There are many reasons your pet might not be hearing as well as it used to, loss of hearing can be hard to notice so it is important to know what is normal for your pet.
Let's take a look at some of the causes of hearing loss in today's pets.
First of all chronic allergies lead to a thickening of the skin if left untreated. The lining of the ear canal is an extension of the general skin and it too can become thickened and develop polyps or cancers in the ear canal.
All of these reduce the diameter of the canal and reduce the transmission of sound within the ear drum. If theallergy is left unattended the process continues to escalate especially if it is associated with an infection.
Infections in the ear canal can lead to middle ear inflammation which can cause a loss of balance just like in human cases. This can cause a loss of elasticity in the mechanics of the middle ear and a poor interpretation of sound.
Probably the most common reason for loss of hearing apart, from age, is a build up of wax and matted hair in the ear canal. This acts like a waxy plug in the ear which, if it is not removed will cause a severe loss of hearing.
This problem is easily overlooked in floppy eared dogs such the Spaniel or Retriever. Unless constant attention is paid to the ears when grooming a serious build up can occur.
Solving the problem may require ananaesthesia to remove the offending wax and flush any debris from the ear canal. A soothing lotion will often help to reduce the inflammation.
For prevention we suggest regular use of ear cleaners which can be purchased from us here at Westlakes Vet Hospital.
Cancers in the wall of the ear canal are not common but can be difficult to remove. Surgery is needed because they are often quite deep in an already narrow space.
If you think your pet is having trouble hearing please don't hesitate to call our friendly staff on (02) 4959 5766 any time.