View Full Version : Misdiagnosis of deafness?

29th March 2009, 08:20 PM
Our adopted cav was pronounced completely deaf by the RSPCA, but seemd to hear more and more these days. It started with him responding to high pitched noises like the beep on the freezer door, and has extended to somone saying his name in an excited voice ... standing still 6 ft behind him when he's facing the other way! Anyone else had something similar?

29th March 2009, 09:19 PM
I haven't experienced this myself, but it may be he can hear certain frequencies, and not others. It may be worth getting this checked by a specialist if possible, because if he can hear high pitched sounds you may be able to train him to a whistle of the correct frequency for a recall (in safe enclosed places obviously!)

:xfngr: he's not completely deaf after all.

29th March 2009, 11:57 PM
To be honest, if he's hearing a range of high frequency sounds, I'd question whether he's deaf at all. Possibly (like most males of both the canine and human variety) he just has 'selective hearing'... ;)

Either that or as he adjusts to life with you he is picking up cues via his other senses which make it seem like he is hearing when he isn't really.

30th March 2009, 02:26 AM
My Annie, rescue from a commercial breeder, acted very hard of hearing when she first arrived. I think she tuned out sound as not important to her needs. She seems to hear very well now but still has selective hearing at times -able to hear the word "treat" spoken as a whisper LOL.

30th March 2009, 12:48 PM
You all seem to be confirming my suspicions .... either
1. He was SO wound up and agitated at the RSPCA that they couldn't gauge his hearing, and so pronounced him deaf :xfngr: & is now beginning to listen, whereas he didn't see any point in it before
2. His deafness was temporary due to accident or illness
3. His range is limited (but DOES seem to be broadening)

I wouldn't say his hearing is fantastic - he can't hear a can opening in the next room like our cats can lol. he did have a nasty kennel cough, and I'm wondering if maybe infection in his ear canal worsened already poor hearing that's now clearing up. I'm just glad I have always talked to him as well as using gesture, or I'd be feeling really bad about not giving him any aural feedback when he is good :)

30th March 2009, 11:11 PM
i do know that we humans lose hearing in either hi or lo pitches cos i have this problem myself but i cant remember if im deaf in hi or lo! i agree if he had a lot of catarh it'll have made his hearing worse, if ive a cold im as deaf as a post! i really hope it is that his hearing is improving now hes in his proper home:) wouldnt that be fab! Some of it could be selective hearing too..

31st March 2009, 01:09 AM
The only way to tell for certain if a dog is deaf is the BAER hearing test which I assume most shelters/rescues would not have the money to perform.

He probably just didn't respond to noise as his previous location, so he does probably hear. You might want to look up PSOM (http://www.cavalierhealth.org/psom.htm) just in case!

31st March 2009, 09:55 AM
We had a foster dog, granted he ws 14, who had terrible hearing. When we first got him we were plagued by kennel cough and he was put onto antibiotics just in case (we had 5 dogs with it at the time - very pleasent). After this, we noticed that his hearing imporved for certain things - for example, when one of my own dogs barked he could obviously hear it but not when any of the others barked, or when the front door would be closed (I live with boys, they tend to slam instead of close) so I think he may have heard certain tones and pitches of noise.

I think there is definately hope. Even if he never has full hearing, it may imporove to better than it is now. Perhaps ask your vet for some help, get a definative test (as MishthePooh mentioned) and take it from there. Good luck and keep us updated on the little chap :thmbsup:

31st March 2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks for all your comments and advice. I am 95% certain that Jasper (that's his name now) has sufficient hearing to allow recall by whistle and will benefit from lots of verbal encouragement to help with lead training.

I have been using his name a lot more these last 2 days - praising him continually even when he isn't looking at me and there DOES seem to be an improvement in his outdoor behaviour. I'm just thankful he wasn't left unadopted due to his supposed deafness and mad barking (it was a close call), as he would eventually have been put to sleep :(

When his tear stains have faded and his ear hair has properly re-grown I will change my avatar to the new improved Jasper, as I'm sure he will be as beautiful to everyone else as he is to me :lotsaluv:

3rd April 2009, 10:55 AM
Have noticed he's scratching a lot on one ear / one side. When he gets castrated in a couple of days I am going to ask the vet to check for glue ear (not to mention doing his anal glands - nice!)
I really hope it IS glue ear and nothing worse :xfngr: