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Animal Audiology Certificate


The animal audiology certificate is offered both on campus and online.  Practicum for distance learning students is by individual arrangement.  Distance learning students are required to complete practicum at Fetch Lab.  The application period is from February 1 - March 31 and students are admitted into the certificate program in summer semester.  All certificate courses are taken in summer semesters. Courses cannot be taken simultaneously.  You may take practicum hours at the same time you take courses. Please select the "Application Procedures" tab for information on how to apply.

Veterinarians are trained in otology, but are not specifically trained in audiology for animals.   Currently 80 breeds of dogs experience genetically related deafness with more experiencing deafness due to age and noise exposure.  The American Kennel Club advises breeders to have puppies tested by means of a BAER test and registered with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.  Owners are now routinely asking for hearing testing for older dogs as per their attending veterinarians.  This applies to pets, working dogs and military working dogs. Some veterinary neurologists are capable of performing the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) test, which is used for testing the hearing of animals, but are not specifically trained to make diagnostic judgments regarding audiological issues.  This is the specific expertise of audiologists. There are a number of practicing audiologists who will run BAER tests for screening the hearing of animals, but the University of Cincinnati’s FETCH~LAB is the only university in the nation that has the capability to teach animal audiology to its AuD students or to practicing audiologists. The following articles show the sudden upsurge in interest and need for professional animal audiologists:

Given the expertise of the University of Cincinnati’s FETCH~LAB in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department we are the first university in the nation to offer such a certificate program.

Educational Objectives 

The educational objectives of this program are to provide specialized training for audiology (AuD) students, currently practicing audiologists and veterinarians in the practice of animal audiology, with emphasis on canines and electrophysiological diagnostics.   Students who complete this program will: 

  • Describe animal ear anatomy and physiology, as well as hearing and sound production systems in animals including: reptiles, avians, mammals (including fully aquatic mammals) and contrast how animal hearing systems differ from humans.
  • Describe canine central auditory processing and the relationship between canine hearing and vocal production.
  • List the types of sedation given to canines for BAER testing and describe the effects of such sedation on BAER testing.
  • Use proper canine restraint
  • Explain the physical and biological premises of animal bioacoustics.
  • Perform and interpret basic audiological testing including: AEP, audiometry and tympanometry
  • Perform BAER and OAE testing and a basic otoscopic examination on canines

Program Support by Current Faculty & Staff

FETCHLAB™. is based at the University of Cincinnati (UC), and in partnership with the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) and The University of Akron. UNC also operates a mobile lab in Northern Colorado.

The following current faculty and staff members are participants in this program:

Peter M. Scheifele MDr, PhD, LCDR USN (Ret.) – Associate Professor is the Executive Director the overall FETCHLAB™ and Director of UC FETCHLAB™. He is the primary teacher of CSD8050, CSD8099, CSD8016, practicum and team-teach CSD8020 (animal audiology).  Dr. Scheifele and animal audiology and UC FETCH~LAB is his laboratory.  He will lecture at selected times in animal audiology.

John Greer Clark PhD – Assistant Professor will teach CSD8071, practicum and team-teach CSD8020 (animal audiology).  Dr. Clark already teaches this course presently as part of his teaching load except animal audiology.  He will lecture at selected times in animal audiology. In addition, he is a co-researcher in UC FETCHLAB™.

Laura Kretschmer EdD - Professor Emeritus in the Communication Sciences and disorders department at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Kretschmer team teaches clinical skills in animal audiology and consults on audiological assessments for puppy screening and presbycusis dogs in UC FETCHLAB™.

Lynette Cole DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVD - Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Cole specializes in diseases of the ear and teaches ear diseases in canines for the UC Animal Audiology Certificate.  Dr. Cole is also a collaborator with Dr. Peter Scheifele on Primary Secretory Otitis Media (PSOM) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. 

Jennifer Wells DVM – Director of RWC Veterinary Technician Program will oversee any practical or academic topics covered at the RWC veterinary technician program.  Dr. Wells is a research collaborator in UC FETCHLAB™.

Ashley Detwiler DVM - DACP  Is the UC FETCHLAB™ Veterinarian

External Consultants and Advisors

FETCHLAB™ UNC (University of Northern Colorado) is directed by Dr. Katie Bright. Assistant Directors are: Dr. Tina Stoody and Dr. Jenny Weber.

FETCHLAB™ AKRON (University of Akron) is directed by Dr. Kristine E. Sonstrom.

Support for UC FETCHLAB™ regarding animal welfare comes from the UC IACUC, the lab animal trainer/behaviorist is Lesa Scheifele EATM, veterinary technology and technician training support is given by Jennifer Wells DVM (Director, RWC Veterinary Technician Program).  Animal vocalization classification support is given by Dr. Michael Johnson, Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky.  Marine Mammal and underwater acoustics support is provided by Dr. James Miller and Dr. Gopu Potty and the University of Rhode Island Department of Ocean Engineering.  Hearing aid consultant support is Dr. Justin Burwinkel (Starkey).

UC FETCHLAB has collaborations with: The Georgia Aquarium, Newport Aquarium, Indianapolis Zoo Mystic Aquarium, Department of Defense SOCOM, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory U.K., and MEDVET.

Program Support by Current Facilities

The UC FETCHLAB™ is a suite of examination rooms, computer space, and necropsy room located in the French East building on the first floor.  Current research, clinical audiological and vocal diagnostic clients and teaching, research in canine hearing aids and hearing protection and communication devices are ongoing, having been established in September of 2007 by Dr. Scheifele.  Department of Defense and SOCOM military work are also ongoing [CLASSIFIED]. The classes for this program are routinely taught in French East.  No further spaces or facilities are required to support this program.  These spaces are already compliant with animal care and use (IACUC) protocol #07-12-19-1.













Students in FETCH LAB with Dalmatian puppies

Contact Us

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
3202 Eden Avenue
P.O. Box 670379
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0379
Phone: 513-558-8502
Fax:  513-558-8500

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