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Ask Dr. BJ Hughes Your Own Question
Dr. BJ Hughes
Dr. BJ Hughes, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience:  Licensed w/20 years of experience in private practice/teaching. Strong believer in educating owners.
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Dog Veterinary
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My dog was given gentizol and now is deaf. It has been awhile

since we stopped giving him... Show More
since we stopped giving him the gentizol so I do not know if flushing his ear will help. He is an 8 year old male cavalier with no other heath problems. The vet prescribed the gentizol for a mild ear infection, and I had no idea it would cause him to be deaf. He now seems terrified and confused. Of course the vet is closed for the holidays, is there anything I can do to help him regain his hearing? Should I take him to an emergency vet for an ear flush? or is it too late? Please help me, he is my baby.
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Dr. BJ Hughes :

Hi there -- Welcome to Just Answer.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

When was the last dose of gentizol given? and was it given in the ear ?

Customer :

it was given around 11-18-10

Customer :

and yes, both ears

Customer :

we didnt notice he was having trouble hearing until just in the past few days

Customer :

i thought maybe he was just being stubborn and ignoring me, but we did some of those BAER tests, and he does not respond

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Ok -- the level of gentamycin in gentazol is very low -- and would be well out of the system by now.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

So flushing would have no effect --

Customer :

so does that mean there is no hope of his hearing returning? or should we wait and keep checking it?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The ototoxicity of gentamycin is more likely to give vestibular symptoms -- but can be ototoxic -- but it usually takes more than a topical application.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

So I am wondering what is going on with yoru dog's hearing -- the timeing for ototoxicity form this med is off as well.

Customer :

he is acting completely normal otherwise

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Whether the hearing returns is solely dependent on what has caused this --

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Has he received anything else or gotten into anything?

Customer :

no nothing, everything else has been completely normal. He hasnt been around loud noises, his ears are completely clean now, he is on no other medicines

Customer :

i just want him to be okay, he is my world and if it wasnt the medicine that caused his deafness, maybe it was old age? and that is hard to take :(

Dr. BJ Hughes :

8 years though is fairly young -- loss of hearing is possible -- but generally happens over time -- not suddenly as this seems to have occurred.

Customer :

that is what i thought, so do you have any idea of what else it could be?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Often these things will reverse in time -- or a pet will adjust quite well in a few weeks . Sometimes to the point where you cannot tell they are deaf -- or not -- or just partially.

Customer :

is there anything i can do to help him? like those dog whistles, might he hear those? i just dont want him to be scared. He does do one other weird little thing. Sometimes his face will kind of twitch. Its hard to explain, it is almost like a very slight nod

Customer :

could that be something that is causing this?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

There may be a facial nerve involved -- as well as the auditory nerve.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I woudl recommend that you see a vet when you can -- not an emergency unless it progresses faster or you notice other facial problems.

Customer :

its very slight, my husband doesnt even notice it. Would that be something that might be causing the deafness?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Or balance issues -- as this is associated with the ear.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Not directly -- but both are nerve realted.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

that is the connection --

Customer :

he hasnt had any balance issues that we have seen

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Very good --- keep a close eye on him --

Customer :

so when we take him to the vet, what should we tell them to look for?

Customer :

what can they do for this nerve problem?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

If you can find a whistle or sound pitch that works for him to hear -- this might give a little reassurance.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Best is just touching and directing by movements.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Some nerve issues are due to inflammation and respond to steroids -- others are progressigve.

Customer :

progressive meaning there is no cure, it just happens and there is nothing you can do about it?

Dr. BJ Hughes :

(sorry -- progressive ) and do not respond to medications. Takes a good physical exam with attention to neurologic system and tiem to distiguish the two.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Progressive -- meaning it gets worse -- but some can stop -- others may continue to effect other nerves. Most common ones respond to steroids.

Customer :

thanks for explaining :) so we should probably expect a pretty expensive vet bill? Not that that will stop us from going, but just to be prepared

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The exam should be pretty standard --

Customer :

oh really? not xrays, ct scans, etc.

Dr. BJ Hughes :

After that they should discuss and explain any tests they would like to do --- that is where all these com einto play.

Customer :

oh i see, that makes sense

Dr. BJ Hughes :

The CT can show the structures better than a xray -- so ask if both are necesary.

Customer :

oh thank you, XXXXX XXXXX that. I always just do whatever the vet says because i am afraid that I will miss something. It is good to know that he wont necessarily need both

Customer :

??Thank you so much for your help. My dog Charlie means the world to me and I just want him to be happy and healthy. I appreciate you taking the time to explain things and not just give me short answers. You are great!

Dr. BJ Hughes :

Thank you for your kind words. You are most welcome

Dr. BJ Hughes :

I hope this information helps!
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Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian