People of all ages wear hearing aids. But, have you ever thought about your favorite furry friend having their hearing tested? The field of animal audiology is still very young; however, the hearing health of our favorite companions can be just as important! Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the nation’s FETCHLABs. At the FETCHLAB, common patients include puppies and marine animals for large aquariums across the country.
When it comes to testing the hearing of animals, a brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is completed to determine hearing sensitivity. Numerous breeds of dogs “experience genetically related deafness”, and even experience hearing loss due to age and noise exposure. (cahs.uc.edu)
If you have a pet with hearing loss, strategies to help them hear better aren’t all that different from what we would recommend to people. First, try getting their attention first to establish eye contact. Once you have eye contact with your pet, context clues can help convey your message. Maybe you are opening the backdoor to let them outside or grabbing their leash to take them on a walk. Try giving your pet time to allow them to process what you are asking and be patient with them as they navigate their changing world. Second, it is important to protect your pet’s hearing just as you would your own. If you are working with power tools in the garage, let your pet inside, so they have a safe space away from loud sounds.
Just as we prioritize health and safety for our pets, the same care should be extended towards our own health. If you notice hearing difficulty, schedule an appointment at Professional Hearing Center for a comprehensive audiological evaluation.