November 30, 2009

Hearing Aids for Pets?

Ok, so I was working with one of my students today helping him research different topics related to hearing loss. He wanted to learn more about people who are deaf, hearing aids, and animals that are deaf. He asked out loud, "I wonder if they have hearing aids for pets?" I smirked and thought to myself, "That's ridiculous! Hearing aids for dogs? Cats? Give me a break." It is a very interesting question, though. I told him that it was worth looking into and we should do some research on this. Of course it is possible. Why not? But would anyone really take the time and money to develop hearing aids for Fido?        

My main question would be, "How would you persuade your dog or cat to keep them in their ears?" My cat screeched and nearly tore my eyes out when I tried to put a tiny sombrero on his head (I thought it would be cute). I think I would end up in the hospital if I tried to put hearing aids in my cat's ears.

Do dogs and cats really care that they are deaf? I would like to think that they would be perfectly fine as long as they are fed, warm, dry, and loved. I know that there are many pet owners who would do anything for their pets, but come on, hearing aids? Really?

Of course I Googled "Hearing aids for pets." I am surprised that there are several articles about this topic. It seems as if they have developed hearing aids for dogs. Apparently, an audiologist, Dr. A.E. Marshall, researched and experimented with this idea for a long time before actually developing hearing aids for dogs. He found that hearing loss between humans and animals are very similar and that dogs would actually benefit from hearing aids. Of course the major setback was actually getting dogs to wear them.
I have also found out that there are some veterinary clinics that will provide hearing tests and hearing aids for your dog. Some of them offer hearing aids for $250.00 a piece (I wish my hearing aids were that inexpensive!). There are even some articles discussing cochlear implantation for dogs. That's a bit extreme, I think.

I'm sorry, I still think it is ridiculous. I would hate to put any dog through this. Just let them be. They have so many other senses to rely on and it seems as if they would be able to adapt very well with less hearing.

I can't wait to share this with my student. :)

Here are some links to articles about this issue:


Golden Retriever undergoing a hearing test.

Image from: AISTI

Click on this link, hearing tests for pets, for more pictures of pets undergoing hearing tests (cute! and slightly disturbing).

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6 comments:

  1. Some hearing aid wearers prefer more recent styles that are less visible. These include in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC) and in-the-ear models. Instead of resting behind the ear, all these devices are internally placed in the ear and are nearly invisible.

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  2. Dog hearing aids have become quite sophisticated, not to mention expensive but there are pet insurances who do cover such costs, assuming that you already have your dog insured..
    dog sitting

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  3. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    karma rainbow 6

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    karma rainbow 2

    Keep Posting:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. But stay assured that a clean house and pets can coexist provided you put in some extra efforts. The biggest challenge for any pet owner is getting rid of hair. feeding cats

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  6. This can make them more accepting, not only the family members but also other visitors and strangers. Pocket Pitbull

    ReplyDelete

Keep it civil.