Bull Terriers are one of those breeds that can carry deafness and the only way to tell for sure if the babies can hear is to do BAER testing. We live fairly close to Tufts and used to go there, but their machine hasnt been working for over a year at this point and they have no plans to fix or replace it! The closest place for us was Weymouth, MA at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital, so we drove about 2 1/2 hours out there to have the tests done. The vet tech, Lydia, was wonderful and said our babies were very well behaved! She said she tried to do a Border collie the week before and they could barely keep him on the table. This is one time that the non-reactivity of BTs is a godsend. Here are a few pics of the test.
The pups are placed on the table one at a time. Each ear gets an ear-plug and then 5 needles are inserted. One behind each ear, one at the top of the head, one at the base of the neck and one in the back. Different machine will have different configurations. All of these are attached to wires, which are attached to the machine where we can see a digital read-out. They are registering brain activity and how the brain receives sound.
Here at VCA they have a very strict protocol. The machine sends a series of audible clicks into the ear plugs. They do one ear at a time. Lydia said that some technicians run the machine for 250 clicks to get a thorough read-out. VCA does it for 500, then they do 500 in the other ear, then repeat the entire process, so they are four times as thorough! Each series of 500 clicks takes just a few minutes. The babies were Very good. Occasionally they would wiggle, but none of them tried to remove the ear-plugs or needles! (I would have!)
I am pleased to announce that All the puppies can hear in Both ears! Yeah! Marion always likes to have this done before she places any puppies and we also need to know this for future breeding purposes.
BUT always remember, just because a BT can hear DOESNT MEAN IT WILL LISTEN!