Loss of hearing
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    puglouie's Avatar
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    Default Loss of hearing

    Louie only has one good ear but over the last week, he seems to have completely lost his hearing. I couldn't call my vet over Xmas but I spoke to her today and she seems to think it's very odd and wants to take a look at him. So we scheduled an appointment for tomorrow afternoon (Sunday).

    He has had a recent ear infection and she feels that perhaps there is a blockage or some other reason why he's not hearing well. I know things could be worse but it's very sad that he doesn't seem to hear us anymore.

    Getting ahead of myself, but I'm sure he's not the first deaf pug ever so I'd appreciate any advice on how to deal with him if this is a permanent situation. Is there a way to get a deaf dog's attention other than making noise? Should I put a bell on his harness so that people and animals can hear him approach, assuming he doesn't see or hear them?

    Thanks for any and all advice (and good thoughts) you might offer.

    Louie and Chamuco of Pug Hill

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    I grew up with mostly deaf dogs--we did put bells on them all and we taught them hand signals. We used vibration as much as we could to get their attention--foot stomping to a large degree. We also used touch. Some deaf dogs develop severe startle responses--especially if awoken abruptly.
    We also posted signs all over our farm that all the dogs were deaf so that folks wouldn't expect them to respond to a horn honk (on the road into the farm) or voices.
    I've only had my own dogs go deaf from old age and found that foot stomping worked for most of them--but as seniors, they were less inclined to do anything truly foolish.
    We think Maudie might be losing her hearing--but between her canine dementia and her abnormally stubborn character--it's hard to tell if she deaf, out in space or just prefers to pretend she can't hear us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blanche View Post
    ...We think Maudie might be losing her hearing--but between her canine dementia and her abnormally stubborn character--it's hard to tell if she deaf, out in space or just prefers to pretend she can't hear us.
    My vet loves Louie but she agrees with us, that Louie is a bit of a prima donna. So all of the above could easily refer to him.

    Thanks for the good advice. I'll report back after seeing the vet Sunday afternoon.

    Louie and Chamuco of Pug Hill

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    Was your pug on any medication for the ear infection? I recall a year or two ago there were several posts about a deafness (sometimes permanent, sometimes only temporary) following a course of treatment with some medication for ear infections. Apparently loss of hearing was a known, if infrequent, side effect.

    You might want to search the archives for that info, if it might apply to your dog. Maybe it could be of some use to you.
    Otto's mom (also known as Linda)

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    Lemon had a pretty bad infection recently. I got it cleared up with the same stuff I always use -- Zymox Otic. About a week later, she completely lost her hearing. So strange.

    The vet said her one ear was still really inflamed, and that could be enough to cause hearing loss. After a week on an anti-inflammatory solution called Synotic, her hearing was back to 100%.

    Good luck!
    Kathleen (and Lemon, too!)


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    I checked the archives. There are several threads, but I think this is the one I remembered:

    Sudden Acquired Deafness

    The medication in question seemed to have been gentamyacin (generic name, different proprietary names).
    Otto's mom (also known as Linda)

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    Never had to deal with a deaf dog, but one thing I imagine would get their attention PDQ is a good smelly treat being got out.

    Also remember that their peripheral vision usually goes round further than ours so some fairly big arm waving on your part might also get his attention.

    Hope all is going well at the vet and that this is only temporary.


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    I was also going to mention that some ear treatments (such as Otomax) can cause (hopefully) temporary deafness. Check the Possible Side Effects on the package. I have 3 pugs (Kimmy, Jake and Betsy) who are deaf and they manage just fine. I am careful not to startle them while they are sleeping; if I need them to wake up, I VERY gently rub their back or move the covers slightly. I also use touch a lot since both Kimmy and Jake (as well as Farnsworth and Gooey) are also sight impaired. The sense of smell seems to kick in even more strongly.
    "You cannot afford to subject your animals, or your children, to medical interventions that you do not understand. The belief system upon which the conventional medical model is founded is so faulty, so corrupt and so dangerous that you simply cannot afford to follow blindly." Catherine O’Driscoll http://www.whale.to/vaccine/driscoll1.html

    Hilary & the Pugpillow Gang: Rescues: Denver (10), Tina (7), Murdoch (5) and chihuahua puppy Maximus Spartacus. Always loving my angel-girl Mei-Ling (1994-2009), my cutie-patootie Kim-Soo (1995-2010), my precious Daisy-Bo (1998?-2006), my sweet boyfriend Jake (1997-2010), my little black beauty Betsy (1995-2010), my sweet old grumpy man Gooey (1996-2011), and my sweet gentleman Farnsworth (1998-2012) at the Bridge.

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    Mugsy lost his hearing after using a treatment for an ear infection, if I remember correctly I think it was Otomax as well. We were already used to catering to a blind pug when Opie was still with us, so adapting to a deaf one was much easier. It can be problematic when they are licking the couch and you want to say "stop" but instead have to wave your arms around like a lunatic to get their attention or when the snarky female pug in the household sneaks up on him and pinches his bum. Mugsy being the genius he is has learned a couple of hand signals for when he is out in the yard and I need him to come in.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/subbacultcha/Untitled2312.jpg

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    Back from the vet. No definite word, except that he definitely can't hear a thing right now. There's a chance it might be the meds and it also could be the infection in his ear -- he's got a lot of buildup of junk. So we're changing the course of meds and keeping a close eye on him. Hoping we should know something for certain soon.

    The good thing is he seems good. He seems happy. And he's eating and dancing for his food, and being a pug prince. He's already blind in one eye ... it's just one more challenge I guess.

    For the love of our pugs, right?

    Louie and Chamuco of Pug Hill

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