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Lilyput
14th January 2008, 01:26 PM
We just found out that our Lily is partly deaf and she could loose her hearing completely. I feel horrible I did not pick up on this sooner, she has always been very calm and sometimes when she was called she did not respond straight away, but we thought she was just being a bit bold.. She does hear some sounds but very little and her hearing has got worse in the last few weeks. This was the reason we took her to the vet, we got worried when we came back home from shopping couple of times and she wouldn't hear us coming in at all. Usually she would be excited and waiting for us behind the door.. Do any of you have experience in having a dog with a hearing disability, I would like to get some information and advice about this? Our vet said that she will be just fine and have completely happy life even with this problem which is great to know, me and my husband have been quite upset about this though!

Thanks in advance,

sallymum
14th January 2008, 01:38 PM
My Sam was nearly completely deaf. I found he was and acted like any hearing dog. Of course there was a few things we had to do different and things we had to be extra careful with.
We of course could never let Sam of the leads even in a secure place i was still a bit iffy just in case something attracted his attention and he would be of. I bought a retractable lead so that gave him a bit of freedom while still secure.
I made sure that we, the kids or any visiting guests never startled him. I always made sure no one approached him from behind.
We had also started doing sign with him. we had different signs for different things like toilet, walks, down and such things.
There is more i did but alot is just common since and after awhile u will wonder why u were worried as like i said with just a bit of time and care there is no difference between a deaf and hearing dog.

ppotterfield
14th January 2008, 02:30 PM
You might want to have him tested for Primary Secretory Otitis Media (PSOM), a condition found in Cavaliers (and some other dogs), similiar to "glue ear" in human children, in which mucous/fluid fills the middle ear cavity where air should be. It can cause diminished hearing or even deafness. If the fluid is removed hearing may improve. Our Bud Bud has PSOM and had improvement in his hearing after his middle ears were flushed/drained. He had been hearing only down to 60 db and it improved after the surgery so he is hearing down to 30 db, close to normal. The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Health Foundation is sponsoring a study by Lynette Cole, DVM at Ohio State University Veterinary Medicine School to explore less expensive ways to diagnose PSOM. Bud Bud and several others on the list have participated in the study. There is information on PSOM at the ACKCSC website which describes the study. If you use the search term PSOM you will find other information and threads on Cavalier Talk. Here is the link to the ACKSCS information: http://ackcsccharitabletrust.org/research/psom.htm.

Lily could, of course, have neurological deafness in which case there is also valuable information from folks on this list on living with and training a dog who is deaf.

Best of luck to you and Lily.

Karlin
14th January 2008, 03:35 PM
Echoing Phyllis -- this is a likely cause for early onset deafness and they can do ear flushing for it but this often needs to be repeated.

Also working with a deaf dog isn't difficult at all. My Lucy is deaf and it was quite simple to teach her hand signs even a 8 years old. The key thing is never to let her off lead in a trafficked area or of she doesn;t stick close generally even in an open safe area as she will not hear calls to return. You can get vibrating collars that let them know you want them to return to you -- you need to train them to these of course; they are designed for deaf dogs.

I also recommend ordering this book on working with deaf dogs, from Dog Training Ireland:

http://www.dogtrainingireland.ie/shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=210

They'd also be quite happy to accommodate a deaf dog in any obedience or activity class.

I also recommend these links that I have in the Library section:

http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=14475

Lilyput
14th January 2008, 05:13 PM
Thank you all for your information and advice, it's very much appreciated! Luckily we did train Lily with hand signals as well as voice from the very beginning, just the command 'come' is a bit tricky now since she doesn't hear.

Caraline
15th January 2008, 12:06 AM
Dittoing what everyone else has said, and good on you for using hand signals in your training. After one of our old Boxer girls went deaf I learned the value of hand signals in training. She actually caught on very fast.

For the "come" command, you may find that if you purchase a sports whistle (something really loud) she may hear that.

Oh, and don't feel bad about not picking this up earlier. It can be difficult in the early days to realise that your dog is going deaf. You just think they are more relaxed & less easily startled than they used to be. Been down that road, so don't beat yourself up about it.

casshon
15th January 2008, 09:28 AM
My Molly is deaf but she does great with hand signals and has completed her agility 1 class :rah:.

'Come' is a difficult command when they're not looking but I find having 2 dogs really helps as Bella acts as Mollys hearing dog. They are always by each others side or sleeping on top of one another so if I call Bella, inevitably Molly will also come :).

Karlin
15th January 2008, 11:18 AM
How old is Lily?

BTW for come in the house, I stamp on the floor to get Lucy's attention. And they often can hear loud sharp noises in some frequencies, as Caraline says. My parents didn't notice Lucy was deaf until they'd had her a year.

Lilyput
15th January 2008, 12:37 PM
How old is Lily?

BTW for come in the house, I stamp on the floor to get Lucy's attention. And they often can hear loud sharp noises in some frequencies, as Caraline says. My parents didn't notice Lucy was deaf until they'd had her a year.
Lily is now 1,5 years old. I am sure her hearing has got worse over the time because still couple of months back she heard things like doorbell etc. but now she doesn't or at least not as well as she used to. For some reason she has started to bark a lot more than she used to, I wonder does this have anything to do with her hearing disability? I am going to get that book you recommended, I think it's going to be a great help to us.

Karlin
15th January 2008, 12:44 PM
I would print out the information on PSOM and give it to your vet., If this is PSOM it may be possible to fully restore her hearing. I would guess this is likely to be PSOM and as it worsens, it can cause uncomfortable and even painful symptoms similar to SM so it really is worth looking into this further. UCD vet school would be able to do the flushing.

I have more info on this condition on my SM website:

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/psom/psom.html

Both my boys have been MRId and some PSOM showed up on both their scans. It is very common in the breed and I would say is why Lucy is deaf as well. Leo has always had some directional hearing difficulties. As Lily is so young, I'd definitely pursue this.

Lilyput
15th January 2008, 12:55 PM
I would print out the information on PSOM and give it to your vet., If this is PSOM it may be possible to fully restore her hearing. I would guess this is likely to be PSOM and as it worsens, it can cause uncomfortable and even painful symptoms similar to SM so it really is worth looking into this further. UCD vet school would be able to do the flushing.

I have more info on this condition on my SM website:

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/psom/psom.html

Both my boys have been MRId and some PSOM showed up on both their scans. It is very common in the breed and I would say is why Lucy is deaf as well. Leo has always had some directional hearing difficulties. As Lily is so young, I'd definitely pursue this.
I went to see the website and Lily does have similar symptoms. We would want to get this checked out for sure, how can I get in contact with this vet school?

Karlin
15th January 2008, 01:11 PM
You need a referral from your vets.

Lilyput
15th January 2008, 01:24 PM
We will contact our vet and show her the information. Thank you all so much for your help, now we just hope for the best and maybe Lily could get her hearing back!

Lisa_T
15th January 2008, 07:20 PM
Hopefully she will!

Also consider- using lights and floor vibration (eg, stamping on the floor) to get her attention within the house. Don't stand in front of bright light when you're trying to give her a hand signal- it will cause you to go into silhouette and chances are she'll have trouble working out what you want her to do. Be aware that she will startle more easily (if you can't hear what's going on around you, and someone comes up to you and touches you out of the blue it is SCARY).

I don't have deaf dogs myself, but I do have a severe/profound hearing loss in both ears. She mght also react more violently to the tv if there's no sound to differentiate between the telly and a window.

Hopefully it can be sorted out though.