Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) evaluation is a non-invasive hearing test that can confirm the existence of congenital or acquired hearing loss. This specialized test for dogs and cats takes approximately 10-15 minutes and tests each ear individually. BAER testing can be performed at any point in a dog or cat’s life. This test can performed on puppies or kittens after 8 weeks of age.
The BAER test is done by using a specialized computer that is connected to multiple electrodes placed just under the skin at specific points on your pet’s head. The placement of these electrodes is not painful to your pet. Once the electrodes are in place, your pet will then have a foam earphone placed in each ear which will make a computer generated click between 70 and 105 decibels. Any activity in the hearing pathways will be transmitted to the computer and will show as waveforms on a graph. Peaks in the waveform represent activity in the cochlea and other auditory pathways, while a flat waveform represent inactivity (deafness).