The test is usually pain-free and
generally no sedatives need to be used. Printouts of the waveform of both ears should be given to the
breeder. Puppies should not be tested before they are 5 weeks old. Many breeders and veterinarians/technicians
prefer to wait until puppies are 6 weeks old to ensure developmental changes have time to occur.
Figure 3 is of an unusual uni hearing trace:
Figure 3 – Example of an unusual BAER tracing from
a Unilateral Hearing Pup
The above example shows that the graph line is not always a completely flat line. But the clearly defined
peaks and valleys of a normally hearing ear are lacking, indicating that this is probably a non-hearing ear.
The BAER test should be repeated if an inconclusive result is produced. If the tracing pattern is random,
it means that the ear probably does not hear. If the same inconclusive pattern is produced repeatedly further
testing is warranted. Questionable puppy BAER tests should be repeated 3 to 6 months later.
Another test that can be done on a questionable ear is called the bone stimulator test. This is used when
there is suspected conductive hearing loss that can be caused by earwax buildup, infection, etc. For a more
detailed explanation of the Bone Stimulator go to Dr Strain's web site and check out his article:
It should be noted that, unlike human hearing tests, BAER testing only tells whether an ear can hear or
not hear. It does not quantify how well a particular ear hears.
As with any diagnostic test the results of a BAER test are subject to interpretation by the tester. If
the breeder has any question about the results of a particular dog's test they should seek a second opinion.
For more information on BAER testing and deafness in Dalmatians go to the DCA's official web site hearing
section at: http://www.thedca.org/hearing.html or Dr. George Strain's web site at:
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