses is treated, depending on the severity of the condition.


Puppies begin to react to sound starting from the 10th day of life. If the baby sleeps peacefully, ignoring the clapping or loud voice, does not react to harsh sounds, congenital deafness is suspected.


With age, the dog gradually loses hearing. The owner may not notice this.

Breeders most often pay attention to situations when the animal does not respond to any sound stimuli at all.
Deafness, which develops during life, is difficult to notice and determine. This pathology does not cause pain in the pet, he gets used to his condition, his behavior does not change.

Definition of deafness

There are signs by which it is easy to establish that the animal will lose hearing. Following the behavior of the pet, determine its ability to pick up sounds.

Reaction to sound stimuli

There are sounds to which the dog always reacts. This is the voice of the owner, the barking of stray dogs outside the window, the refrigerator door opening, a knock or a bell at the front door, the click of the lock.

If the dog has completely stopped showing interest at these sounds, deafness is suspected.

Nickname Review

Even from a young age, the puppy remembers his nickname and reacts violently to this word. If the dog does not respond to the owner’s call even from a close distance, it has hearing problems.

Serene sleep

Even in a dream, a healthy dog hears well what is happening around. No wonder these animals are considered the best guards.

A dog with hearing problems in a dream does not react even to loud sounds, such as a bang, a scream or a heavy object falling.


A sick animal refuses to play, most often sleeps without reacting to environmental stimuli, ambient noises. You can wake up a dog only by touching, not by calling.

Passivity on a walk

With a decrease in the level of hearing, the dog on the street becomes anxious. She clings to the feet of the owner, refuses to move away from him, turns her head around, trying to see a possible threat.

The sick animal is no longer interested in outdoor games.

Fright from touching

A dog with developing deafness may not hear when a person approaches it. If the owner is out of sight of the pet and unexpectedly touches him, the animal will start from surprise.

Shaking your head

Hearing problems in dogs are a consequence of diseases.

If the animal often shakes its head or constantly scratches its ears, this is the first sign that the pet needs to be checked for ear infections by a veterinarian.


A deaf dog is poorly oriented in space, can turn in the wrong direction or lose balance.

Change of emotions

In a sick animal, excessive excitement, uncharacteristic behavior is observed.

Deafness test at home

You can determine the deafness of a dog at home.

The dog is a good watchman, while she has a very sensitive sleep. After the animal has fallen asleep, you can clap your hands loudly, drop a metal object, a bunch of keys, call the pet by name.

A healthy dog will immediately respond to these stimuli. An animal with hearing pathology will continue to sleep peacefully.

In a puppy, deafness is more difficult to determine. Most often, he is more aggressive than other individuals from the litter, since he does not hear the screeching of his fellow bites. It is also difficult to determine whether a deaf puppy will bark. Over time, it will start making sounds, but it will sound like a screech or howl.

Examination in the clinic

Only a doctor can more accurately diagnose and identify the cause of hearing pathology.

The animal should be taken to a veterinary clinic for a comprehensive examination.

Checking the reaction to sounds

The veterinarian performs a test for sound stimuli to check whether the animal hears at all and what is its hearing level. The actions are the same as those that the owner carried out at home. Various loud and not very loud sounds can be heard at a close distance from the animal.

Otoscope examination

If deafness is suspected, it is important to make sure that the animal’s hearing organs do not have pathologies.

The doctor conducts an otoscope examination, identifying deformities, foci of infection, injured tissues.

X-ray, MRI

Instrumental examinations are considered to be more effective. They make it possible to identify malignant and benign neoplasms, the consequences of internal head and ear injuries.

Such a study is always informative, allows you to make an accurate diagnosis.

Neurological examination

This method of diagnosis reveals the pathology of the auditory nerve. Any changes in its tissues threaten complete hearing loss in the animal.

Electronic examination BAER-test

This method is recognized as the most informative in the world. It is carried out for dogs, starting from the age of one month.

Test conditions

The test is performed in specialized clinics equipped with the necessary equipment. The dog must be older than 35 days.

The examination is prescribed if no violations were detected during the otoscope examination.


The dog should be completely calm during the procedure, this can be achieved by introducing small doses of anesthesia.

In order to avoid unpleasant consequences, the animal is not fed 10 hours before the start of the procedure. So he won’t throw up under the influence of narcotic drugs.


Each auditory canal is examined separately. A special earphone is inserted into the animal’s ear, which gives various sound signals. They may differ in volume, power, and playback frequency.

A special sensor at this time reads the brain’s response to stimuli.


The entire examination takes no more than 15-20 minutes. During this time, the computer gives an accurate test result with a check of the right and left ear canal.

Congenital deafness: is treatment possible

The BAER test accurately detects congenital pathologies in dogs. In Europe, its passage is mandatory for breeding animals.

Dogs suffering from hearing loss are not allowed to mating. This is important, since the deafness gene is inherited, it is not treated in puppies and adult animals.

Acquired deafness: treatment

After determining the exact cause of hearing loss in a dog, they immediately begin to choose treatment tactics. Depending on the pathology, antibacterial or anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed.

Blockage of the auricles

How to treat: mechanical or medical cleaning. Apply means that dissolve earwax.

To avoid complications, the procedure is entrusted to a specialist. Subsequent cleaning can be carried out at home, having received the instructions of the attending physician.


Suppuration is washed with antiseptics, antibacterial drugs are prescribed. During the treatment period, it is better not to let the animal out, avoid excessive physical exertion and drafts.

Age-related changes

With age, the dog may gradually lose hearing. This process is irreversible, it cannot be treated. The owner needs to learn to communicate in a new way with an old friend suffering from hearing loss.

Causes of deafness

Hearing loss in dogs can be congenital or acquired.

Some breeds are predisposed to the development of ear diseases – these are spaniels, sharpeys, terriers. Their ears are larger than those of other animals, are in a hanging position, so inflammatory processes develop more often in the auditory passages.


Animals with hearing problems are not allowed to breed. Hearing loss is inherited. Healthy parents may have a deaf puppy. In this case, the entire litter is rejected and sterilized.

A puppy with deafness can be raised. In terms of behavior, he will not differ in any way from healthy peers. As a rule, deaf dogs develop better eyesight and nose from birth.

A baby with pathology learns to react to gestures, it can be trained. In the process of education, an ultrasonic whistle is used.


This disease is caused by microscopic ear mites. In advanced cases, the animal is threatened with complete deafness.

It is important to regularly clean the ear passages with special preparations, especially for dogs with “problematic” ears: poodles, beagles, spaniels.

After the procedure, acaricides are used – drugs that destroy ear mites in dogs.


Due to bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, the dog develops meningitis – inflammation of the lining of the brain. Pathology affects deep parts of the organ, disrupting neural connections.

If the disease is not detected and treated in time, the dog may remain blind and deaf.

Otitis media

This is an inflammation of the auditory canal. It is accompanied by sharp pains, occurs due to hypothermia, stagnation of fluid after water procedures, infectious diseases, improper ear cleaning.

Damage to the eardrum

The causes of the problem are injuries. Leads to the development of middle ear infections, complete hearing loss.

Cupping the ears by a layman

Hearing impairment is manifested in breeds whose standard provides for the complete absence of auricles. If the procedure is carried out incorrectly, over time the ear canal overgrows, the animal goes deaf.

Blockage of the channel

Pathology occurs due to the ingress of a foreign body into the ear canal, accumulation of sulfur and dirt, an inflammatory process.

Only a veterinarian can clean the ear canal.

Living with Deafness

From the age of 7, animals have health problems. Hearing suffers first of all. This is an irreversible process.

Being constantly near people, such a dog learns to understand their facial expressions and gestures. On walks for deaf animals, a vibration collar is used.

Risk group

Breeds such as Cocker spaniel, poodle, beagle, sharpey, Dalmatian, dachshund, are susceptible to deafness – hereditary or acquired.

Among Dalmatians, individuals who are deaf from birth are often found, and Cocker spaniels have hearing problems due to the peculiar structure of the ears.


Deafness in dogs is rare. If such a misfortune befell a pet, everything must be done to restore hearing.

A sick dog does not lose its qualities, can lead a full-fledged lifestyle, only it needs a little more attention and patience than healthy relatives.

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