Animal Audiology: Something New Is Brewing (0.1 AAA CEUs)
Includes a Live Web Event on 05/16/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)
Peter M. Skip Scheifele, PhD
CEUs: 0.1 AAA
Duration: 60 minutes
Instructional Level: Intermediate
Program Focus: Knowledge
Constant noise can have physiological and psychological effects in several nonhuman species. However, few investigations have focused specifically on the deleterious effects of environmental noise on the auditory system in dogs. Whether constant noise can affect dogs, particularly working dogs that are relied upon for their enhanced sensory capabilities (e.g. those used in military and law enforcement operations or search and rescue), is important to determine and the conditions or environments that can impair these sensory capabilities need to be well understood.
As a result of the number of cases of congenital deafness in dogs, the veterinary and breeding communities have made an extensive effort to have puppies undergo auditory screening between the ages of five (5) to eight (8) weeks of age. The only acceptable audiological test for determining baseline hearing acuity is the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test. BAER testing also can be used in diagnostic situations and as a baseline for establishing hearing acuity in dogs.
Moreover, although the BAER electrophysiological test is objective in its output (waveforms) the establishment of which peak on the resultant waveforms is subjective with the possible exception of Wave-V and the subsequent trough (VT) of Wave-V. This routine technique has been used with humans since 1967 and slowly introduced into the animal industry since the 1980s.
Outside of congenital deafness, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a big factor in kenneled dogs, those transported in trucks and in helicopters and when exposed to gunfire and explosives. Most occupied kennels may have peak noise at 110 dB SPL and even require hearing protection of the handlers upon entering. The consequence of NIHL in any working dogs is a failure of the dog to properly behave to voice commands and to miss critical acoustic cues while working.
1. Understand what animal audiology entails.
2. Know what specific audiological tests are run on canines.
3. Know what the OFA and AKC standards are for canine audiology.
Peter M. Skip Scheifele PhD, LCDR USN (Ret.)
Dr. Scheifele is a Navy Vietnam era and Cold War era veteran; submarine sonar and weapons officer and EOD / Navy Diver and Naval Oceanographer. He directed the Navy Marine Mammal Technology Program at the Naval Underwater Systems Center, specializing in marine mammal bioacoustics research and was Head Trainer at Mystic Aquarium. He was awarded the Order of the Decibel and a presidential citation by President George Bush Sr. for his pioneering work with marine mammal bioacoustics. He trained and handled narcotics and bomb dogs for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Presently, he directs UC FETCHLAB world-renowned for investigating animal audiology, vocal mechanisms and bioacoustics and conducting animal audiology. Peter serves as the U.S. Army SOCOM and DOD subject matter expert (SME) on tactical military working dog explosive ordnance disposal, audiology, and Canine PTSD for ARO. He is also the canine audiologist for Cincinnati S.W.A.T. He is Professor of animal bioacoustics, audiology, and human Neuroaudiology in the College of Allied Health Sciences, as well as otology and neurology in the College of Medicine.
University of Cincinnati FETCHLAB is an internationally renowned animal hearing and bioacoustics laboratory and hearing clinic for animals. They conduct hearing screening and full audiological assessment and imaging for dogs. The FETCHLAB is the first and only hearing (audiology) clinic for animals in the United States capable of running full audiological diagnostic testing and analyses. They see dogs and exotic animals (wild, zoo, reserves) from all over the world. They are responsible for noise impacts and animal audiology for the Georgia Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, Newport Aquarium and the Indianapolis Zoo.
Exotic animal audiology research is being conducted by Peter and FETCHLAB staff on elephants and cheetahs in South Africa, Reindeer and muskox in Alaska, dolphins, walrus and elephants at the Indianapolis Zoo.