Our audiology cases are seen by veterinarian Dr Susan Sommerlad, who has provided a specialist dog and cat audiology testing service for more than 25 years.

Our audiology service is only available to referred cases. Your vet will organise this for you.


Hearing tests

Dr Sommerlad can assess your cat or dog’s hearing at the UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital or selected vet clinics in South-East and Northern Queensland.

Common complaints

Deafness and hearing loss are common in dogs and cats:

  • Sensorineural deafness, due to loss of inner ear hair cells and nerve function, is congenital in more than 100 dog breeds, but can develop through exposure to constant noise, certain drugs, or in old age
  • Conductive deafness may be associated with external or middle ear disease.

Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) testing

The BAER test is a definitive test for sudden or progressive hearing loss in dogs or cats of any age.

It evaluates the neurological response to a series of clicks or tones, played into one ear at a time, and the results are digitally traced.

An accurate, safe, electrophysiological test, it is performed under light sedation in puppies, or a short anaesthetic in adult dogs.

Many breeders test litters of puppies before they sell them. After a BAER assessment, your pet may be referred to radiological, medical or surgical specialists for further investigation.

Common breeds affected by deafness

Dog breeds that commonly show congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness include but are not limited to:

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Catahoula
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dalmatian
  • Dachshund
  • English and French Bull Dogs
  • English Setter
  • Great Dane
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Labrador.

 For referring vets

See our referrals web page for information about how to refer your case to us.