This hearing test is also known as the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test. The test detects electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain in much the same way that an EKG detects electrical activity of the heart.
The response is collected with a special computer through three small electrodes attached to the skin of the scalp via small acupuncture needles; one on the top of the head and one in front of each ear. It is rare for a dog to show any evidence of pain from the placement of the needles. A stimulus click sound produced by the computer is directed into the ear evoking a brainstem response. The computer assimilates this information into a visible wavelength that tells the doctor if the dog is deaf or not. Each ear is tested individually, and the test usually takes 10 to 15 minutes per dog. We do not use sedation, so small puppies may take a while longer to sit quietly.
Litters are generally tested when pups are 7-8 weeks of age.
Owners receive a printout of the results immediately after completion of the test.
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