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Hydrocephalus in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $5,000 to $10,000

What is Hydrocephalus in Dogs?

The word hydrocephalus means water in the brain. It is an expansion or abnormal dilation of the ventricular system—a system of ducts that drains the fluids within the brain—due to an increased volume of spinal fluid.

There are two types of hydrocephalus in dogs – obstructive and compensatory. Both can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (developed after birth).

Which Dog Breeds Are Commonly Affected by Hydrocephalus?

Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Dogs

  • Soiling in the house
  • Sleepiness
  • Excess vocalization
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • A large dome-shaped head
  • Crossed-eyes
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Coma
  • Abnormal breathing

Treatment of Hydrocephalus in Dogs

Treatment of hydrocephalus in dogs is expensive and highly specialized. In most cases, affected dogs need to be evaluated and treated by a neurologist or surgeon. For this reason, the most common outcome for dogs with the severe form of this health issue is euthanasia.

Mild cases can receive medical symptomatic treatment to reduce seizures and brain inflammation.

Resources for Hydrocephalus in Dogs

  1. Congenital and Inherited Disorders of the Nervous System in Dogs

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

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