As many pet owners would avow, our beloved animals are an extension of our family. They are our friends, adventure partners and, at times, our protectors. Given all they do for us, it is our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being, but even the most well-meaning families can overlook hidden dangers. If you’re treating your hearing loss through the use of hearing aids, you might be inadvertently putting your furry friend at serious risk. If you use a hearing device, be sure you’re taking the necessary precautions to protect your pets from the hazards of hearing aid batteries.
Animals can easily crush or swallow batteries since they are so small, allowing the corrosive fluid to enter their systems. This can cause extensive damage to an animal’s tongue, throat and digestive track. In some cases, ingesting batteries can be life-threatening for animals and may even require surgery. Dogs who have ingested hearing aids may exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Red, raw appearance or white/gray coloring of the tongue
- Heavy drooling
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lack of appetite or eating very slowly/carefully
- Lethargic behavior
- Whimper or crying
Because the stakes are so high, prevention is the best route. If you have a pet, take the following protective measures:
- Store batteries in a drawer, where a dog or cat cannot access them. Unlike a shelf, a drawer eliminates the threat of the batteries being knocked off.
- Teach your dog to avoid hearing aids through positive reinforcement methods.
- Dispose of old batteries with caution. If you throw them in the trash, your pet may access them accidentally. We recommend disposing of them directly into a receptacle outside of your home or taking them to a recycling facility.
- Invest in a secure case to store your hearing aids and accessories. These may be purchased through an
- Make sure your hearing aids are turned off when you put them away. Occasionally, hearing aids that are left on create a whistling feedback, which can attract your pets.
If you’d like to learn more about hearing aid safety, connect with your local Tucson audiology professional. To set up a consultation today, contact our team at (520) 399-7630.