Brain-stem auditory evoked responses (BAER) were assessed in 23 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with and without middle ear effusion at sound intensities ranging from 10 to 100 dB nHL. Significant differences were found between the median BAER threshold for ears where effusions were present (60 dB nHL), compared to those without (30 dB nHL) (P=0.001). The slopes of latency-intensity functions from both groups did not differ, but the y-axis intercept when the x value was zero was greater in dogs with effusions (P=0.009), consistent with conductive hearing loss. Analysis of latency-intensity functions suggested the degree of hearing loss due to middle ear effusion was 21 dB (95% confidence between 10 and 33 dB). Waves I-V inter-wave latency at 90 dB nHL was not significantly different between the two groups. These findings demonstrate that middle ear effusion is associated with a conductive hearing loss of 10-33 dB in affected dogs despite the fact that all animals studied were considered to have normal hearing by their owners.
Harcourt-Brown, T. R., Parker, J. E., Granger, N., & Jeffery, N. D. (2011). Effect of middle ear effusion on the brain-stem auditory evoked response of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Veterinary Journal, 188(3), 341-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.05.018