The Advent Of Hearing Aids For Dogs

With the current technology, is it possible that the market would also experience an influx of hearing aids for dogs? For the last couple of decades, dog owners have nurtured and taken such well care of their canine pets that there are many products for the animals that are premium priced in the market, including dog food, dog snacks, dog dresses and even shampoos. Many would even assert that dog products are comparatively more expensive than the standard basic goods for people. And surprisingly, many dog owners happily invest to take care of their beloved pets.

So why would hearing aids for deaf dogs not be rolled out? The problem has been touched by an animal study conducted by Auburn University in Alabama's resident audiologist Dr A.E. Marshall. Before developing such hearing devices for dogs, Dr Marshall first tested how severe and serious hearing impairments in dogs are. That was the first challenge of the study. It is hard to determine when a dog is suffering from such a problem. Unlike people, hearing deficiency in animals is not easily recognized and detected because the creatures could not directly tell of their problem. The detection of such impairments in the research was based in pure and logical inference.

It was found that hearing loss in dogs is no different from humans. The dogs are usually left with very little or negligible sense of hearing. The problem in dogs can also be congenital, due to the inevitable aging process or can be a herald of a more serious medical condition. Another experiment was done by Dr. Marshall, this time leading to the development of a set of hearing aids for dogs.

Because hearing problems in humans and animals are alike, hearing aids for people can naturally also work in dogs. Surprisingly, this inference was found to be correct. Hearing aids generally work by amplifying the sounds so what is left in the hearing senses of the patient will be able to detect and sense the amplified audible. Based on the traits exhibited by the hearing-impaired dogs, the hearing aids actually worked in giving them amplified hearing.

However, there was one problem. Because dogs are not used to inserting devices into their ear canals, they are often annoyed by the device. Thus, the animals would always tend to wriggle and strut to remove the hearing aids out of their ears. Even if the hearing aid instrument sizes are adjusted to custom fit to the dogs, the animals would still struggle to take out the device, which they do not know would be helpful in restoring their sense of hearing.

And so that solves the problem whether hearing aids for dogs could be possibly developed. To emphasize, human hearing aids can very well be adopted functionally to be used in dogs. But the setback is dog's natural reflex to put out any foreign object placed in any part of its body. Dogs could indeed be taught of tricks, but insertion of hearing aids is never a trick they would be wiling to learn.

One possible alternative is the cochlear hearing aids, which would be implanted. However, the cost of such technology would be too much and definitely is making the strategy not feasible and practical. On the average hearing implants could be priced at about $20,000 to $25,000 per pair. For humans, that tag price is already too expensive.

But leaving the case of hearing aids for dogs that way gives a glimpse of hope to the unrolling of a better and more affordable technology in the future. Experts note that dogs really do not mind their hearing impairments because their resilience help them to live life naturally and comfortably even with the defect. After all, they still have other senses to rely to.