Hearing Loss in an Older Dog
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question: from: Martha Case

Is there any herbal remedy that can help with hearing loss in an older dog?

Have you had a chance to have the hearing loss checked out by a veterinarian? There is of course hearing loss related to aging, but then there is also hearing loss due to ear infections, ear mites, ear polyps and hearing loss as related to a systemic illness, to name a few.

Assuming it is simply age-related hearing loss, you may want to look at supporting the dog’s health in a holistic fashion, first by looking at his or her diet. Foods that are high in bioavailable nutrients can go a long way to supporting the animal’s health as a whole and in turn, may have an effect on its ability to hear. Please look at the work of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst for further information and recipes you can make for your dog at home. Home-made meals may sound like a lot of work on first glance but once you have tried it the first time, it becomes much easier. As well, the difference in your dog’s coat and quality of life will hopefully convince you it’s worth the effort. Supplement powders meant to accompany a home-made diet may also help. Typically made of freeze-dried organ meats, beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes, they can ensure the foods your dog consumes will be digested and metabolised completely.

Herbs such as Oatstraw (Avena sativa) can help with nerve function (important in the hearing process) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Nettle (Urtica dioica)and Cleavers (Galium aparine) assist toxin removal and add further bioavailable nutrients to the diet. These herbs may be employed by adding one to two teaspoons herb to one cup of boiling water; let steep until lukewarm; strain. Depending on the size of your dog, you can add the tea to their food at one-half teaspoon twice a day for small animals to one teaspoon per 30 pounds of dog for large animals (also at twice a day).

One other thought: is it true hearing loss or selective hearing? Many animals (and people!) develop the latter ability as they age.

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