October 23, 2007, USA:

Dogs hearing tested 

If your dog ignores your commands it may not be because of bad behaviour. Your dog could be hearing impaired. Now, Man’s Best Friend can have a hearing test.

Dog

The first hearing tests for dogs in the United States are available in Connecticut.

The testing is performed in somewhat the same way as hearing screening of newborns. With the aid of small electrodes on the skull and small loudspeakers in the dog’s ears the brain’s reaction to sounds are recorded, so a determination of any hearing loss can be made.

However, no canine hearing aids are currently available.

“Although most hearing losses cannot be corrected, many deaf or partially deaf dogs can compensate very well and live normal lives by using their other senses. Many dogs can easily learn hand signals, and don’t need to hear to receive their owners’ commands”, said Peter Scheifele, research associate and animal bioacoustics researcher in the Department of Animal Science at University of Connecticut.

Source: www.advance.uconn.edu, University of Connecticut