Dalmatian Deafness: how to detect and treat this genetic condition

Dear owner question

"Hi! I've noticed that my dalmatian puppy doesn't always respond to his name, and sometimes it seems like he can't hear noises. Could he be going deaf? What signs should I look out for and what can I do?"

Veterinarian's answer

"Hi! Deafness is common in Dalmatians, so your suspicions may be justified. This dog breed is particularly prone to inner ear developmental abnormalities, which can lead to partial or complete deafness. The first things to check are the following:

The puppy does not respond to loud noises or to his name.

The puppy sleeps too much or is difficult to wake up.

The puppy has difficulty learning commands or does not respond to known commands.

Only a vet can confirm or rule out deafness with certainty using a special test called the BAER test (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response).

This test checks the level of hearing and the function of the auditory nerve.

Dalmatian dog

If your dog is deaf, it's important to understand that it can live a full life, it just needs some adjustments in its care!

For example, deaf dogs need their owners to communicate with them using visual cues such as hand signals or body language.

For deaf dogs, it is important to always walk them on a leash, as they cannot hear approaching hazards such as cars.

For deaf dogs, a safe environment and regularity are of paramount importance.

It is important to know that deaf dogs are just as loving and loyal as their hearing counterparts!

With the right support and attention, they can live a full life. Deafness does not reduce a dog's quality of life, it just requires a different kind of attention and care."