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Deafness in Dogs

By: Dr. John McDonnell

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No matter what causes your pet's deafness, special precautions are needed to accommodate deaf dogs. Deaf animals can be trained to obey hand signals. In general, it is easier to train animals that are born deaf than hearing pets that become suddenly deaf. There are resources on the web for teaching deaf dogs signals and most animal trainers are familiar with training hand signals.

Deaf animals cannot hear danger around them. For this reason, they must be protected and closely supervised around roads and traffic. Furthermore, animals that are unilaterally deaf will often have difficulty orienting to sound and may turn to the wrong direction, which is dangerous in some situations. If an animal is deaf, he should always be leashed to prevent tragedy.

In the case of a deaf animal wandering away from you, remember that he cannot hear you call. Placing a bell on his collar will help you locate him.

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