• Open Access

Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions Testing for Screening of Sensorineural Deafness in Puppies


  • The work was performed at the Small Animal Hospital, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow.
  • Previously presented at 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association Annual Congress, Birmingham, UK.

Corresponding author: J. Penderis, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK; e-mail: jacques.penderis@glasgow.ac.uk



Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) are widely used for human neonatal deafness screening, but have not been reported for clinical use in dogs.


To investigate the feasibility of TEOAE testing in conscious puppies and the ability of TEOAE testing to correctly identify deaf and hearing ears, as defined by brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER).


Forty puppies from 10 litters.


Prospective study on puppies presented for hearing assessment as part of a congenital deafness BAER screening program. Hearing status was determined using BAER. TEOAE testing was performed after the BAER assessment and the results of the TEOAE testing were compared with the hearing status for each ear. Parameters were tested for normality using the D'Agostino Pearson test and comparisons between the deaf and hearing ears were made using Mann–Whitney tests.


TEOAE testing was readily performed in puppies presented for congenital deafness screening. Using analysis parameters based on those used in human neonatal hearing screening, TEOAE testing correctly identified all deaf ears, as defined by BAER testing, with a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI: 56–100%) for diagnosing deafness and specificity of 78% (95% CI: 66–87%).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

TEOAE testing is an effective screening modality for identifying congenital sensorineural deafness in dogs. In light of the simpler and less expensive equipment, TEOAE testing has the potential to improve access to hearing screening and through this reduce the prevalence of congenital deafness in the dog.