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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7373
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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My healthy almost seven year old Cavalier has lost most of

Customer Question

My healthy almost seven year old Cavalier has lost most of her hearing recently. She goes to the groomers every four weeks, and is in the room while other dogs are blown dry. The constant noise is loud. Could have this noise have caused the hearing loss?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for trusting me to help you and Sarah today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you.

Noise induced hearing loss is known to occur in people and in pets. There is not a lot of literature, but it is thought that in general, anything above 85 dB (decibels) can cause hearing loss with long-term exposure. Short-term exposure can cause damage at 120 dB. I don't know if a couple hours every 4 weeks would be considered long term exposure or not, but blow dryers would fall somewhere in the area of 70 dB, similar to a vacuum cleaner being run in the room. In thinking about chronic noise however, it is thought that a given noise for 2 hours causes the same damage as a noise twice as loud for 1 hour, so with frequent exposure over the years, I don't think we can say it may not have contributed some.

Dogs can also lose hearing due to other reasons. One is secondary to aging and is indistinguishable from noise induced hearing loss. Another cause can be secondary to chronic middle or inner ear infections and that is not able to be noted with just an otoscopic exam and more advanced imaging such as CT or MRI may be needed. Brainstem evoked response audiometry (BERA) is the technique most commonly used in veterinary medicine to measure degree of hearing loss. With this technique, the consistent changes in electrical activity in the brainstem following auditory stimulation can be recorded from scalp electrodes. It may be worth a referral to a veterinary neurologist for additional work up.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any hope of reversal if she does have a chronic ear infection? She displays none of the symptoms of pain nor does she have a fever. I guess what I am asking is what would Sarah benefit from going to the expense of having her see a vet neurologist?
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

If her hearing loss is due aging or is noise induced, there is really not much that can be done. There are hearing aids available for dogs, but are only effective if there is only partial hearing loss and can be a challenge to keep in place.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help. I think we will just teach her hand signals.
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome. I have a few clients with dogs who have hearing loss, and they do just fine with hand signals. Good luck with her.