What is BAER hearing test?
BAER or brainstem auditory evoked response is a hearing test used to evaluate the hearing of dogs and other animals.
It is a painless and non-invasive test where, by releasing a sound stimulus directly into the ear, we read or do not read electrical activity. In the case of an animal hearing electrical activity, it reads like a written curve, while in animals that do not hear a sound, we have only a straight line.
Upon completion of testing, an official certificate is issued confirming the existence or absence of deafness in the dog or another animal.
How long does a BAER test take
The procedure lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. In some cases, sedation must be used. Ear canals of the puppies will open when they are about 2 weeks old so the best time to perform the test is when the puppies are around 7 weeks old. The test can be preform at any age and on adult dogs but most of the breeders would like to know the hearing status of their puppies before they go to new homes.
BAER test - dog breeds
Today more than 80 dog breeds suffer from congenital deafness. There are some dog breeds that have a high risk of congenital deafness. These breeds are Dalmatians, English setters, English cocker spaniels, Australian cattle dogs, and Jack Russell terriers. If you are thinking about buying a dog that is prone to deafness always ask a breeder to show you BEAR test results. Puppies can be tested at seven weeks old. Dogs can lose hearing up to 16 weeks of age, retesting is also recommended. If the test results come negative for one or both ears, usually there’s nothing can be done to regain hearing. If a dog can hear sounds but can’t locate from where the sound is coming from, he may be affected by the unilateral loss of hearing (hearing in one ear). With the BEAR test, you can find out what ear is affected.
BAER test - results
- Affected (bilateral): the dog is completely deaf in both ears
- Affected (unilateral): the dog is completely deaf in one ear and he is able to hear normally in the other ear
- Unaffected: the dog hear normally in both ears
Raising a deaf dog
Raising a deaf dog is difficult but not impossible. You should always look out for the dog because he cannot hear anything. Most especially you must be careful while outside because deaf dogs will not hear traffic so you need to ensure that they are not hit by the car. Also if the dog is raised with kids you need to teach kids how to approach him because the dog could easily get scared because of his deafness especially if the kid comes too close or surprises the dog from behind.
A veterinary examination with the BAER test is recommended for all breeds of dogs and cats genetically prone to the disorder since animals that do not hear should not be further mated. It is also advisable to make it with any suspected deafness, regardless of breed, because by learning about possible deafness, we establish a new form of communication with our pet and maintain the quality of his life.
World Dog Finder team