National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

The last week in September marks National Deaf Dog Awareness week. Do you know how to spot a dog suffering from deafness?

September is not only the month for cooler temperatures and pretty colors, it also features a week that recognizes deaf dogs. So, mark your calendars for September 21-27 as that is National Deaf Dog Awareness week.

Deafness in dogs can be for a variety of reasons, and the deafness isn’t always permanent. Temporary hearing loss can simply be caused by a wax build-up in your pooch’s ear canals. This problem is common in canines with narrow ear canals, such as Poodles. Other dog breeds with lots of fur around their ears can have similar problems. The fur collects wax and eventually forms a plug. Gross! If this is the problem, your veterinarian will be able to spot it.

Permanent deafness is usually caused by old age. However, other causes can be drug toxicity (or poisoning), an injury or an untreated ear infection. And some breeds are more susceptible to deafness. These include Australian Shepherds, Boston Terriers, German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers and Cocker Spaniels.

Some signs of deafness include:

  • Excessive barking
  • No response to outside noises such as the doorbell ringing, or knocking at the door
  • Shows no response or looks confused when given vocal commands
  • Not waking up or responding to loud noises

If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your vet. Your veterinarian will likely first examine your pet’s ear canal for wax accumulation and for infections or signs of inflammation.

If your animal is deaf or is becoming deaf, you can switch to using hand commands instead of verbal ones. Tune in later to learn more about that!

For more information on deafness in dogs, consult your veterinarian.

Do you have a deaf pet? Use the comment box below to share with readers how you and your pet cope with this challenge.

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1 Response

  1. Karen Bishop-Stone says:

    My two cockers were both trained at an early age to respond to hand signals. This was a big help as they aged and lost their hearing. They could still earn their treats when they behaved and did their tricks.

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