Hearing Loss in Older HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 12, 2011
A study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia found that many horses have a mild to moderate loss of hearing as they age. Testing was done in a group of horses between the ages of five and eight, and also in a group of horses between 17 and 22 years old. Brainstem auditory evoked response testing was used to monitor each horse’s brain response to a series of clicking noises. Just as in many older humans, the older horses showed a loss in hearing, possibly caused by a gradual degeneration of structures in the inner ear. The study did not produce any conclusions as to how hearing loss might affect the behavior or well-being of the older horses.