Sudden Deafness in a Dog: Tora Loses Her Hearing

A change in behavior can alert you to important changes in your dog’s health.

Tora’s story makes two essential points about the significance of behavioral changes and avoiding the assumption trap when deciphering the situation. Why did Tora suddenly stop responding to her mom? Was she being stubborn?

What if the reason your dog doesn’t respond to your requests is that they cannot hear you?

Deafness in dogs can have a number of causes, including:

  • genetic
  • degenerative
  • certain medications
  • infections
  • foreign bodies
  • trauma

Further information: Deafness in Dogs

Which one of the possibilities would fit with the acute onset?

Sudden Deafness in a Dog: Tora Loses Her Hearing. A change in behavior can alert you to important changes in your dog's health.

Tora’s story

Tora is a senior Shiba Inu. She’s always been a responsive girl, tightly bonded to her mom. She could get heard-headed sometimes when she had too much fun on her walk. But that was the only circumstance when she would refuse to come. When she was outside in the yeard, she came running as soon as her mom came to get her.

That day, though, Tora did not respond. Tora’s mom kept calling and calling and, eventually, had to go looking for her. Tora didn’t acknowledge here presence even when her mom was standing right behind her–didn’t even turn her head. Did Tora decide to extend her stubbornness to the yard now?

It wasn’t until Tora felt her mom’s touching her body when she acknowledged her presence—she immediately turned, excited to see her.

What was happening?

It didn’t look as if Tora was ignoring her mom on purpose. Is it possible that she didn’t hear the calls?

Tora’s mom did a few hearing tests, but neither clapping hands or blowing a whistle didn’t get any reaction when Tora wasn’t facing her. Tora couldn’t hear at all.

Hearing loss in senior dogs

Loss of hearing is one of the common changes in senior dogs. It comes on gradually, though, and they rarely lose their hearing entirely. How would it happen so fast? It normally takes many months.

Further information: How to Deal with Age-Related Hearing Loss in Dogs

Veterinary visit

Even though Tora’s mom suspected her deafness to be age-related, she decided to take Tora to a veterinarian anyway. The veterinarian repeated the tests and he too didn’t get the slightest reaction from Tora—she was indeed completely deaf.

The speed of onset was suspicious. The vet decided to do a detailed examination of Tora’s ear. When he inserted the otoscope into her ear, he should have a clear view of Tora’s ear canal. Instead, her ear canals were almost entirely closed.

The diagnosis

Both of Tora’s ear canals were swollen and filled with thick wax from a nasty yeast infection. Did Tora not display other symptoms associated with ear infections or were they missed? Most of the time, it is one symptoms that stands out most—other signs might not if you’re not looking for them.

The treatment

Tora went home with medication to treat the inflammation and infection in her ears. Two weeks later, her hears were nice and healthy and she could hear again.

Source story:
Tora is an 11-yea- old Shiba Inu

Related articles:
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Changes In Behavior

Further reading:
Deafness in Dogs
6 Causes of Deafness in Dogs

Categories: Changes in behaviorConditionsDeafnessEar conditionsEar infectionsReal-life StoriesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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