Causes of Hearing Loss in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from hearing loss, the cause could be anything from aging to earwax accumulation. If you have any reason to believe your dog might have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian without delay.
Hearing loss sometimes denotes serious medical conditions, such as cancer.
Acquired and Congenital Deafness
Some dogs have acquired hearing loss, which means that they started out with healthy hearing that worsened with time. Some canines with acquired deafness experience partial hearing loss that’s mild and not always apparent. Others have more extreme cases.
No specific breeds are susceptible to acquired deafness. This form of deafness generally arises due to serious harm to parts of the ear, including the nerves or eardrum.
Deafness is congenital for some dogs, which means that they began their lives unable to hear because of developmental defects. Inherited hearing loss appears in breeds including English cocker spaniels, Australian cattle dogs, English setters and Dalmatians. Dalmatians are particularly vulnerable.
Inflammation and Hearing Loss
Inflammation can stop sound waves from accessing ear nerves. This is known as conduction. Dogs who have middle ear and outer ear inflammation sometimes develop conduction and hearing loss. Medical conditions that affect the outer ear canals can also cause these problems. Ruptured eardrums, tumors and ear canal contraction are all possible causes of conduction and hearing loss in dogs.
Drugs and Hearing Loss
Medications that are given to dogs to manage fatal infections can sometimes bring on ototoxicity, which, in simpler terms, means ear poisoning. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are an especially common example. Other types of drugs that can sometimes lead to canine hearing loss are chemotherapy medications and antiseptics.
Medications that aim to extract surplus body fluids can cause deafness, too. This is why it’s crucial for these medications to be administered to dogs only with careful veterinary monitoring.
When dogs are older, they sometimes develop degenerative nerve shifts that lead to hearing loss. Head injuries can affect ear nerves and cause hearing loss. Infectious and inflammatory ailments, such as canine distemper virus, can trigger shifts in hearing in dogs, too. They don’t, however, cause full deafness. Cancer or tumors that pertain to hearing nerves can sometimes influence hearing and cause hearing loss as well.
Ignored Ear Infections
Ignored cases of ear infections can sometimes cause hearing loss. If your dog had an internal or middle ear infection that never received veterinary treatment, his hearing loss could be a result of that.
Common signs of ear infections in dogs include shaking of the ears, ear scratching, head scratching and bloody discharge. If you notice any of these possible symptoms of ear infection in your pooch, seek veterinary attention for him immediately.
Temporary Hearing Difficulties
Not all cases of hearing loss in dogs are permanent. If you’re worried that your dog has hearing loss, it could mean there’s too much earwax collecting inside of his ear canals. If this is the case, your vet might cleanse your pet’s ears using a special prescription wash. Wax-induced hearing loss is prevalent in dogs who possess slender ear canals, including poodles.
Some dogs develop hearing loss due to hair obstruction. Veterinarians treat this with hair extraction. If your dog’s ears are surrounded by hair, he could be particularly vulnerable.