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Ask the Veterinarian/deaf puppy. permanent or temporary?


Today I took my GSD with me to shoot guns. I have taken him a few times before and he has never showed any signs of being gun shy or it bothering his ears/hearing but after we got back today I noticed him not responding to my calls. Since he is only 15 weeks old I just assumed he was excited that he got to go somewhere new and that was why he wasn't listening. Well a few hours after that I began noticing that he couldn't hear me at all. I clap at his ears, yell,and whistle but he only responds to my hand signals and once when I rang his metal dog bowl by his ear while sleeping. I've had many dogs and my friends have dogs that go to the range with us and have never had an issue so I foolishly assumed that it would be OK to take him with me today but now I'm terrified that I have done permanent damage. Do you have much experience with this sort of thing and is there anything I should do in the mean time before I take him the the vets office? Thanks in advance.

I would advise you to wait a day or so and see if the hearing returns.  You did not indicate if he could hear and respond before going to the firing range.  If he is temporarily deafened from the sounds of the shots, then the hearing will return with time.  We do not have good hearing tests for dogs, so we usually try to get the dog to respond with whistles.  If there is not a response, then your vet can look and see if the eardrums may have ruptured or if there is something in the ear preventing the sounds from getting into the inner ear.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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