Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now? Maybe a little but what is it that they can hear? My dog Jessie is losing her hearing and losing it fast. She went from a normal hearing dog to one who rarely hears. She will be 14 this coming May; she is slowly losing her sight but other than that she looks like a young'n. She sleeps alot but it is the hearing that is the most troubling. Just today we had her at the park; seeing that she really needed a romp I let her off her leash after a good surveillance around. She charged in every direction and it was at that point I really realized the impact of her loss of hearing.
She's fine with it; she does tend to startle more these days but that's about it. But when she was free and running around I had no way of communicating with her. She is not like my poodles who constantly watch me; she's more a girl with her own agenda. And just the other day was another impactful moment. Tilley was out of it last weekend from her pain meds and when Jessie approached her she growled. It is out of the ordinary but Tilley was not herself. When she growled she gave no other signals of displeasure; she was out of it. Jessie never heard the growl which made a huge impact on me. She can't hear the warnings; that's a dangerous situation.
When a dog is born deaf they adapt; all of their other senses are heightened. When a dog slowly loses their hearing it can take longer to adapt if they do. Like Jessie; when she was running around this morning she had no sense that she should watch us. She does not seem to be paying closer attention to body language being that she probably does not realize that she is not hearing like she use to. As a dog ages their reactions are slower naturally so combined with this and a loss of hearing she is definitely handicapped.
Where once Jessie would be quick to turn her head when Luke growled at her approach to his food bowl; she no longer hears this. Unfortunately she is watching the bowl and not watching him. So great care must be taken now that there is not even a small conflict that might get the little deaf one into trouble.
A wealth of info on deaf dogs here.