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Deaf ?

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My 4 year old cocker has been out shooting with me maybe on average once a week for the last few years or so. Working very well on retrieves (mostly blacks), out and in he has done all I could ask for. Then about two months ago he started to do a lap of honour with the birds, running around the field and very reluctant to bring the retrieve into the hide. 

About that time I noticed he was deaf. Not just cocker stubborn but properly deaf except for high pitched whistles or rattling tins. With the vets being on restriction I have not taken him in for a check but his ears look pretty clean. I will take him in as soon as I can.

I left him at home for a couple of weeks and his hearing looks to have gradualy returned. Today I took him out in the hide but using a moderated 20g with sub sonics and his retrieve was back to his previous best. Straight out and straight in.

Can dogs go deaf so quickly as he is only 4 years old. Do you think his reluctance to return to the hide could have anything to do with the gun noise? He is not showing any sign of being scared. 

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Depends how much your shooting over him mate. If your out 4-5 days a week (I know your out a lot) with him sitting right next to you then its definately a possibility.

 

Normally gundogs are a lot older when going deaf, but the vast majority of gundogs are probably only worked 1-2 days a week. Spaniels being used to hunt further ahead not sitting right next to the shot going off, and retrievers being picking up etc may be well back from the guns. 

 

I imagine dogs on peg or wildfowling can be right next to the guns but would be unlikely to be out so often. 

 

 

Worth getting checked with vets to see if anything inside the ears. 

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Keep me informed.   Mine has gone exactly the same.   She is three and not had any shots over her 

she has been beating all last season.  Took her to the vets last week but it was a joke 

sit in the waiting room and then the dog gets taken in to see the vet and then they told me she wouldn’t keep still

charged me and said it could be a build up of wax, so going down the ear drops route until I can go in with her and pin her down 

either that or the vet said we could sedate her
looking back she has Been  deaf for a long time.   I had trouble with the stop whistle As you can imagine

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8 hours ago, tiny tim said:

Keep me informed.   Mine has gone exactly the same.   She is three and not had any shots over her 

she has been beating all last season.  Took her to the vets last week but it was a joke 

sit in the waiting room and then the dog gets taken in to see the vet and then they told me she wouldn’t keep still

charged me and said it could be a build up of wax, so going down the ear drops route until I can go in with her and pin her down 

either that or the vet said we could sedate her
looking back she has Been  deaf for a long time.   I had trouble with the stop whistle As you can imagine

Interesting Tim. When you look in the ears can you see any wax build up or anything untoward? My dog's ears look fine and his hearing has come back (at least a bit). VET's sound a waste of time but at least you could get in. I will try mine this week. 

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No no wax at all ,or any irritation.    Dogs fine just stone deaf   
look on the bright side.    It’s not going to be gunshy

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You could start training your dog with a vibro collar to respond to vibrations from the collar instead of whistle if going deaf. It of course means wearing a collar while working, but you can get breakaway collars that come undone if caught up. 

If shooting over a dog a lot in the hide it's worth getting Muttmuffs dog hearing protection to protect your dogs hearing. They can be easily slipped off when the dog goes out.

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That’s what I was going to do 

if you saw her work you wouldn’t think she was deaf.   Just works off hand signals.  
She constantly glances back at you 

just need the collar to use as the stop whistle

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