Volume 1, Chapter 05: Canine Audiology



 Studies of canine hearing using auditory measures have been ongoing since the 1980’s.  Congenital deafness has been identified in over 80 breeds of dog.  Auditory evoked potentials, specifically, the auditory brainstem response, or brainstem auditory evoked response, is the gold standard for auditory assessment in dogs.  Hearing loss in dogs can either be inherited or acquired.  Inherited hearing loss results from genetic defects, commonly occurring in dogs with white pigmentation patterns, whereas acquired hearing loss can originate from intrauterine infection, middle ear dysfunction, ototoxicity, presbycusis, or noise exposure.  To identify congenital hearing loss a hearing screen is warranted.  To identify the type and degree of hearing loss, a diagnostic audiological assessment is warranted.  Protocols for screening have been previously identified and adhered to over the past several years; however, standardized protocols specifically for diagnostic testing in dogs vary across the literature.  Diagnostic testing should include a battery of audiological measures to ensure a comprehensive assessment of the outer, middle and inner ear, vestibulocochlear nerve and central auditory pathway.  Research is ongoing regarding effective and practical assessment approaches in dogs for diagnostic purposes.  A review of canine hearing, anatomy and physiology of the auditory system and common audiological assessments used for this population will be covered.  The status of contemporary canine audiology practices will be discussed, including current advances about auditory cognition and noise induced hearing loss in dogs.  Suggestions will be proposed regarding the future direction of the field.  The management of hearing loss in dogs, including recommendations for training and rehabilitation will conclude this chapter.



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Chapter Contributors


Kristine Sonstrom, Au.D., Ph.D


Dr. Sonstrom  is an Assistant Professor of Audiology at the University of Akron (Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium) and Director of the Facility for the Education and Testing of Canine Hearing and the Laboratory for Animal Bioacoustics (FETCHLAB)TM Akron.  She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut and a dual Doctorate in Clinical Audiology and Hearing Science from the University of Cincinnati.  Her research interests include auditory electrophysiology, animal audiology and bioacoustics, neuroaudiology, and vestibular assessment.  Through education and research,Dr. Sonstrom has worked collaboratively with Dr. Scheifele, the founder and executive director of FETCHLABTM, over the past 13 years on projects pertaining to the assessment and management of hearing in animals. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .'; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text61856); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Peter ‘Skip’ Scheifele, MDr, PhD, LCDR USN (Ret.)


 Dr. Scheifele is an Associate Professor in the College of Allied Health Sciences and the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Scheifele’s degrees are in physics, physical oceanography, electives in mechanical engineering, medicine, speech and hearing science and animal science.  He is the Founder and Executive Director of FETCHLAB™ (Facility for Education and Testing of Canine Hearing and Laboratory for Animal Bioacoustics), a world-renowned animal audiology laboratory and clinic, including: FETCHLAB UNC (University of Northern Colorado) under the direction of Katie Bright, Ph.D. and FETCHLAB Akron (University of Akron) under the direction of Kristine E. Sonstrom Au.D., Ph.D.  He is a Navy Vietnam Era Veteran; Submarine Officer/Diver and Oceanographer.  Dr. Scheifele directed the Navy Marine Mammal Technology Program and was a head trainer at Mystic Aquarium. He was awarded the Order of the Decibel and a presidential citation for pioneering work in marine mammal bioacoustics. Dr. Scheifele trained and handled narcotics and bomb dogs for the U.S. Coast Guard. Currently  serves as the U.S. Army Special Forces/Department of Defense subject matter expert on tactical military working dog audiology. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.