Small Animal Internal Medicine

Research Abstract

OT05 - Hereditary Deafness by BEAR Testing in Purebred Angora Cats

Friday, June 15
12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Location: WSCC 615

Absence or abnormality of melanocytes in the stria vascularis in white-coated cats with White (W) gene leading degeneration in cochlea more pronounced in the organ of Corti and cochlear hair cells results in hereditary deafness which can be diagnosed by behavioral and/or Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) tests. 1,2


In the present study, auditory function was assessed in purebred Angora cats with BAER testing with sedation. Auditory thresholds were determined by applying stimuli between 54-120 dB SPL. Moreover, stimuli of ≥55 dB SPL was considered as deaf while stimuli of ≤54 was considered as hearing. A total of 9 Angora cats (6 males and 3 females) were included in the study. Mean age was 22.8±52.4 months-old (range:1.5-156) . Of 9 Angora cats, 7 (77.7%) were unilateral deaf, and 2 (22.3%) were hearing. Of 7 unilateral deaf cats, 4 were males (3 right and 1 left-sided deaf) and 3 were females (1 right and 2 left-sided deaf). Of 4 unilateral deaf male cats, 2 were blue, 1 was blue-amber, and 1 was amber eye colors. Of 3 unilateral deaf female cats, 1 was blue, 1 was blue-amber, and 1 was amber eye colors. Remaining 2 cats with hearing were males with blue eye colors.


Results of present study revealed that Angora cats have partial but not bilateral hereditary deafness. There is only one report available indicating 1 of 11 Angora cats had unilateral deafness while no bilateral deafness with BAER testing.3 On the other hand, another study performed by behavioral testing in Angora cats reported 11% bilateral deafness.4


As a conclusion, further epidemiologic studies should be performed in larger populations to determine the prevalence of uni-and/or bilateral hereditary deafness along with gender or eye color association.


1-       Strain GM. Hearing disorders in cats: Classification, pathology and diagnosis. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2017; 19(3): 276 – 287. ttps://doi.org/10.1177/1098612X17695062
2-       Ryugo DK, Menotti-Raymond M. Feline Deafness. The Veterinary clinics of North America Small animal practice. 2012;42(6):1179-1207. doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2012.08.008.
3-       Cvejic D, Steinberg TA, Kent MS, Fischer A. Unilateral and bilateral congenital sensorineural deafness in client-owned pure-breed white cats. J Vet Intern Med. 2009 Mar-Apr;23(2):392-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2008.0262.x. Epub 2009 Feb 3.
4-       Geigy CA, Heid S, Steffen F, et al. Does a pleiotropic gene explain deafness and blue irises in white cats?Vet J. 2007 May;173(3):548-53. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Nevra Keskin

Research Scholar / Research Assistant
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey

Nevra Keskin graduated from University of Ankara, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After her graduation, she started her PhD as a research assistant in Department of Internal Medicine. Her early studies focused on different fields of veterinary internal medicine based on clinical research. She has worked on several clinical pioneer projects such as stem cell administration, cardiac pacemaker implantation and dialysis application in Turkey. She had worked on her PhD project entitled "Development of Otogenic Meningitis and Investigation of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps" in University of Minnesota, School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology as a scholar of both International Hearing Foundation and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Additionally, she has been working on ear diseases of companion animals by evaluating histopathologic findings which is relatively untouched research field in veterinary medicine. The future goal of her researches is to evaluate therapeutic methods for sensorineural hearing loss.


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