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Old 02-26-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 895,963 times
Reputation: 238

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My lab mix dog (Sam) is 12.5 years old and I have noticed that something is going on with his ears. Someone recently asked me if Sam could hear because "sometimes" he acts like he doesn't hear things that everyone else can hear. At the same time his ears are overly sensitive. He was standing next to me when I opened a soda can and the "pop" noise made him run in the other room. Has anyone else's dog had this happen to them? I can't tell if he is just ignoring us or if he really can't hear that well. He has his annual checkup on 3/9 so I will have the vet take a special look at his ears. Thanks for any input you may have.

Last edited by samstersmom; 02-26-2013 at 03:38 PM.. Reason: misspelling
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Canada
1,403 posts, read 848,422 times
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Yes, in a sense. When my Australian cattle dog mix was hitting 14, I noticed that she seemed to be becoming more sensitive to certain sounds. Prior to this, throughout her adult life she was what you'd consider "bomb-proof"; i.e., a bomb could go off next to her and she might flinch enough so you'd know she heard it, but she certainly wouldn't over-react. Her hearing for most of her adult life was also pristine...I used to actually joke that Kaya's hearing was so good she could hear a pin drop on a carpet, two rooms away. However, when she was around 14 she seemed to be getting a bit jumpy when loud noises would go off...she would startle. What confirmed it for me was that summer...I took her to downtown for the Canada Day festivities, just as I had every year previous in her life, but as we hit the massive wall of crowds nearing Parliament Hill, she began to get edgy. Nervous. Jumpy. I wound up leaving early with her, as she obviously wasn't enjoying herself as she had in the past.

Then a few months later I happened to be walking past a baseball field with my dog and noticed that a band had set up a stage down on center field. After asking a few people about it, I found out that Nickelback was giving a free performance, so I decided to stop and sit for a while and listen. Kaya sat down beside me on the grass - we were well away from the stadium itself, beyond the perimeter of the fence - but as soon as they started into their first song, Kaya began trembling uncontrollably. She was shaking, her eyes were wild and and I feared that she might literally have a heart attack, so I got her out of there immediately.

Now, Kaya had been gradually losing her hearing (a common condition in older ACDs) so I think what was happening was that she could no longer filter sounds the way she could when she was younger. Everything was probably distorted, and low sounds that she could no longer hear remained muffled...but when a loud sound would suddenly go off, she wouldn't be prepared for it, and it would scare her. (As someone who has also lost significant hearing over the years - chemo treatments knocked out a good portion of my hearing and the loss graduated over a course of a few years - I can completely relate to how my dog must have felt.)

I'd suggest that your dog may have some hearing loss going in his senior years, and that might be why he seems overly sensitive to sudden noise. It could also explain his 'sometimes acting as though he doesn't hear things that everyone else hears'. He may not be acting; he simply might not be picking up on those sounds any more. One thing you can try is to stand behind him (without him knowing you are there) and very softly speaking his name. If he doesn't respond, say it a bit louder, and do it louder each time until he does acknowledge you. It might give you a bit of an idea as to how much hearing loss is going on, if any.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 895,963 times
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Wow, that is a great explanation. I think that is exactly what is going on. I did go behind him like you suggested and he didn't hear me at first but did as I said his name louder. I called the vet today and changed the appt. to tomorrow instead because I just found blood in his stool
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,350,330 times
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What bassetluv said.

Also, it could be that he is experiencing some early doggie dementia. I had a Lab mix, who about that same age, started getting confused about things, and alternately deaf and hypersensitive to sudden loud noises. So ask your vet about that possibility; you can google Anipryl for more information.

If you can, bring in a fresh stool sample and urine sample when you go to the vet tomorrow. Might as well get everything checked on the same visit. A soup ladle can be handy for getting urine samples. More pleasant for the dog than having the poor thing catheterized at the vet! They don't need much. A schmear of poo and a couple of teaspoons of urine.

Hope he is fine and it's just routine old-dog stuff.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Canada
1,403 posts, read 848,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samstersmom View Post
Wow, that is a great explanation. I think that is exactly what is going on. I did go behind him like you suggested and he didn't hear me at first but did as I said his name louder. I called the vet today and changed the appt. to tomorrow instead because I just found blood in his stool
Oh, poor Sam...here's hoping that it's nothing serious. While blood in the stool can be a serious symptom, it can also be caused by less serious issues, such as a parasite (and sometimes what looks like blood might not be). I'll keep him in my thoughts and hope for a positive result at the vet's tomorrow.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 895,963 times
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Here is a recent pic of Sam <3
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Oh, what a handsome boy! He looks like he might have some collie in with that lab mix? I love a dog with a huge smile...always so happy.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 895,963 times
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I got him at the shelter when he was nine months old and they labeled him as a lab mix. I think he is part collie too. He has herding tendencies and his stomach had the shape of a greyhound when he was younger. He was always very fast so maybe he has some sight hound in him too.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
683 posts, read 1,613,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassetluv View Post
Yes, in a sense. When my Australian cattle dog mix was hitting 14, I noticed that she seemed to be becoming more sensitive to certain sounds. Prior to this, throughout her adult life she was what you'd consider "bomb-proof"; i.e., a bomb could go off next to her and she might flinch enough so you'd know she heard it, but she certainly wouldn't over-react. Her hearing for most of her adult life was also pristine...I used to actually joke that Kaya's hearing was so good she could hear a pin drop on a carpet, two rooms away. However, when she was around 14 she seemed to be getting a bit jumpy when loud noises would go off...she would startle. What confirmed it for me was that summer...I took her to downtown for the Canada Day festivities, just as I had every year previous in her life, but as we hit the massive wall of crowds nearing Parliament Hill, she began to get edgy. Nervous. Jumpy. I wound up leaving early with her, as she obviously wasn't enjoying herself as she had in the past.

Then a few months later I happened to be walking past a baseball field with my dog and noticed that a band had set up a stage down on center field. After asking a few people about it, I found out that Nickelback was giving a free performance, so I decided to stop and sit for a while and listen. Kaya sat down beside me on the grass - we were well away from the stadium itself, beyond the perimeter of the fence - but as soon as they started into their first song, Kaya began trembling uncontrollably. She was shaking, her eyes were wild and and I feared that she might literally have a heart attack, so I got her out of there immediately.

Now, Kaya had been gradually losing her hearing (a common condition in older ACDs) so I think what was happening was that she could no longer filter sounds the way she could when she was younger. Everything was probably distorted, and low sounds that she could no longer hear remained muffled...but when a loud sound would suddenly go off, she wouldn't be prepared for it, and it would scare her. (As someone who has also lost significant hearing over the years - chemo treatments knocked out a good portion of my hearing and the loss graduated over a course of a few years - I can completely relate to how my dog must have felt.)

I'd suggest that your dog may have some hearing loss going in his senior years, and that might be why he seems overly sensitive to sudden noise. It could also explain his 'sometimes acting as though he doesn't hear things that everyone else hears'. He may not be acting; he simply might not be picking up on those sounds any more. One thing you can try is to stand behind him (without him knowing you are there) and very softly speaking his name. If he doesn't respond, say it a bit louder, and do it louder each time until he does acknowledge you. It might give you a bit of an idea as to how much hearing loss is going on, if any.
I begin to tremble uncontrollably when i hear Nickelback too.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Maryland
298 posts, read 895,963 times
Reputation: 238
Just got back from the vet. They are dong a wellness screen on him to make sure everything is OK. She said that his ears look very clean so she thinks that his hearing is just aging as expected. The blood in his stool is due to an infected anal gland (unless they also find something else as they are also testing his stool). I am always careful with his anal glads so I don't know how this happened. They say not to have them done too often as it can get infected and if it is done too far apart it can get infected. Oh well, they gave him antibiotics and told me to put a heat compress on it. All I can do now is wait until all of his test results come back tomorrow but in the meantime I will be holding his butt with a compress
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