Hearing Loss In Older Dogs: Symptoms And Management Options

5 June 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Just as many people lose their hearing in old age, so do dogs. If you have a dog who is entering his or her golden years, it's important to watch out for signs of failing hearing. If you do think your dog is losing his hearing, there are plenty of things you can do to keep him more comfortable.

Signs Of Hearing Loss In Dogs

Changing Obedience

If your dog used to be very obedient to your commands but is now growing a bit lax, it could be because he cannot hear you as clearly anymore. To test this further, try seeing whether your dog responds well to hand commands. For instance, does he still follow your finger when you point, even though he does not sit as you ask? If it's only voice commands he is not listening to, then hearing loss is likely to blame.

Trouble Waking

Dogs usually wake up quite easily when you call their name or make a noise. If you now have to shake or touch your dog to rouse him, this could be a sign of hearing loss.

Not Greeting You

If your dog has stopped greeting you at the door, it could be because he is no longer able to hear your car pull into the driveway. He may also no longer come when you open the treat jar or put food in his bowl.

Keeping A Dog With Hearing Loss Comfortable

Go Outside With Him

Allowing a dog with hearing loss to go outside alone is not only dangerous, but it can also make him nervous. He may not want to venture far from the door since he cannot ensure he is safe in his surroundings. If he does wander, he is at an increased risk of getting hit by a car or attacked by another dog that he does not hear coming.

Use Visual Commands

Start attaching visual commands to your verbal ones. For example, when you ask your dog verbally to sit, you can also make a fist. Eventually, he will respond to just the fist, and you won't have to worry about talking to him.

See The Vet

Usually, hearing loss is just a natural effect of old age. However, it can be a sign of other conditions like brain tumors and allergies. To rule out these and other ailments, make sure you take your dog to the vet for regular checkups.

For more information, speak to staff at local animal clinics like Ark Veterinary Hospital.