Hey, fellow pet lovers!
Today’s post is all about National Deaf Dog Awareness Week and the purpose of this important week is to raise awareness about the many deaf dogs out there who are just as wonderful as their fully hearing counterparts. While also helping pet parents recognize the symptoms of hearing loss in their four-legged friends.
Let’s jump straight into today’s post!
National Deaf Dog Awareness Week
Deaf Dog Awareness Week takes place on the last full week of September, which means this year it will take place from the 22nd of September and finish on the 28th. Deaf Dog Awareness Week is an important week that focuses on all breeds of deaf dogs and aims to raise awareness about the various signs that will help pet parents detect if their canine companion is suffering from any hearing impairments. I couldn’t find much information about how Deaf Dog Awareness Week came to be. However, I still wanted to write about National Deaf Dog Awareness Week, so I went ahead with today’s post anyway.
How many pets suffer from hearing impairments?
Unfortunately, I struggled to find any up to date studies or statistics that stated how many dogs live with hearing impairments but I did find out that hearing loss and congenital deafness is more prevalent in specific breeds some of which I’ve listed below.
- West Highland Terrier
- Australian Shepherd
- Boston Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Jack Russel
- Toy and Miniature Poodles
- Lastly, Maltes
As well as these breeds being more susceptible to hearing impairments, there is another common factor to take into consideration which is the piebald gene. The piebald gene often affects deafness in our pets, breeds that are normally affected by this gene are Bull Terriers, Boxers, English Setters and Dalmatians.
Until writing today’s post, I’d never even heard of piebaldism, and I’m guessing a few of you guys reading today’s post haven’t also. So what is the piebaldism? It is the absence of melanocytes which are the part of your dogs DNA that determine the colouration of their coat and eyes. If your canine companion is born with the piebald gene, then this will disturb their melanocyte development and could result in patches of various hair and skin across the body. Also, the piebald gene will commonly result in your pet, having a white coat and blue eyes. As well as piebaldism, congenital blindness is also linked to the merle gene, which is very common in Border Collies. To learn more head over to this great article from Science Direct.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
A massive aim of Deaf Dog Awareness Week is to inform pet parents to look out for any symptoms that may indicate that their pet is suffering from a hearing impairment or they’re going entirely deaf due to old age. The most common form of hearing loss in our canine friends is due to age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Due to this slow progression of your pet’s hearing, decreasing a lot of pet owners don’t even realise there is a problem until their pet is almost entirely deaf. Many pet owners mistake the problem to be a behavioural issue know as selective hearing. A Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) Test is one way in which your vet may determine if your canine companion has a hearing impairment. I’m not going to go into too much detail regarding this test, as It’s a bit to sciency for my liking, but I did find a great article from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, which you should check out if you want an in-depth description.
How can you help during Deaf Dog Awareness Week?
Just like many of the other national pet days we’ve talked about on epoch.pet, there are a few aims that come with this canine caring day. As a pet parent and a serious dog lover myself, it’s important to help out any animal in need and thankfully, there are so many ways to do so. If your wondering how you can help or take part in National Deaf Dog Awareness Week, then I’ve listed a few simple ways below.
1, Adopt a deaf dog or a dog with a slight hearing impairment.
The most obvious way you could help is to adopt a deaf dog or any pooch for that matter who lives with a hearing impairment. There are many charities out there who solely focus on rehoming dogs with hearing impairments or fully deaf dogs and Deaf Dogs Rock is a wonderful charity that I’ll talk more about below, who do just that.
2, Make a donation to a local charity for deaf dogs or donate your time at a local charity.
I completely understand that not everyone is in a position to adopt a new canine friend but if you are then that’s amazing! However, for the rest of us who aren’t you may be wondering what else can we do to help? Thankfully, there are plenty of helpful things we can do like making a donation to a charity that helps pets with hearing impairments. But what if you don’t have any money to give? There are so many people worldwide with big hearts that financially just don’t have the money to donate to various causes, which is perfectly fine. However, you could donate your time instead of money which is just as valuable in my opinion!
3, Raise awareness about Deaf Dog Awareness Week.
A super simple way to help out this Deaf Dog Awareness Week is to simply raise awareness about the many important aims that come with it. One way you could do that is to share today’s blog post, or simply go and like the official Facebook page for Deaf Dog Awareness Week.
Deaf Dogs Rock, Animal Charity
While researching for today’s post, I came across a wonderful animal charity called Deaf Dogs Rock which was founded back in 2012 in the state of Virginia. Their overall mission is to promote the care and wellbeing of deaf dogs, and they do so by educating the general public through raising awareness about the adoption of deaf dogs. As well as providing financial support for the many shelters out there, they help financially with the medical and transportation needs of deaf dogs.
Deaf Dogs Rock all started with a little puppy called Nitro, to learn more about his story then follow the link, Nitro. If you live in America and would like to support the many dogs in need by adopting one through the Deaf Dogs Rock charity, then please follow the link to see the many pooches searching for their forever loving home, Available dogs. Lastly, to learn more about this fantastic charity and keep up to date with the amazing work they do, then head over to their Facebook page and start following them.
That’s all for today’s post, and I hope you all enjoyed learning about National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. I’ve enjoyed writing today’s post and if you’ve enjoyed reading it then remember to hit that like button, so I know.
This week for me has been a fun yet busy few days as I started my university degree on Monday. I’ll be studying a Combined Honours Degree in business, philosophy and classics over the next three years and I’m super excited to see where this exciting journey will take me. Thanks for checking in and be sure to follow/subscribe to the epoch.pet never to miss a post and follow us on social media, or get in touch with us on Facebook @epoch.pet