Is a Deaf Dog Right for You?

Posted on

Sep 06, 2019

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We love our dogs, dont we? They can be purebred or mixed, lapdog or running companion, therapy, support or guardian animals, hearing or deaf. What? Deaf?Yes, deaf. Many people know firsthand that deaf dogs can be great pets.
But did you know that dogs hearing may be tested and possibly treated? When yourfaithful companion no longer gets excited to hear the leash being taken out, it may not just be old age; it may be that the dog no longer hears well. Now its possible to find out.
Deafness in dogs, according to George Strain, Ph.D. professor in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is generally a genetics problem that is present at birth or shortly after and is usually an all-or-nothing phenomenon. The dog either hears or it doesnt. However, a puppy that seems fine to the casual observer may not be able to hear. Breeders and owners alike want to know the likelihood that deafness is present or may show up later. Some breeds, such as Dalmatians, and coat patterns, such as that of the blue merle Australian Shepherd, are known to have higher incidences of deafness. The American Kennel Club now asks breeders to seek hearing testing on puppies, much as they advise testing for hip dysplasia.

Audiologists may earn the Certificate in Animal Audiology through FETCHLAB, an animal hearing and bioacoustics laboratory at the University of Cincinnati. Animal Audiologists can even make hearing aids for dogs. Owners of dogs whove been fitted with hearing aids say that although they may paw at their ears at first, dogs soon adapt to wearing the devices. Interested in adopting a deaf or hearing-impaired dog? Check local rescues and Petfinder online for special needs dogs; some may be deaf. They are just as loving (or rowdy!) as their canine peers and can be trained much the same as other dogs.
For training tips, go to Ask me more when you come in for your hearing test! '

Editors Note: This article was written by Laurie Bornstein, MS, CCC/A with Executive Hearing. She may be reached at 972-447-8330, or

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These mental health conditions not only affect your feelings but they also affect the way your brain works and processes information. For example, tasks that involve recalling information become much more difficult.Increased Isolation:Because socializing becomes challenging and stressful, many with untreated hearing loss begin isolating themselves from social settings and other people. This has an adverse effect on your brain as it is no longer exposed to the stimulation that occurs during socialization. Just as your body needs exercise to keep moving and functioning, so does your brain. Conversations and interactions are exercises for your brain. A lack of these activities can impair your memory function and cognitive performance. It can also lead to cerebral atrophy or loss of brain neurons (cells).In addition to the effects listed above, untreated hearing loss also makes it harder to concentrate. 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Theres no reason to be embarrassed or worry about your appearance with hearing aids. The hearing aid industry has come a long way since the days when they used to wrap around the ears and be a sight for sore eyes. Now, you can discreetly place them inside your ears and even match them to your skin tone to where they are virtually invisible.Treating hearing loss not only gives you back your ability to hear. It gives you back your freedom to communicate with ease. And most of all, it helps to safeguard your brain and keep dementia and Alzheimers at bay.

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