Although deafness in dogs and cats is not a dangerous pet health concern, it is essential for you to seek proper treatment for the well-being of your pet. Typically, it can take many years for deafness to develop, and since pets can easily compensate for their hearing loss by using their other senses, it can be quite difficult to detect the condition.
How Deafness Affects Your Pet
As stated above, deafness in animals is not necessarily a dangerous condition; however, if your pet if deaf, you will need to take extra precautions to maintain its safety. When pets are deaf, they are unable to hear such things as cars, horns, sirens and falling objects. As such, you will need to be their ears to help keep them safe from harm. If your pet is only partially deaf or cannot hear clearly due to impacted wax, it may often be confused and have difficulty understanding your commands. Thus, what you may view as disobedience, may actually be a hearing loss. Finally, animals who lose their hearing at older ages may become depressed and lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed.
Common Symptoms of Deafness
Common Symptoms of Deafness in Dogs and Cats: Failure to Respond to Commands or Loud Noises, Confusion, Sleeping for Long Periods of Time, Shaking of the Head, Pawing at the Ears, Holding the Head to One Side and Excessive Wax Buildup in the Ear/s. The exact symptoms that your pet will display depends on several factors including how long the animal has been deaf, whether the condition is partial or complete, and your pet's individual temperament. However, if you notice any of the above warning signs, you will want to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treatments for Deafness
If you think your pet may be deaf, the first thing your vet will do is examine the ear canals. In some cases, the hearing loss may simply be the result of impacted wax and a simple cleaning can remedy the situation. If an infection is the culprit, antibiotics will be necessary. Sometimes, deafness can be caused by abnormalities of the ear canal, eardrum, or the outer or inner ear. When this is the case, surgery may be recommended. There are two kinds of deafness, and they are conductive and sensorineural. Conductive deafness is typically partial hearing loss while sensorineural usually involves a total loss of hearing.
There are several causes of deafness in animals, and while many cases are due to infections or wax buildup, some cases are due to genetics. With that said, while most any breed of cat or dog can become deaf, there are some breeds that are more vulnerable to the condition. The following list includes all of the animals that may be vulnerable to hearing loss: Dalmatians, Boston Terriers, Border Collies, white felines, blue-eyed felines, canines with the Merle Gene, animals with excessive ear eax buildup, animals with ear infections and animals with congenital abnormalities of one or both ears.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.