Deafness In Dogs and Cats
Certain physical defects that occur in human beings can also be found in animals. Deafness can be prevalent in animals such as dogs and cats. Studies have shown that there are some dog and cat breeds that have a high tendency to suffer from hearing loss.
It is difficult to find out if a dog or cat is deaf since they have no capacity to express themselves in words. One simple way to tell if they are suffering from this defect is by observing how they react to certain sounds.
A comprehensive study was done by Dr. George M. Strain, Professor of Neuroscience and Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University, on the causes of deafness in pets. Below is information that shows some possible causes:
· Congenital Deafness and Its Recognition: Comprehensive information on congenital deafness in dogs and cats
· Hereditary Deafness in Dogs: Symptoms, risks, and management of hereditary deafness in dogs
· Causes of Sudden Onset of Deafness: Complete list of factors that causes the sudden onset of deafness in dogs and cats
The same study traced the breeds of dogs and cats that are most likely to acquire deafness. Dog breeds that are highly inclined to deafness include the Dalmatian, Bull Terrier, English Setter, English Cocker Spaniel, and Australian Cattle Dog. Also, dogs with merle coats and cats with dominant white genes and blue irises are more prone to deafness.
For detailed information on this matter, check out the following resources:
· Dog Breeds with Reported Congenital Deafness: List of dog breeds that are prone to congenital deafness
· Breed-Specific Deafness Prevalence in Dogs (percent): A summary of the percentages of dogs of specific breeds that suffer from deafness
· Deafness in White Cats: Information about the occurrence of deafness in white cats
Having a deaf pet in your home can be a whole new challenge, since it can act and respond in very unusual ways. Deaf dogs may strike out and bite out of impulse whenever they feel threatened. They may also bark a lot, especially when they get scared or startled. Deaf cats may appear irritable and get very attached to their owners, and like their dog counterparts, they may attack impulsively. Since they don’t have the sense of hearing, they are prone to accidents outdoors, because they won’t notice the sounds of cars, lawnmowers, and even other animals.
Training tips are available for owners of disabled pets to teach them how to manage and ensure the safety of their animals. It is a must to put a special collar to show that your pet is deaf. Also, you have to make sure that it doesn’t go out without a leash. Hand signals are one of the best ways to train and communicate with a deaf pet.
Some dedicated handicapped pet owners have written articles or put up blogs to give advice on how to train and take care of deaf pets.
· Cricket's Training Page: Instructions on how to communicate with a deaf dog
· Cricketchurping.blogspot: Blogs on deaf cats
There are also communities that provide guidance for owners with handicapped pets:
· Deaf Dogs Atlas: A meeting place for owners of deaf dogs from different parts of the world. Includes profiles of dogs and mailing lists
· Pets with Disabilities: Promotes the adoption of disabled dogs. Offers complete information on supplies for disabled dogs as well as success stories of adoptions
· Deaf Dog Education Action Fund: Provides assistance for deaf dogs
With dedicated organizations providing assistance for pets with disabilities, dogs and cats that are suffering from deafness will no longer be a burden. They can be life-long companions if you will give them the support and love they need.