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Effect of kennel noise on hearing in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.
  • | 2 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.
  • | 3 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.
  • | 4 Department of Laboratory Animal Medical Sciences, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.
  • | 5 Department of Technology, Veterinary Technical College, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the degree of noise to which kenneled dogs were exposed in 2 typical kennels and to determine whether a measurable change in hearing might have developed as a result of exposure to this noise.

Animals—14 dogs temporarily housed in 2 kennel environments.

Procedures—Noise levels were measured for a 6-month period in one environment (veterinary technical college kennel) and for 3 months in another (animal shelter). Auditory brainstem response testing was performed on dogs in the veterinary kennel 48 hours and 3 and 6 months after arrival. Temporal changes in the lowest detectable response levels for wave V were analyzed.

Results—Acoustic analysis of the kennel environments revealed equivalent sound level values ranging between 100 and 108 dB sound pressure level for the 2 kennels. At the end of 6 months, all 14 dogs that underwent hearing tests had a measured change in hearing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the noise assessments indicated levels that are damaging to the human auditory system. Such levels could be considered dangerous for kenneled dogs as well, particularly given the demonstrated hearing loss in dogs housed in the veterinary kennel for a prolonged period. Noise abatement strategies should be a standard part of kennel design and operation when such kennels are intended for long-term housing of dogs.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the degree of noise to which kenneled dogs were exposed in 2 typical kennels and to determine whether a measurable change in hearing might have developed as a result of exposure to this noise.

Animals—14 dogs temporarily housed in 2 kennel environments.

Procedures—Noise levels were measured for a 6-month period in one environment (veterinary technical college kennel) and for 3 months in another (animal shelter). Auditory brainstem response testing was performed on dogs in the veterinary kennel 48 hours and 3 and 6 months after arrival. Temporal changes in the lowest detectable response levels for wave V were analyzed.

Results—Acoustic analysis of the kennel environments revealed equivalent sound level values ranging between 100 and 108 dB sound pressure level for the 2 kennels. At the end of 6 months, all 14 dogs that underwent hearing tests had a measured change in hearing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the noise assessments indicated levels that are damaging to the human auditory system. Such levels could be considered dangerous for kenneled dogs as well, particularly given the demonstrated hearing loss in dogs housed in the veterinary kennel for a prolonged period. Noise abatement strategies should be a standard part of kennel design and operation when such kennels are intended for long-term housing of dogs.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Jennifer Dively, Eileen Cremering, Katie Nyugen, and Manda Werle for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Scheifele (peter.scheifele@uc.edu).