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I think my dog has gone deaf

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  • I think my dog has gone deaf

    I've been noticing little things here and there for a while, like when I used to call him, he'd jump up in a heartbeat and run to find me no matter where I was. Or when I'd come home, by the time I'd reach the back door, he'd already be barking because he heard the gate and garage door open. Now he doesn't bark at all until he sees the door is opened.

    I stand by the back door and call him at night to go out one more time (our usual routine) and he's in at hubby's feet in the study, and he doesn't move. Then hubby (one foot away) calls him, and he doesn't move at all. When we physically move him, he looks confused.

    Today I had the garage door open and he was standing at the back door barking to go in after doing his business (outside of and visually away from the garage). So I called and called him, but no response...just barking. I went out of the garage around the corner and he was facing the back door looking away from me, barking and barking. I called his name again and again 3 feet away. He never turned around, just more barking to be let in. I literally got up to him while calling him and put my hand on his rear. He jumped, startled-like.

    Can vets test for deafness, and is it worth the test? Or should I just assume he has gone deaf and treat him accordingly?

    ~~ Walking In the Sunshine, sing a little sunshine song... ~~


    ~~ "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas." ~~ Davy Crockett

  • #2
    Ah it does sound like he has lost most of his hearing. Poor baby. I'm not sure if a vet can do a test to determine hearing loss. I fostered a deaf boxer once and I loved the experience. It taught me so much about how to train and interact with a dog that couldn't hear. The only plus side of my situation was that she would follow my other dogs so even if I called for them, she couldn't hear but followed my other dogs when called. To someone who didn't know her, she would seem like a hearing dog when she was around my other dogs. My only fear was when we were out and about. I always worried she would get away from me and then I couldn't get her attention.

    Aging dogs are never fun to deal with. We just can't seem to do enough for them and they can't tell us what they need. I hope your little guy adjusts to his hearing loss quickly and you find ways of interacting with him that you both enjoy.

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    • #3
      My cocker spaniel went deaf about 18 months ago. She knew so many words/commands before and then went deaf almost overnight. She had ear infections for years (typical cocker problem that we treated every day with ear drops.) My wife took her to Dr. Joyner and he said nothing could be done when she went totally deaf.

      We had about 30 people over yesterday and as usual most people are surprised when they find out that she's deaf. She senses people coming up behind her and we rarely trip on her or hit her with the back door. She can't hear us coming home - but she smells us after awhile and finds us in the house. She understands non-verbal cues and interacts with us and other dogs well. We've taught her basic hand signals and she always comes to us when signaled.

      The good news is that she no longer is scared of thunder and fireworks - and she used to wake us up barking with the slightest night-time noise - like the barking dogs next door. She was a great guard dog, but I'd rather sleep.

      Sorry to hear about your dog, GoodAg. But my daughter is petsitting a blind dog now and the poor thing runs into walls all day. In comparison, deafness has not really decreased my dog's quality of life and I don't think she even remembers or misses her hearing - she's as happy as can be.
      A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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      • #4
        Toby went deaf about a year ago. I was a little sad at first, but now the deafness has just made him more endearing. He no longer greets me at the door, but now I can walk up and find him snoring away on the bed, looking so content and peaceful. It's adorable. I've also noticed he pays much better attention to me, he's always looking up at me. He very quickly learned to sit when I point at his butt. Everyone on my block thinks I have the most well-behaved dog in the world because their dog will be barking its head off at him and he just blissfully walks by.

        I no longer let him outside off-leash since I can't call him back to me, but other than that, he's a cute, happy, peaceful dog!

        I agree with Sticky Davis, dogs don't care if they are deaf and mine is as happy as can be also. Hang in there!

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        • #5
          your vet most likely does not a sophisticated deafness test. (S)he will most likely clap his hand behind the dog. Rattling cellophane at home is also a good test. Often older dogs get "selective hearing" or sleep through things that used to alert them as they sleep more hours and more deeply. If he appears in any discomfort, definitely take him to the vet. ( I know I don't have to tell you that) Dogs cope with deafness and blindness, even the loss of limbs remarkable well.

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          • #6
            My yorkie who passed away a few months ago at almost 17 years of age turned deaf a few years ago. He and I developed our own little sign language. I know people thought I was looney if they would pass by my front yard as I tried to get Taz's attention when we were in the front yard. I would have to wave my hands and arms to get him to look at me because he also started going blind near the end. It was hilarious to my neighbors, to watch me thru their windows - I am sure.

            Oh wahhhhhhh - I miss him so much. Taz was my baby and a very special part of my life.

            It does sound like your furbaby has gone deaf. I think I would only be worried enough to get a doctor's advice if the dog is young and otherwise healty. If he is a senior dog - deafness can be more expected. You didnt mention how old he is so that would be the advice I would give you. Good Luck!

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            • #7
              My Schnauzer mix was deaf the last few years of his life. Although my mom said he had selective hearing and just chose to ignore her. He lived to be 16 and the few years he was deaf didn't cause him any problems. I don't remember the vet doing a special test or anything.

              You might want to tell your kids to not run up behind him and touch him because it could startle him and he might react with a nip or something. We would always walk around to our dog's front, making sure we were a couple of feet away so that he could see us first before we would approach him and physically touch him. If we needed to get his attention while he was laying down or sleeping, sometimes if we knocked/stomped on the tile or concrete he would feel that and would get up.

              I would also make sure any tags or microchips he has are up to date with your contact info, just in case he does get out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by steph13055 View Post
                My Schnauzer mix was deaf the last few years of his life. Although my mom said he had selective hearing and just chose to ignore her. He lived to be 16 and the few years he was deaf didn't cause him any problems. I don't remember the vet doing a special test or anything.

                You might want to tell your kids to not run up behind him and touch him because it could startle him and he might react with a nip or something. We would always walk around to our dog's front, making sure we were a couple of feet away so that he could see us first before we would approach him and physically touch him. If we needed to get his attention while he was laying down or sleeping, sometimes if we knocked/stomped on the tile or concrete he would feel that and would get up.

                I would also make sure any tags or microchips he has are up to date with your contact info, just in case he does get out.
                Great, great advice. Thank you. He did nip at my nephew recently (before I realized he was deaf), and I think now it's because of that reason. Gotta update microchip info now, too.

                ~~ Walking In the Sunshine, sing a little sunshine song... ~~


                ~~ "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas." ~~ Davy Crockett

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                • #9
                  I wonder if you can set up some sort of lighting system outside for your dog? A friend of mine with a deaf dog would toggle the outdoor light at night and he would come running to be let back in.

                  My yellow lab is 12. She still has her hearing, but develops skin issues frequently. I have been teaching her commands along with gestures since she was a puppy, so a lot of times I don't even say things out-loud... I just use my hand gestures and she follows along. Knowing that she is aging and may go deaf, I am glad that I taught her hand gestures.

                  My 15 year old cat has recently gone deaf. (In the past month or so). She seems to be sensitive to vibration which alerts her when I am home so she can beg for milk by the fridge. Also, she is no longer afraid of the thunderstorms.
                  audi partem alteram

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                  • #10
                    We recently discovered that our dog was deaf, too. We were always treating ear infections, and it makes me so sad to think that this might have been the result of that. He does seem amazingly happy, though. I don't think it has really affected the quality of his life, although it pains me to know that his hearing is gone.

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                    • #11
                      http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/dog/...s/deafness.php

                      Maybe this will help you know more?
                      R.I.P. Max http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/
                      http://www.akcchf.org/how-you-can-help/
                      I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.~ John Steinbeck

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