Three Surprising Ways That Pets Can Lose Their Hearing
by CrittEar – link to full article below
Otitis – Ear Infections
Ear infections, particularly the inner ear (otitis interna) can produce transient or permanent deafness. While the middle ear, otitis media, can experience sound blocking due to an infection, your pet’s body should eventually clear this out with hearing improvement. However, inner ear infection needs to be treated swiftly and effectively, because when left unattended it is likely to produce permanent deafness.
While rare, dogs and cats can lose their hearing due to general anesthesia. It’s been reported that animals have woken deaf in both ears following ear cleaning or teeth cleaning. It’s believed that their bodies move blood away from the cochlea during anesthesia to protect other critical organs. Another thought is that the pressure, or jaw position, may compress the arterial supply to the cochlea. Talk with your veterinarian to understand if they’ve had this type of experience with any of the animals in their care.
This is a scientific way of saying a pharmacological adverse reaction that affects the inner ear or auditory nerve. Basically, pets can lose their hearing due to medicine and the resulting cochlear or vestibular dysfunction. Before giving your pet any medication, discuss the side-effects with your vet. The most common medicines that can cause canine hearing loss includes:
- Garamycin: an antibiotic used to treat several types of bacterial infections. This drug is used in pets to treat septicemia and infections of bone, joints, respiratory tract, skin, soft tissue, urinary tract, and uterus. It is often given as a topical application for ear infections. As a rule any medication(s) or ear cleanser/flush have a risk of hearing loss/deafness.
- Cisplatin: a chemotherapy medication used to treat a number of cancers (testicular, ovarian, cervical, breast, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, lung, mesothelioma, brain tumors, and neuroblastoma. This drug is given by injection into your dog’s veins.
- Diuretics: often given to your dog for the treatment of high blood pressure and edema.
Recalling how sensitive a pet’s hearing is, it depends on the loudness delivered either suddenly or over a period of time, they may experience temporary or permanent hearing loss. Dogs and cats have a tiny muscle in the middle ear that reflexes to reduce sound transmission, but percussive noises happen too suddenly for this muscle to react. Gunfire, explosions, fireworks, car backfires, slamming doors, lawn equipment, etc., are major contributors to noise trauma. A simple way to think of it: if a human’s ears ring, the noise is causing trauma to the dog’s or cat’s hearing.
How To Tell If Your Pet May Be Losing Their Hearing?
Pets tend to hide their hearing loss. Here are some simple ways that you can tell if your dog/cat is losing or has lost their hearing.
- Not coming to you when you call them.
- Unusual disobedience.
- Responding in a startled manner even when not a surprise.
- Increased barking when normally not a barker.
- Apathy or lack of interest.