It’s not uncommon for our pets to live to a ripe old age these days thanks to the wonders of veterinary science. However, even if the latest drug treatments can keep them healthy for longer, there’s not much that can be done about hearing loss.
Different causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss seems to be a fact of older age for our dogs as much as it is for we humans. Some dog breeds are also susceptible to deafness (dalmatians, for example). And then there are working dogs who may lose their hearing through their work with the military or police.
But if an audiologist can work with doctors, why can’t they work with vets? That’s certainly the theory behind FETCHLAB, a laboratory that was formed at the University of Cincinnati back in 2007 and has since gone on to restore hearing to hundreds of dogs worldwide through the provision of hearing aids.
A one-of-a-kind clinic
FETCHLAB is the first and only hearing clinic for animals in the USA able to run full audiological testing and analysis. It works with a variety of clients, from Cincinnati’s police and rescue services, to zoos, aquaria and animal hospitals, advising on animal hearing health, bioacoustics and even noise mitigation in kennels.
The lab was founded by Peter Scheifele, who pioneered the first hearing aids for dogs, trialling them on one of his own dogs many years ago. He fitted behind the ear hearing aids to a cape worn by the dog, with the tubes going into the dog’s ears. Since then he’s fitted many canine patients with hearing aids – even wireless hearing aids for search and rescue dogs.
FETCHLAB works with clients from all over the world and is working towards developing a more cost effective hearing aid option that can be rolled out to a wider market. It’s even created a graduate certificate in animal audiology for practising licensed audiologists.
Here at The Hearing Clinic we love how FETCHLAB is bringing quality of life to so many animals. After all, who says that only humans should benefit from better hearing health?
If the free hearing tests show there’s an issue, or even if they don’t but you still have concerns, remember that our experienced team at The Hearing Clinic is here to support you. You don’t need a GP referral to see us, simply make an appointment for a hearing assessment directly with us.
We will check your loved one’s ears for wax build-up and we can perform a full in-depth – and painless – hearing assessment. You’re very welcome to attend the appointment too.