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Old 06-25-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Questions re Hydrocephalus

Has anyone had any experience with a very young puppy having Hdrocephalus? I'm looking for any experiences or knowledge on this subject, and I am especially interested in the quality of life these little pups have. Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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Are you thinking of getting a pup that might have this condition?
LoveMyGirlz just lost her little maltese to this condition. It can be very serious...It causes seizures, circling, etc.
Hopefully people will post their experiences...
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:44 PM   #3
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I would like to know too. One of my Maddie's 4 week old baby girls was diagnosed with this condition today. My vet has suggested we put her down, but I couldn't make the decision on the spot.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:57 PM   #4
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Hydrocephalus is a neurological disease in which there is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricular system of the brain.
The bones of the skull are soft and can be enlarged due to the increased volume and pressure leading to a dome shaped cranium.
Causes of hydrocephalus in young animals include congenital defects, intrauterine or perinatal infections, perinatal trauma, and central nervous system tumor. The most common cause of hydrocephalus in young animals is congenital defect. Toy breeds have the highest incidence.
What to Watch For
Altered mental status
Crying out
Hyperexcitability
Extreme dullness
Coma
Seizures
Visual or auditory impairment
Spastic or clumsy walking
Circling
Head pressing
Head tilt
Abnormal eye movements

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to minimize or prevent brain damage by improving CSF flow. Treatment depends on the severity of the clinical signs and may include one or more of the following:

Medical treatment consisting of drugs that either decrease the production of CSF or increase CSF absorption

Surgical treatment of hydrocephalus that includes direct removal of the obstruction or shunting of CSF to an area outside of the brain

Prevention of trauma such as falling or rapid changes in pressure

Follow-up examinations throughout the animal's life to evaluate any progressive brain damage and to adjust treatments

Prognosis
Untreated severe hydrocephalus has a poor prognosis and usually results in death. Although the efficacy of therapy cannot be assessed without attempting treatment, the severity of clinical signs correlates with the success of treatment. Animals with symptoms that are difficult to manage are poor candidates for medical or surgical treatment.

Some animals with congenital hydrocephalus have an immediate response to medical or surgical treatment and can be stable over a long period of time.

Please read the entire article at http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hydroce...ogs/page1.aspx
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SJK1113 View Post
Has anyone had any experience with a very young puppy having Hdrocephalus? I'm looking for any experiences or knowledge on this subject, and I am especially interested in the quality of life these little pups have. Thank you in advance.
Their quality of life varies with the magnitude of the hydrocephalus and on a case by case basis. Lily is 6 months old and has moderate hydrocephalus. Her prognosis is very poor. Normally they would insert a shunt but she will never be big enough for the surgery. Another way they treat it is to place them on steroids but Lily has MVD so that is not an option either.

Lily shakes quite often and is blind in her right eye. She may eventually become completely blind. She also has a very shrill bark and barks constantly. She becomes scared and anxious very easily. She has her good days and bad days. Sunday was a very bad day and I didn't get any sleep at all because I stayed up all night trying to comfort her. The closest thing that I can compare her behavior too is a child with down syndrome who also has very bad ADD. She can also be very clumsy and she has to be constantly watched to make sure she doesn't hurt herself.

She loves to play though and sometimes loves to curl up on your chest and sleep. However, for the most part, she does not like to be touched too often unless you are rubbing her neck. This usually seems to calm her unless she is having a bad day.

Like I said, it seems to vary on a case by case basis and by how bad the hydrocephalus is. As long as she is happy, I will do whatever it takes. But I never forget for one minute that she is only on short term loan to me. Absolutely every minute I spend with her is a complete joy and heartache at the same time.

Feel free to ask me any questions.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:04 PM   #6
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I would like to know too. One of my Maddie's 4 week old baby girls was diagnosed with this condition today. My vet has suggested we put her down, but I couldn't make the decision on the spot.
How did your vet make the diagnosis? You need to do a cranial ultrasound or MRI to make a definite diagnosis. Is she having any signs of hydrocephalus. The symptoms for liver shunt and hydrocephalus are very similar. I think that you made the right decision by waiting.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:08 PM   #7
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I should also add that some dogs have mild hydrocephalus and live completely normal lives with no symptoms. A good indicator of long term prognosis is the severity of the neurological symptoms.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:46 PM   #8
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Their quality of life varies with the magnitude of the hydrocephalus and on a case by case basis. Lily is 6 months old and has moderate hydrocephalus. Her prognosis is very poor. Normally they would insert a shunt but she will never be big enough for the surgery. Another way they treat it is to place them on steroids but Lily has MVD so that is not an option either.

Lily shakes quite often and is blind in her right eye. She may eventually become completely blind. She also has a very shrill bark and barks constantly. She becomes scared and anxious very easily. She has her good days and bad days. Sunday was a very bad day and I didn't get any sleep at all because I stayed up all night trying to comfort her. The closest thing that I can compare her behavior too is a child with down syndrome who also has very bad ADD. She can also be very clumsy and she has to be constantly watched to make sure she doesn't hurt herself.

She loves to play though and sometimes loves to curl up on your chest and sleep. However, for the most part, she does not like to be touched too often unless you are rubbing her neck. This usually seems to calm her unless she is having a bad day.

Like I said, it seems to vary on a case by case basis and by how bad the hydrocephalus is. As long as she is happy, I will do whatever it takes. But I never forget for one minute that she is only on short term loan to me. Absolutely every minute I spend with her is a complete joy and heartache at the same time.

Feel free to ask me any questions.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am getting a puppy with this condition, so I want to be prepared and am trying to research all that I can. But, real life experiences are what I really want to know so your response is very helpful.

I already know that the pup I'm getting has this, but I don't care, I still want her. I think she deserves a chance to experience being loved and wanted and cared for. She is blind in one eye, but today her breeder took her to the vet and found she has hydrocephalus. I can't even tell you how many different emotions I've been through over this today, but my husband and I have talked, and we still want to take her and give her a good life, for however long that may be. She is beautiful and deserves a happy life.

I have a brother who is Down's Syndrome, so I'm familiar with everything that goes along with that. I used to help my mom alot with him when he was younger. He is only about a year older than my oldest daughter. He is 25 now and still lives with my parents, but he does very very well. My parents did a wonderful job with him.

I would love to talk to you more about this. If I think of any questions, do you mind if I PM you? Right now, my mind is swirling with all kinds of things but as soon as I can sit and think clearly, I'm sure I will have lots of questions. Thank you so much.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Yorkieluv View Post
Are you thinking of getting a pup that might have this condition?
LoveMyGirlz just lost her little maltese to this condition. It can be very serious...It causes seizures, circling, etc.
Hopefully people will post their experiences...
Hi! Yes, I'm getting a pup with this condition. We knew that she was blind in one eye, and I said that I wanted to take her. Today we found out she has hydrocephalus, and after talking it over with my husband and lots of crying, we've decided we are still taking her. We just want to give her a good life and make sure she knows she is loved and wanted. I know what I'm getting into, but I really want to do this for her because she's beautiful and deserves to be loved. We were planning on getting another yorkie and were interested in getting a girl. I just feel like this baby needs me, and I want to be there for her. Thanks for your response.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:53 PM   #10
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I should also add that some dogs have mild hydrocephalus and live completely normal lives with no symptoms. A good indicator of long term prognosis is the severity of the neurological symptoms.
She is trying to play with the other pups, and she is trying to walk. She's a little fighter, and that's why I think she deserves a chance. I'm willing to do whatever it takes for her to have a good life. She does stumble when she walks, so I know I'll have to make special provisions to keep her safe. I don't care what I have to do. She's my baby, and I love her.

It's funny that your baby's name is Lily...that's exactly the name that came to my mind when I saw her. I'm still thinking about a name though.

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Old 06-25-2007, 09:08 PM   #11
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Hydrocephalus is a neurological disease in which there is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricular system of the brain.

Please read the entire article at http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hydroce...ogs/page1.aspx
<snipped for length>

Thank you for posting this!
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:15 AM   #12
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How did your vet make the diagnosis? You need to do a cranial ultrasound or MRI to make a definite diagnosis. Is she having any signs of hydrocephalus. The symptoms for liver shunt and hydrocephalus are very similar. I think that you made the right decision by waiting.
He made the diagnosis by examing her head. She has the open fontanel and she has the wobbly walk and she has the dome shape to her head and there are several other signs.


I asked about liver shunt and he didn't think that was it. He also said a liver shunt test would be too much blood loss for her little body being as young as she is. I am calling a second vet today as soon as they are open to find out about a second opinion.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:20 AM   #13
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awwwww poor little baby. let me ask you, is she in pain with this condition?
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:27 AM   #14
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She doesn't seem to be. She does whine when when she loses her balance sometimes and she cries when something upsets her. She is very alert to things around her...like she knows when mama and the other pups have crawled out to play and she will scream if she is the only one in the bed. Usually I pick her up then and hold her and stroke her back. She doesn't like her head to be touched but she loves her back to be stroked.

She tries to romp and play but I won't let her with the other pups for fear they get to rough. I let her play with my fingers and she tries to chew on them. The other day she picked up a front paw and batted at my fingers...it was so cute.

I am thankful that I am at home with her so I am able to watch her. And if I am not here my husband is. Sometimes in the night we hear her cry and I have to get up and check on her. I make sure she is able to get to mama to nurse if she is hungry...it is like having a handicapped child that can't do any normal things for herself that she should be able to do. She doesn't run, just wobbles everywhere.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJK1113 View Post
She is trying to play with the other pups, and she is trying to walk. She's a little fighter, and that's why I think she deserves a chance. I'm willing to do whatever it takes for her to have a good life. She does stumble when she walks, so I know I'll have to make special provisions to keep her safe. I don't care what I have to do. She's my baby, and I love her.

It's funny that your baby's name is Lily...that's exactly the name that came to my mind when I saw her. I'm still thinking about a name though.
You just made me cry...You are a special special person. God will bless you in many ways for doing what you are doing. Amazing the trouble you know could be ahead, heartache you could suffer has not blinded you to the fact someone needs to love this lil girl and make her special little life matter! I commend you and respect your decision. I made a similar one Ill PM you as I do not wanna hi-jack the thread.

Your a wonderful person and your unselfishness should be recognized. ANYTHING I can do to help you when you get this baby, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask.
Your an angel!!!!!!!!!

When will you get this lil baby???
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