When a dog becomes deaf, just as it does for humans, it’s a confusing time as they start to notice changes in their everyday world (unless they were born hearing impaired) more. Pet owners will notice that the dog is experiencing hearing loss if they suddenly don’t respond the way they used to. Deaf dogs don’t respond the same as those with adequate hearing abilities and some owner’s mistake the symptoms as their pets simply being stubborn. In many cases, dogs become uneasy about being touched on their ears. Deaf dogs also frequently shake their heads and only respond when you touch them. These are a few of the initial signs that your dog may be experiencing hearing loss.
Hearing Aids for Dogs or Pets
There are hearing aids for dogs or pets and they’re effective in most cases, unless hearing impaired dogs are born with a pigment, a genetic issue that is associated with hearing impairment. Deaf dogs who have lost their hearing due to non-genetic reasons still have partial auditory functionality in which case hearing aids provide a practical solution. The reason hearing aids can’t help hearing impaired dogs with genetic issues is that they act as sound amplifiers which doesn’t help in cases of congenital deafness.
Investing in Hearing Aids for Dogs or Pets
Purchasing hearing aids for deaf dogs can be a risky expense, given that not all dogs respond well to the feeling of having a foreign object near the ears. Some veterinarians have noted that smaller dogs do relatively well with hearing aid devices, while larger breeds don’t tolerate them as well.
Hearing aids for dog or pets are CUSTOM MADE by a veterinarian (they are not commercially available as an item that is sold “over the counter) who will make a mold of the dog’s ear canal. Next, the mold is sent to a lab where a comfortable, perfectly fitting device will be designed for your dog. After that, the hearing aid will be placed in the dog’s ear(s) after a series of tests have been performed. This type of hearing aid is very similar to the BTE “behind the ear” hearing aids; as a matter of fact, human and dog hearing devices are basically the same.
Teaching a Deaf Dog Sign Language
It is highly recommended that dog owners teach their deaf dogs how to respond to sign language. Learning the appropriate hand signals and teaching your hearing impaired dogs or pets how to respond plays an important role in training a hearing impaired pet – it can actually also benefit pets that don’t have hearing problems. When a dog is properly trained they’ll find it much easier to adjust to changes in their world, especially when it comes to hearing loss.
It’s important to remember that pets are very different from humans given that they don’t have emotionally motivated thought processes that can potentially dis-empower them. By showing your dog lots of love and being patient with them, they’ll quickly adapt to their hearing loss by relying naturally on their other senses.
Custom made hearing aids for dogs or pets have become quite sophisticated and in some cases expensive. The good news is that there are several pet insurance policies today that cover these kinds of costs, something you can take advantage of if you have your pet insured.