03-08-2016, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Subjective hearing tests include rattling keys or clapping outside of the dog's field of vision to see if they respond, or anything else that makes sound without inciting other senses (smell, feel-vibration, etc). If you want to know for absolute certain whether she is deaf, BAER testing can be done to check hearing in both ears, but probably not worth doing, as management will probably be the same either way. Ear infections can cause hearing loss, as can some topical ear medications (if she's currently on medication, definitely check with your vet to see if hearing loss could be related), I think sometimes they can recover hearing with time if that happens.
Ear infections can be difficult to treat, as there are a number of options, and what works well for one dog's infection may not be as helpful for another. Many times they can be secondary to or in conjunction with allergies or other skin issues (every dog that I've had with ear infections has also had at least occasional skin problems, itching, etc- so personally I've seen this to be true, and getting the skin issue under control helped reduce the frequency of ear infections). Make sure that you are doing follow up care according to the vet's recommendations, I think a lot of times people get an RX for the ears, give it and the ears seem to be getting better, and they don't follow up because things seem to be going well. Then, after stopping the RX, or running out, the dog "gets the infection back" a few weeks or months later because it wasn't completely gone. Best course is to let the vet check to be sure, so you know if they are good, or need more meds. Other dogs are just prone to ear infections and get them often, and they're certainly more prevalent in some breeds than others. In some cases, Drs will culture some of the ear material to see what sort of bacterial component is present and what medications can treat it effectively. Also, some people will consult with a dermatologist if things have gone without resolution, and for severe cases, there are sometimes surgeries that can help.
Hopefully the new vet can get things straightened out for her. Make sure to mention her new behavior, as they may be able to subjectively test better there than you can at home, and can inspect the ear thoroughly for any sort of anatomical defect (blocked with debris or injured ear drum, etc). Or maybe they'll see some other reason for the change.