There are plenty of reasons why we love our dogs. Whether it’s because they are loyal, playful companions, trusted protectors, or just lovable, pups have a wealth of traits that make us care for them. Man’s best friend is also known for having a keen sense of smell and hearing, much stronger than the average human’s. Watching them twist their heads in recognition of familiar sounds or sniff at the air when they smell something new is part of what makes our dogs great.
We often give our pups playful human names, and many people wonder how much like us they really are. Dogs, much like humans, experience the effects of aging in a similar fashion. Their joints become weaker and their hearing declines. In fact, dogs can even suffer from ailments that also affect humans, such as tinnitus.
Facts About Tinnitus
Have you ever heard a ringing in your ear and you couldn’t figure out where it was coming from? Perhaps it was more of a buzzing or humming? If you have, then you’ve most likely experienced a form of tinnitus, which is a constant or intermittent sound that has no outside cause. Severe tinnitus can cause distress and have an effect on sufferers’ quality of life, but it doesn’t have to be chronic tinnitus to get in the way of daily life. Many people (and dogs) deal with tinnitus symptoms intermittently.
Since tinnitus can be an issue for both humans and dogs, let’s take a look at how it affects our canine counterparts. As we’ve mentioned, dogs can typically hear very well. When they have intense issues with their hearing that come upon them suddenly, they tend to react understandably strongly. A problem with tinnitus in pups is that it can be difficult to determine if they actually have the condition. Here are a few signs you can look for to see if your pooch is affected:
Though at times, this feels like a response to everything in a dog’s life, barking at the unseen can indicate they are having trouble with their hearing. Your fur baby may be trying to respond to something that they can hear but isn’t, in fact, there.
Another response to tinnitus that dogs exhibit often is whining, which can be a sign of pain or stress caused by the changes in their hearing. If your pup is whining more than usual or in strange contexts, it might be a sign of auditory distress.
When dogs feel stressed or uncertain, they tend to pace back and forth. In some cases, this can be from hearing problems. Wouldn’t you be stress-pacing if tinnitus were ailing you?
Raising or Dropping Ears
Look to see if your dog is moving their ears in a fashion you don’t normally see. This unusual movement could be a sign of age-related hearing loss.
This is often a sign of confusion, but it can also be an indicator of pain. If your dog seems to be tilting their head at nothing, it could be due to tinnitus.
If you suspect that your furbaby may be suffering from tinnitus, the first thing to do is make sure that they undergo a hearing test. This can help determine the severity of the tinnitus and help determine what the next steps should be. For humans, there’s not just one specific tinnitus remedy, but rather multiple things you can do to treat it. This is also true with dogs.
Often, this sort of issue is caused by damage to the ear. Prolonged exposure to loud noise, an aggressive ear infection, or a strong blow to the eardrum or ear canal can cause damage to the auditory system, so be sure to consult a veterinarian if you notice any of the above signs.
Most often, humans will need to make adjustments for their dogs who have tinnitus. This could include grabbing a new harness or leash from companies like joyrideharness.com, which makes the best dog harnesses on the market. Doing so could give your pooch a greater deal of comfort during walks and relief from strong spells of tinnitus. A comfortable dog harness won’t pull your pup too strongly when you’re pulling them away from a noise that isn’t there, so you can be sure that they’re safe regardless of their hearing.
You may also need to find ways to adjust your commands. Since tinnitus affects their hearing, it’s even more important to be patient when they don’t listen to you. Try to remain calm and not make sudden movements when your dog is suffering from such an affliction. After you receive the prognosis, give yourself and your dog time to work through the changes you need.
We share a lot with our pets, and they rely on us to help ease their pain. Let’s make sure we’re showing them the same love when they’re suffering as we would to anyone else. Your pup’s ears will thank you!