From Cow

Deafness in cattle is a rare autosomal dominant pigment-associated genetic disease that has been reported in cattle worldwide.

Deafness is an inherited syndrome associated with hypopigmentation, heterochromia iridis, colobomatous eyes and bilateral hearing loss has been ascertained in Fleckvieh cattle (German White Fleckvieh syndrome)[1].

Permanent iatrogenic deafness has also been associated with a variety of drugs and chemicals that are ototoxic[2] and vestibulotoxic, especially the aminoglycoside antibiotics (gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, streptomycin), salicylates, diuretics, and antiseptics (chlorhexidine). The toxicity is usually permanent[3].

Unilateral deafness also occurs with severe otitis due to parasites such as mites and mycoplasma infections.

Most affected cattle are usually left untreated and can be satisfactorily raised.


  1. Philipp U et al (2011) A MITF mutation associated with a dominant white phenotype and bilateral deafness in German Fleckvieh cattle. PLoS One 6(12):e28857
  2. Abakarov MG et al (2005) Biological resonance as a possible mechanism of an ototoxic action of aminoglycoside antibiotics. Vestn Otorinolaringol 1:10-12
  3. Merck Vet Manual