UCís Facility for Education and Testing of Canine Hearing and Lab Animal Bioacoustics (FETCH-LAB) recently performed a hearing test on "Diezel,Ē a Dutch Shepherd in the Canadian military working dog training program.
The program contacted FETCH-LAB for the test after Diezel was accidentally exposed to prolonged high-volume sounds during an operational exercise.
The exam, performed Friday, Sept. 21, was a brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test, which detects electrical activity in the cochlea and the brainís auditory pathways that detect sound. BAER tests are often used to screen infant hearing.
With baseline data from the BAER test, FETCH-LAB director Pete Scheifele, PhD, is keeping in touch with Diezelís handler and trainers to monitor the dogís hearing in the coming weeks.
FETCH-LAB has studied the hearing and health of military working dogs since 2010, when Scheifele and veterinarian Debbie Kemper were part of a US Department of Defense Blue Ribbon Panel charged with developing a strategy to investigate Canine Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, seen in some military working dogs.
FETCH-LAB researchers are also part of military projects investigating noise protection devices for military working dogs during deployment and transport.