For breeds predisposed to deafness or patients experiencing hearing loss, Rose City Veterinary Hospital offers a non-invasive hearing test to diagnose deafness in canine and feline patients. This hearing test is known as the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) this test detect electrical activity in the Chochlea and auditory pathways in the brain. This non-invasive procedure is done with extremely small electrodes placed under the skin of the scalp and one in front of each ear, our veterinarian is able to monitor the signals on a special computer and diagnose deafness during the same visit.
Commonly as Questions:
Is this procedure painful?
During this procedure the veterinarian places small electrodes under the patient's skin; there have been reports of minor irritation at these sites. Typically the redness subsides in a matter of a few hours.
What is deafness caused by?
Temporary hearing loss can be cause by wax build-up, foreign object or even hair. Permanent hearing loss can be caused by old age, drug toxicity, injury or untreated ear infections. Once the veterinarian has ruled out any of the above they may recommend the BAER hearing test. There are certain breeds that have increased chance of inherited deafness. These breeds tend to be spotted, merle colored breed, or pieblad. In pure-bred felines that carry the white (W) pigmented gene are at a higher risk of congenital deafness.
In there a cure for deafness?
Although hearing aids have become increasingly sophisticated patients with inherited deafness unfortunately do no benefit from them. For patients experiencing temporary hearing loss the use of medication or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) may help restore hearing.
How can I communication with my deaf dog?
Be comforted in knowing that deafness in pets is more common then we think. Patience, love and training are key to helping you communicate with your pet. Training your pet to use hand signals, flash light or laser penlight will help you and your pet.
Preston was presented to our team when his mommy noticed that he was no longer greeting her at the door or running to the bowl when it was time for feeding. With the help of the BAER hearing test our veterinarian was able to diagnose Preston with complete hearing loss in one ear and partial in the other; with the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy we were able to restore hearing in both ears. The cause of Preston's temporary hearing loss is still unknown but we are happy with his outcome.