Canine Deafness
The Ultimate Guide To
Living With A Deaf Dog
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What is the best deaf dog test? The only reliable method for determining canine deafness is the BAER test (pronounced "bear") and it  stands for "Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response".


It is a procedure developed to test hearing in infants, which means that it does not measure the entire range of canine hearing, but in most cases it is not necessary as the deaf dog will show to lack hearing within the normal human range of sounds.


Some dogs that will test as deaf will be able to hear ultrasounds or very high pitches. The only way to know this is to buy an ultrasound whistle or ultrasound device to make dogs stop barking. That is how I found out that my Dalmatian was deaf to ultrasounds as well.


The BAER test uses computers to record the electrical activity of the brain in response to sound stimulation. The test is not painful and sedation is usually not necessary, although dogs find it annoying as they will have wires hanging from their face.  The test can be performed on any dog over six weeks of age because puppies' ear canals do not open until they are about two weeks old.


A clicking sound is directed into the ear through a foam insert, earphones, or headphones and the brain's response is recorded. Each ear is tested individually and the test generally lasts for only 10 to 15 minutes.


If you cannot afford or are unwilling to have your dog undergo this procedure, there are other ways to find out if your pet is deaf.  Deaf puppies usually bite harder when playing with their littermates because they cannot hear the other pup yelp, and it takes longer for them to husband their strength.


Deaf pups also do not wake up at feeding time unless another pup bumps into them and wakes them up. If your dog is no longer a puppy there are other ways to find out if he/she can hear. Dogs hate the sound of coins shaken in a tin container. If the dog does not respond to the unpleasant sound by moving off, this is a signal that it may be deaf (you can try this while the dogs is asleep, a hearing dog immediately wakes up).


Remember that is almost impossible to find out with home methods if your dog is unilaterally deaf (deaf in one ear) as they will react to noises just like any other dog. The slight difference is that your pet may not know where the sound is coming from and may look around to find the source.


Make sure that your pet is not already facing in the direction of the noise when you test him/her so that you can see if he/she has any problems identifying where the noise is coming from. Remember that your pet should get different reactions to sound based on which side he/she is on, especially when sleeping on one side if he/she is unilaterally deaf.


Some deaf dogs can hear very low or high -pitched sounds. You can try this out with a whistle or an ultrasound device to make dogs stop barking. Other noises that you can use to attract your dog's attention is the sound of dangling keys,  the sound of a bell or doorbell, a squeaky toy, banging two pots together or using a vacuum cleaner.


Make sure that you are far enough away from your pet, because dogs do pick up the sound vibrations in the air and may react as if they are not deaf. Remember the louder and higher the sound the stronger the vibrations and your dog will pick up on those, making you think that he/she can hear.

How To Test For Dog Deafness
By Priscilla Ross
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