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old deaf dogs
Old 04-06-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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old deaf dogs

My dachshund Judy spent the winter with "daddy" and has had a number of health problems. She is 15. She has serious arthritis in her back and hip. She has an enlarged heart. She suffered serious separation anxiety when I left her. She got a staff infection. We had to get her a pill organizer just to keep track of all the drugs she has to take.

Now it looks like she is deaf.

Wiener dogs are hard to train. They are stubborn and not very bright. So unlike our old standard poodle that was well trained, Judy will do a few tricks for food but has never been especially good about commands. She knows a few hand signals: a fist on my chest means come and sit in front of me. A whirl of the right hand means turn in a circle. A fist held low means sneeze. (I taught her that just to see if I could. )

Now that she is deaf I am having a hard time getting her attention. If she sees me and I do the hand signal for come and sit she will do so 75% of the time, but having her look at me is hard. Any ideas?



Judy, with favorite toy, a bottle cap.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Ahhhh...bless her heart.

I had a Wiener dog once and I know all about their ways. I do agree they can be stubborn, but they are very protective as they have a heart of a lion.

The only thing I can think of to get her to look at you is either stomping the floor causing a vibration or waving a piece of paper creating a breeze.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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I have used whistles (me, not a device) and hands clapping to get my dogs attention if they are "ignoring" me. Both have good hearing. The older one is starting to not hear me too well but he seems to hear the claps OK.

Your dog is beautiful.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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She doesn't seem to hear the claps or whistles. I thought maybe a high pitch whistle would work because high frequencies are last to go. But it is a bit hard to know if she is ignoring me and does hear the whistle. I might try a high pitched whistle and see if it works when paired with a treat.

Floor stomp, no reaction, but right now we are on cement floors until a month or so when we are back north. Get close enough to wave something at her works, even if you are coming from behind. She is easily startled as she doesn't hear you sneaking up on her.

Smells work but are inconvenient.

We knew she was deaf when she no longer ran into the kitchen when kibble hit her bowl.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
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Its been a couple years since I posted one of my favorite Judy pictures, where she is bearing the weight of h-o-c-u-s trolldom on the forum:

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
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Sounds familiar, Martha. We have a 15 yo beagle that is going deaf and has a plethora of health issues (we use pill boxes too) and a 13 yo beagle with lymphoma that is not deaf but dumb as a post. All I can manage is hand signals to get a response. OTOH, at least they are small enough that I can simply pick them up when they don't respond...
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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I love that pic Martha! Seems as if I remember a strawberry being involved in a photo as well....?

The only other thing I can think of as a way of getting her attention is using a flashlight on the floor or wall...but I guess that would be inconvenient too.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:21 PM   #8
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At least one web site is suggesting floor stomps (maybe a wall pound to compensate for cement floors?)and at night a waiving flashlight. It is hard to chase her down and get her in from the yard at night. I let her out to pee at 4:00 this morning and had to hunt her down in the dark while I was wearing not the most modest of attire.

Got to get some nummy treats and start experimenting.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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She looks like a sweetie

I had a dear old cat who lived to be 20, and he was going deaf in his last few years. We found that we could usually get his attention by cupping our hands around our mouths and calling his name in his direction. I think that helped to direct the sound right to him.

Have you tried anything for the arthritis? My cat also had severe arthritis and we did a few things for him: sprinkled Cosequin in his food, provided him with a heat pack on his hind legs when he was laying down (I used a rice pack that I heated in the microwave). Also, he had accupunture treatments about once a month for a year. I could never tell if it helped, but he *loved* the accupuncturist who came to the house, so at least I knew he didn't mind it! And I know, I sound like a crazy cat lady, but the vet did recommend all these things and I adored that cat and would have done anything for him.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
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She is on an anti-inflammatory for the severe arthritis and it works well. The problem is getting her to stop jumping around and hurting herself. Another back injury could easily result in paralysis as her spine is so degenerated.

We also tried glucosamine and chondroitin which had some reported benefits for dogs but I saw no difference and the current research is not supportive so I quit using it. I have used a microwave hot pack on her back when it is bad enough that she can barely walk. My sister had a heated mattress for her old dog. Judy doesn't like it at all and will go lie down somewhere else.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
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What a sweetheart Judy is. She doesn't look a day over five!

The three dogs we had over the years all went deaf. My main worry was that they would somehow get away from us outside and we wouldn't be able to find them, and they wouldn't be able to hear us calling them. So each one over the years was on a leash whenever outdoors, even in our fenced-in back yard.

We would toss a toy or pillow or something at them to get their attention. A flashlight is a good idea.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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Have you tried one of those high power LED flashlights? Sophie used to alert instantly to that (she liked to chase the beam) -- must have seen it in her peripheral vision.

Once she turns toward you, maybe traditional hand gestures will work.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #13
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Good idea Rich.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #14
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Have you tried one of those high power LED flashlights? Sophie used to alert instantly to that (she liked to chase the beam) -- must have seen it in her peripheral vision.

Once she turns toward you, maybe traditional hand gestures will work.
Or laser pointer - that produces a little dot, so the light is concentrated enough to see even in fairly bright rooms. Most dogs and cats seem to be mesmerized by it, and the young ones at least, will chase it until you can't take it any more.

Or fan, or throw a rolled up sock at them? I remeber seeing some sort of air gun that would 'fire' a puff of air that supposedly moved slowly across a room.


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Old 04-06-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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My sis-in-law's mix breed is 15 and also deaf. She does the stomping trick and it seems to work OK. Good luck with it.

Looks like my lab has figured out how to open the gate on my mother's chain link fence. I left him in her backyard when I went to the grocery store today. When I returned, he was in the front yard waiting by the mailbox and the gate was open. He's so tall, he must have used his nose to flip up the handle. He uses his nose this way when he feels like removing a pillow from the sofa. Oh well, time to buy a lock.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #16
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My sis-in-law's mix breed is 15 and also death. She does the stomping trick and it seems to work OK. Good luck with it.

Looks like my lab has figured out how to open the gate on my mother's chain link fence. I left him in her backyard when I went to the grocery store today. When I returned, he was in the front yard waiting by the mailbox and the gate was open. He's so tall, he must have used his nose to flip up the handle. He uses his nose this way when he feels like removing a pillow from the sofa. Oh well, time to buy a lock.
Our old poodle would flip those chain link fence latches too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Or laser pointer - that produces a little dot, so the light is concentrated enough to see even in fairly bright rooms. Most dogs and cats seem to be mesmerized by it, and the young ones at least, will chase it until you can't take it any more.

Or fan, or throw a rolled up sock at them? I remeber seeing some sort of air gun that would 'fire' a puff of air that supposedly moved slowly across a room.


-ERD50
I am thinking about the laser pointer light but I remember getting one of those as a freebie some years ago and this particular dog just didn't "see" it. Our other dog would chase it around. I wish I had a handy one to try to see if she processes the light.

Tossing things at her startles her way too much.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #17
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I am thinking about the laser pointer light but I remember getting one of those as a freebie some years ago and this particular dog just didn't "see" it. Our other dog would chase it around. I wish I had a handy one to try to see if she processes the light.

Tossing things at her startles her way too much.
Well, if she didn't respond to the laser then, she probably won't respond now either.

I did find the air gun (I keep thinking of getting some for the nieces/nephews), but people do report them startling their pets. Maybe if it was aimed for a 'glancing blow'?

Amazon.com: AirZooka Air Gun - Blue: Toys & Games

Maybe a large ball on a string? Maybe that could be rolled softly/slowly enough to not startle? Paper airplanes (gotta chase 'em down though, could put an eye out)? Battery powered remote control car, move it up slowly into their field of view (seriously, that could be done pretty gently)?

OK, I'm out of ideas, poor pooch.

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:47 PM   #18
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Well, if she didn't respond to the laser then, she probably won't respond now either.

I did find the air gun (I keep thinking of getting some for the nieces/nephews), but people do report them startling their pets. Maybe if it was aimed for a 'glancing blow'?

Amazon.com: AirZooka Air Gun - Blue: Toys & Games

Maybe a large ball on a string? Maybe that could be rolled softly/slowly enough to not startle? Paper airplanes (gotta chase 'em down though, could put an eye out)? Battery powered remote control car, move it up slowly into their field of view (seriously, that could be done pretty gently)?

OK, I'm out of ideas, poor pooch.

-ERD50
Hey, the ideas aren't bad. The item has to be convenient or it won't get used. A wall or floor in a house is convenient to whack. A flashlight (at night) or laser light (if the dog notices it) can be conveniently in the pocket. And she will simply have to be kept leashed in more circumstances.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:49 PM   #19
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Actually, the way we usually got our dog's attention was to walk over to her and kneel down (although she was usually sitting next to us on our couch, so no problem there ) and give her a little pat on the back or tummy. Our dogs lost most of their eyesight too, so this was the gentlest and most effective way to interact with them
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #20
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I wish I had a great suggestion for you, but the flashlight sounds like a good idea, something we'll have to try. We've had 4 Shelties, and 2 of them were deaf for the last few years of their lives - and it was never a problem for us. Shelties are very attentive and stay with their owners which makes it easier than some breeds, I don't know Dachshunds (Judy is adorable BTW).

Our current Sheltie is 14+ and she's been deaf for at least 2 years. Sometimes claps or stomps on the floor still work, and when they don't we just walk around her until we're in her line of sight (peripherally) and she (see avatar) always looks around at us. From there, she's gotten very good with hand signals. Fortunately she's not as fast as she used to be so she never gets that far away. The best years of all our dog's lives has been when they get older. Best of luck...
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