Hydrocephalus in dogs (sometimes called "dropsy") is a disease, the main cause of which is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.
This is often associated with increased intracranial pressure. Of course, such a change can lead to the development of various brain injuries.
In dogs, this disease is congenital: in the ventricles of the brain, the volume of CSF increases, the mass of the nervous tissue decreases, and severe neurological symptoms begin to appear.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in dogs
Most often, signs of hydrocephalus become noticeable in puppies at the age of 1.5 months, but in an adult dog pathology can also appear. Even a little stress can be the cause, and any death can lead to a fatal outcome.
The most typical symptoms of hydrocephalus include the following:
- The dog begins to walk in a circle without a visible target, to tilt or tilt the head;
- There is strabismus, vision is impaired, seizures like epilepsy may occur;
- The skull strongly increases and acquires a convex shape;
- Sometimes cranial sutures become visible under the skin;
- In the puppies the coordination of movements is disturbed and the development delay (primarily mental) is visible;
- The fluid that accumulates in the cranium begins to press on the brain, which leads to an imminent death.
The diagnosis of hydrocephalus should be accurately established with the help of ultrasound of the cerebral ventricles, MRI, contrast craniography and computed tomography of the brain.
Treatment of hydrocephalus in dogs
Two methods of treatment are used - medicamentous and surgical. The choice of method depends on the severity of the pathology and the causes of its occurrence. At the first method the dog is prescribed antibiotics, glucocorticoids and drugs that reduce the production of cerebrospinal fluid.
Surgical treatment involves the shunting of the ventricles of the brain. The prognosis is not always encouraging, since with such a severe pathology it depends, first of all, on the rate of increase in hydrocephalus or on the rate of decrease in symptoms with a well-chosen treatment.
Hydrocephalus in a dog is not a sentence. If you have time to detect the presence of a pathology in your pet and take the necessary measures, treatment will certainly succeed.