What should you do if your senior dog is starting to go deaf?

What should you do if your senior dog is starting to go deaf?

Age-related hearing loss in dogs is the most common type of deafness in canines (ARHL). ARHL affects nearly all dogs at some point during their "third trimester" of life, with the majority of cases commencing during the third trimester. Initially, ARHL only influences the perception of mid to upper sounds, but as the disease progresses, it affects the perception of the entire spectrum of sound frequencies.

I believe that the majority of people are unaware of their dog's hearing impairment until it becomes nearly, if not completely, irreversible. They may misinterpret their dog's partial hearing damage as just a behavioral issue, which is referred to as "selective hearing." This is a common misconception.

What if my senior dog is getting deaf

Unfortunately, there have been no conventional procedures for restoring hearing in dogs suffering with ARHL at the present time. Three Beagles suffering age-related deafness were the subjects of a 2010 study who were implanted with inner ear implants. However, the results were inconclusive, and, to my understanding, no more research into this technology has been conducted since. The use of canine hearing aids has been attempted, however they are not appropriate for all dogs.

What can you do to assist your dog that has hearing loss?

It's normal to feel a range of emotions when you notice your beloved dog becoming less attentive due to hearing loss. These feelings can include sadness, frustration, and despair. In the event that your dog's hearing cannot be restored, there are 8 things you may do to create a strong influence in the lives of either you or your dog.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Examine your dog's ears to ensure that ARHL is the only reason of his hearing loss. When ARHL is combined with an ear canal condition such as a tumor, foreign body, and infection, a dog may progress from partial into complete deafness in a short period of time. Treatment of ear canal illness may result in the restoration of a normal level of hearing.

Hand signals can be used to train your dog.

When your dog suffers from serious hearing loss, the able to converse with him using hand signals will increase his sense of safety while also strengthening the emotional link you share with him.

Dogs communicate extremely easily through body language, and as a result, they tend to pick up on the significance of hand signals quite rapidly. In an ideal world, hand signals should be used in conjunction using verbal instructions to begin training during puppy kindergarten class. Someone in your family will grow up to be a senior suffering hearing loss, and even those hand signals they learnt as a child will come in really helpful (pun intended).

The famous adage, "You can't learn new tricks," is, by the way, a load of hogwash. If your senior dog hasn't been taught to react to hand signals yet, start the teaching process as soon to ensure success. The majority of elderly dogs are extremely capable of picking up on these new cues.

Make use of non-traditional signaling

Find alternative methods of attracting your dog's attention in additional to hand signals. Some examples include acts that cause vibration (clapping hands, stomping just on floor, smashing cans together), the use of a flashlight, the emission of an enticing fragrance (enticing to the canine, that is), and the use of a storm or emergency whistle. Find what works best for your dog and stick with it. When you start training the best buddy to react to these new cues, give him or her a positive reward (a favorite snack, a belly rub, or a game of tug of war).

Avoid waking up your dog by surprising him.

When you are within your dog's field of vision, you should approach and/or touch him. If you really need to rouse him up from his sleep, softly touch him in the same location. It's also possible to place your hands next to his nose, since the smell of your hand may arouse him, especially if it is similar to the smell of his favorite reward. Visitors should be reminded to refrain from touching your closest friend when he is asleep. All of these strategies have the potential to reduce startle reactions.

Increase your level of alertness.

There are implications for both the domestic and international fronts. A fenced-in yard becomes an absolute need. Make sure the dog is restrained or on a leash when cars are pulling into and out of your driveway. Every veterinarian has a story or two of aging, hearing-impaired pets who were hit and killed in their very own driveways by passing cars.

When your dog is exposed to potential threats such as cars, runners, cyclists, skateboarders, and other people, leashes must be worn at all times. Maintain complete communication with every member of your dog's support team (veterinary professionals, pet sitters, groomers, dog walkers, and doggy day care providers) to ensure that they are all aware of his hearing loss. To be honest, even though I am aware that the patient seems deaf, I have a tendency to speak to him and in my typical manner. I suppose it's a matter of habit. Because of our close proximity, I like to believe that my patient gets more secure when he or she senses vibrations emanating from my body.

Make your dog's "smelling life" more interesting.

Dogs rely greatly on their ability to smell for a variety of tasks. Turid Rugaas, a dog trainer, recently explained that when a canine enters a new setting, the dog's sight provide the first picture, but it is the dog's nose that fills inside the details. According to Lynne Graham, Deborah Wells, & Peter Hepper in a study in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour, olfactory stimulus has an impact on canine behavior. By giving your dog with a more varied scent experience, you may be able to assist fill up some of the sensory gaps left by his hearing loss.

Attach a tag on your dog's collar that says, "I am deaf."

In this way, if the dog goes separated from you and is later discovered, the good Samaritan who helped you would understand how your dog is not responding as he should.

Give yourselves a booster shot of confidence.

When it comes to dealing with your aged dog, patience is a virtue. Remember that your senior dog is still good at picking up all your irritation, grief, and impatience, even if you are feeling frustrated, sad, or impatient with him. Breathe deeply and give you a motivational speech to help you regain your sense of understanding and tolerance for others.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian

There are a few silver linings to contemplate in this situation, however. It is possible that your bond with the hearing-impaired older dog will become more intimate than it has ever been as your level of care for him improves. As a result, there will probably be no more quaking, trembling, and anxiety induced by loud sounds (thunder, gunshot booms, firecrackers, etc.) in the future. To conclude, keep in mind that, with the loving care, the hearing-impaired dog will continue to be able to have a great quality of life.

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