Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Were Born this Way!

Yes they were.  Pickles and Nea were born deaf and no one will ever notice a difference until you try to call them and they don't come but I've heard a lot of owners say their dog doesn't come when they call.  At least their dog has the choice to listen or not.  Here are some reasons for deafness in dogs.
  • What causes a dog to lose its hearing? A lot of the same things that cause hearing loss in humans. Genetic defects can cause a dog to be born deaf; this is known as congenital deafness. A dog can also lose its hearing due to an ear infection, injury to the ear, or may experience gradual (or sudden) hearing loss due to old age. Exposure to loud noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss, as can certain drugs.
  • The most common cause of congenital deafness is pigment related. (There is some talk about a recessive gene as well, but most researchers do not believe this is the case.) Some dogs have white coats, but still have pigmented skin (Samoyeds, West Highland Terriers, and White German Shepherds fall into this category). Although they have white fur, they have black noses and eye rims (their fur is actually not pure white, but a very light buff color). Other dogs normally have colored coats, and white trim (this includes Dalmatians; the white is actually not their real coat color, the "spots" are). The "trim" comes from areas of unpigmented (pink) skin, which produces white hair. If there is unpigmented skin in the inner ear, the nerve endings atrophy and die off in the first few weeks of the puppy's life, resulting in deafness. Please note that you cannot tell the color of hairs in the inner ear by looking at any visible part of the dog's ears (including the hair around the ear canal). Although many dogs with white hair on their ears will be deaf, many deaf dogs have colored ears as well.
  • Hearing loss affecting both ears is called Bilateral Deafness. A bilaterally deaf dog is completely (or mostly) deaf in both ears. Hearing loss occurring in, or affecting only one ear, is called Unilateral Deafness. A unilaterally deaf dog has hearing loss in only one ear and has full hearing in the other ear.  Special thanks to for the above information.

I say all of that to say this:  I love my deaffies!  They are great dogs and are not "damaged" or throwaways.  When I first got Pickles I was mad at the people that tied her to the tree but then I realized they were probably doing her a service, although I'm sure they didn't know it.  Nea was dropped off at the Montclair, NJ Animal Shelter just before Thanksgiving 2010 which is just about when we got Pickles.  There was no reason in the paperwork from Montclair as to why she was dropped of with them but I suspect that the owners found out she was deaf and didn't want her.  Little did they know that deaf dogs make some of the best pets there are!

Pickles and Nea were born this way!  Remember, you were born the way you are, too!  I was born this way!

No comments:

Post a Comment