BAER Testing for Dogs

Did you know that there are specialized hearing tests for dogs? To test the hearing in our canine friends, owners and veterinarians will often rely on high-pitched or loud noises to test their responses. While a simple approach, this is considered the most practical way to see if an animal can hear. Although, there are times when puppies and other adult dogs will not consistently respond to these noises. This stimulus-response test could also fail to show hearing loss only in one ear. To counteract this, dog neurologists and veterinarians will perform a BAER Test.

What is BAER Testing?

BAER testing is used to evaluate the hearing ability of an individual animal. The brainstem auditory evoked response or BAER tests the animals' ability to respond to an auditory stimulus. The test is completed using a specialized computer to record the auditory responses in each ear of the dog. BAER testing also gauges the complexities of the external ear canal, middle/inner ear cavities, cranial nerve, and some areas of the brainstem. Once completed, this test will help the veterinarian determine if the issues the owner notices are caused by deafness or a varying degree of hearing.

A veterinarian examines a chihuahua puppy

Why Do Dogs Need BAER Testing?

The basis for the BAER test is to determine if and how well a canine can hear. Causes of deafness may be congenital and arise at birth or could stem from trauma that occurs later in life. BAER testing also detects acquired hearing loss in older dogs. Pet owners often start noticing little nuances or quirks that, once time has passed, create a pattern of behavior that elicits concern. If the animal does not respond when called or when the owner comes home after a long day away, these are both signs that there could be something wrong with the dog's ability to hear.

In most cases, BAER testing is often done around eight weeks, but some congenital disabilities can produce deafness as late as sixteen weeks of age, so the test is usually repeated. There are certain behaviors that dog owners need to watch for include, including not waking after sleep or not being startled by a phone ringing or the doorbell chiming. Some animals are not bothered by these sounds; however, this test will rule that out. It is also possible that a dog could be deaf in only one ear, so a BAER test is necessary to rule out any other issues.

How Does BAER Testing Work?

The test is simple enough that it takes place in the veterinarian's office and without sedation. The test is completed using a specialized computer and must be performed by a trained veterinarian or specialist. Some young puppies can fall asleep during the procedure, but if your dog happens to be older or has anxiety, it is possible to sedate the animal if needed. Most all puppies and older dogs do not feel any pain as the test is performed. The dog will have 3-4 electrodes placed on its head and a soft foam piece set in the ear. A sound, usually a click, will be emitted at various decibels to assess the dog's hearing ability. Each ear will be tested separately, and the total time will be no longer than thirty to forty-five minutes.

Veterinarian examines the ears of a sick Corgi dog

We know that many dog owners can be distraught over the need for testing for their pets. That is why we take every step possible to ensure they and their pet have the attention and support needed to make the process as comfortable as possible. If you are a dog owner who has seen some issues with your companion for several years, the BAER test may be something to bring a bit of peace to an otherwise stressful situation.

Why Choose Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are unique to us and are why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each requires individualized Care and attention.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton
DVM, CVC, CCRT

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Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.

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Allissa Huckabay
DVM, CVA

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Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.

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Matt Sellers
DVM

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Matthew Sellers, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences, where he also attended his undergraduate studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Science. Dr. Sellers was on the Dean's list and Presidents Honor Roll during his time at OSU. After a year of general practice, Dr. Sellers began studying acupuncture through the Chi Institute and completed the course in December of 2016.

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Phillip Adolph
DVM

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Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.

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