View Full Version : Hydrocephalus

19th September 2006, 03:47 PM
We brought Rio to the vet first thing this morning. Unfortunately the news wasn't good. He thinks it's Hydrocephalus. He agreed her head certainly seems a bit enlarged.

She goes in for an MRI tomorrow in the veterinary college in UCD. Please please send your prayers for her. We're hoping beyond hope the vet is wrong, as what we've read up on the condition isn't very optimistic. She's only 11 weeks. We can't believe this is happening so soon.

If anyone has any information, or has had a dog with the condition we'd appreciate you tellins us about it.

19th September 2006, 03:49 PM
Sorry to hear that. Have you contacted the breeder?

19th September 2006, 03:53 PM
Don't worry, it's first on my list once I've calmed down a little. We also want to make sure it is congenital?

19th September 2006, 05:11 PM
aww my goodness I am so sorry to hear that your baby is sick. :( *hugZ* from Kosmo and I and we're sending positive thoughts for a positive outlook your way!! :)

brid kenny
19th September 2006, 05:13 PM
Best of luck with the vet ....let us know how you get on.

Denise G.
19th September 2006, 05:58 PM
Cecily--I'm so sorry to hear about your puppy. My heart goes out to you. Sending many prayers your way...

Cathy Moon
19th September 2006, 05:58 PM
I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers to you and Rio. Please keep us updated. :flwr:

19th September 2006, 06:16 PM
I'm so glad you went in. Good for you for doing your homework, too. Continue to research all you can, you're her best advocate.
We're thinking of you, please keep us posted.

Denise G.
19th September 2006, 06:28 PM
Cecily--I'm so sorry to hear about your puppy. My heart goes out to you. Sending many prayers your way...

19th September 2006, 08:10 PM
Best of luck for tomorrow.

19th September 2006, 08:57 PM
Gosh I hope everything works out well - Hugs from South Carolina!!! :hug: :xfngr: :hug: We will be thinking about you. :flwr:

Cathy T
20th September 2006, 03:04 AM
I was so afraid you were going to say that. I thought about you all night last night and first thing this morning. Please know that we are all holding you tight in our prayers and hoping for a positive outcome. :hug:

20th September 2006, 06:25 AM
i'm really pulling for you and Rio. :xfngr:

20th September 2006, 06:41 AM
On no. I am very sad and sorry for you.

I know it is probably too early for postive thinking but at least this baby found there way to a dedicated owner who cares enough to have this seen to. Good on you for being vigilant

My thoughts and prayer are with you and your baby.

20th September 2006, 07:27 AM
I am so sorry to read this...yes all three of my SM girls had severe hydrocephalus, although in alot of toy breeds this is not un-common at all and is mostly un-noticed.

Your MRI will tell you much more, ask the neuro to look for SM as well while under the scanner.

My thoughts are with you and many prayers, hang in there and the neuro will be able to tell you much more with the results that he gets.

Let us know how you go? :flwr:

Alison, wilts, U.K.

20th September 2006, 02:49 PM
I'm so sorry to hear the vet thinks it's hydrocephalous! I hope the prognosis is good and you are able to help your little girl. :(
(btw - My boy showed SM signs at 4 months.)

20th September 2006, 03:09 PM
My heart is just breaking for you ... I hope the MRI turns out well today. :xfngr:


20th September 2006, 08:41 PM
Thank you everyone for the positive thoughts. I can't tell you how much it means to us.

First off... the news isn't terrible. The vet thought on first examination that it was _not_ hydrocephalus. There's another condition that involves tightening of the jaw muscles and basically causes all of the symptoms that Rio has including listlessness and a slightly swollen head. It is very treatable but bloodwork had to go to San Diego and although the vet is 99% positive this is what it is he hasn't been able to confirm it yet. He gave us a handout on the condition which is called masticatory muscle myositis (MMM). It has been noted in several CKCS. He also did a full neurological exam (though not an MRI) and this indicated no abnormalities.

Unfortunately the vet found some abnormalities in Rio's bloodwork and they suspect she may also have a 'liver shunt'. More tests will confirm this tomorrow (she's been kept in overnight). Treating the MMM with steroids can actually make this disease worse so they have to be sure.

Anyway the upshot is what she has is NOT fatal. If she has both conditions they can be both treated and the vet is very hopeful she'll make a full recovery. He was very non-commital as to whether or not it's inherited. He said it's possible but not definite. It can happen spontaneously also.

So we have no Rio home with us tonight :( :(
But to be honest I'm quite relieved because I know she's being looked after and they're doing the fullest examination possible so we'll know exactly where we stand. Fingers crossed she doesn't have a liver shunt and can come home tomorrow! :xfngr:

so sorry about the super long post. Thanks again to everyone for rooting for Rio. :)

20th September 2006, 08:41 PM
Any news? *everything crossed*

20th September 2006, 09:07 PM
It is never good news that there is something wrong with your baby but under the circumstance - :rah: Yipee :rah: Your baby is getting the help she needs. I am glad to hear that everything sounds so treatable. Do you ever feel like with doctors - human or animal - that it is just a game of "hurry up and wait?" You keep saying - well I will know more tomorrow - and then well - I will know more the next day. All these tests are necessary, I understand, but waiting can be hard.

We are thinking about you - hope everything turns out well!!! :flwr:

Cathy T
20th September 2006, 09:15 PM
Glad the news isn't terrible. I know nothing about MMM, hopefully it can be treated and you can move on. Yes, I think it's probably best that she is with the vet tonight...gives you a chance to catch up with yourself without worrying about her since you know she is in good care for now. Curious that the bloodwork is coming here to San Diego. We are all here for you...so know that we're all thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way.

20th September 2006, 09:59 PM
Glad the news was not too bad hope it continues to get better.

Thinking of you.! xxx

20th September 2006, 10:26 PM
So glad to hear that it's not fatal, you must have been worried sick. Lets hope the vets can work their magic ;)
Sending wishes of a speedy recovery :flwr:

20th September 2006, 11:44 PM
You must be so relieved! I think, actually, if they'd turned around and said that Rio was just fine after all the symptoms you've seen, you'd have been very frustrated. At least you can give it a name, and the prognosis at this point looks as good as it can possibly be!

21st September 2006, 12:17 AM
i'm so glad it's not hydrocephalus.
Here is a link to some info on liver shunts
Liver shunts themselves can cause many of the neurological symptoms
Rio has been having, as it causes a serious kind of encephalopathy which, untreated, can be fatal (coma) but is very treatable with dietary restrictions and lactulose which cleans out the intestines (brain symptoms are caused by toxins given off by bacteria feeding on intestinal contents. Healthy individuals handle the toxins by filtering through the liver, but a diseased liver might not filter the toxins and they can get to the brain, causing symptoms, including many that you describe. I actually was hoping maybe she would only have hepatic encephalopathy and not MMM too, or not both conditions, but i haven't heard of hepatic encephalopathy causing visible enlargement of the head.

Here's an excerpt from the linked material:

Dogs with congenital shunts tend to be small for their age and breed. Other signs of shunts include excessive drinking, frequent urination, and a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. This condition arises shortly after eating and may appear as depression, muscular incoordination, coma, and seizures--signs caused by ammonia (a by-product of protein digestion) reaching the brain instead of being cleared by the liver.

21st September 2006, 12:27 AM
Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for a good outcome for sweet little Rio!

21st September 2006, 02:30 AM
I just now saw this thread after I had posted on your other thread.
I am hoping and praying that your little Rio is OK and that the vet has better news for you!

Let us know how she is doing when you can.

21st September 2006, 07:14 PM
Thanks everyone, and especially judy for the info on liver shunts.

Happily the vet rang today and he siad "it's very unlikely she has a liver shunt". Very non-commital this vet! I think it's as good as another vet saying she definately doesn't have it. She could have come home tonight but we decided as she's only just started treatment on the MMM that she'd be better off staying another night in case of any adverse effects.

She's definitely coming home in the morning. Can't wait! :drivecar:

21st September 2006, 07:36 PM
:w**h**: :w**h**: :w**h**:
THAT IS WONDERFUL NEWS. You must be so relieved - now you can have a glass of shiraz to celebrate instead of a glass to calm your nerves. ;)

21st September 2006, 07:42 PM
I am so relieved for you!!! I'll bet you will be soooo excited to get her home again. :jmp:

21st September 2006, 08:07 PM
Lovely to hear the good news, :wggle:

((((big hugs from us))))

Keep us updated as to how she is doing. :thmbsup:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

21st September 2006, 08:19 PM
so glad you're going to have her back tomorrow :flwr:

Cathy T
21st September 2006, 11:45 PM
Oh won't it be good to have her back home? Keep us posted on her progress. I think of her daily!

22nd September 2006, 04:37 AM
Rio is going to be one happy dog when she is reunited with you and with her home and all her toys and favorite places. Welcome home Rio!!! :flwr:

22nd September 2006, 04:14 PM
We picked Rio up this morning :jump: :rah: :w**h**:
Since she didn't have the liver shunt they started her on treatment last night and she has responded unbelievably well. I couldn't believe it when I saw her. They swelling has gone down almost completely, she can open her mouth much more and she's much brighter and more alert :mexwav:

I'm so happy to have her home. Quality time for the next few days, thank goodness it's the weekend! :lotsaluv:

She says thanks to everyone for sending positive thoughts her way (as do I!) ... :thnx:

22nd September 2006, 04:18 PM
Great news Cecily, I'm so glad Rio is on the mend! :jump: :jump: :jump:

Cathy Moon
22nd September 2006, 05:46 PM
Yayyy Rio and Cecily! What a relief! I've been so worried about Rio this week; she's been on my mind a lot. So glad she's better :D

22nd September 2006, 06:40 PM
cl*p cl*p cl*p That is wonderful - I'm so glad she has turned around so fast!!! :D

22nd September 2006, 06:51 PM
That is great news. I hope that all continues to get better!!

22nd September 2006, 07:04 PM
Excellent news :thmbsup:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Coco's mom
22nd September 2006, 07:50 PM
I've been reading and thinking about you and Rio. So glad things turned out well for her. :flwr: That is wonderful news!!

Denise G.
22nd September 2006, 09:32 PM
That's wonderful news!! I love happy endings!! :D

23rd September 2006, 01:15 AM
Fantastic! I was devastated that you could have been facing something so serious with such a young puppy...Brilliant that it wasn't anything major, and that treatment has already returned some of Rio's bounce!

Cathy T
23rd September 2006, 01:16 AM
What wonderfully super news!! You have been on my mind so much the past few days. Isn't it great to have her back home and feeling better?! Hip hip hooray!!

23rd September 2006, 04:50 AM
Excellent news! Hurray for your vet!! Enjoy your wonderful weekend.

23rd September 2006, 09:42 PM
Hello Cicily,

I was always going to ask what happened to Iggy but I never did because I am too much of a weiner and I didn't want to bring back old memories had they been bad. :( I am really sorry to hear what happened to all of them. The 3 pugs (and granny's too!) all ended up getting ran over. :( 2 of them in their own driveway. :( Other than them I've had countless animals over the years and we lived in a fenced in yard! I know it doesn't make it any easier, but I feel your grief. :(

I am very happy to hear that Rio is going to be alright. My heart just breaks when I hear there is something wrong with any of our fur babies. :( Good thing what she has is not hydrocephalus or a liver shunt and it's completely treatable, that makes it a little easier to grasp! And also bless you for having the strength to make the right decision and keep her in the hospital an extra night!! Take care and I am happy for you!! :)

23rd September 2006, 10:30 PM
All my family here have been kept up to date on Rio and we are all so glad it turned out well for you and her :flwr:

24th September 2006, 01:21 AM
We both feel very lucky to have had so many people thinking of us :thnx:

Rio was almost 100% back to normal today, personality wise. She even yipped a bit when she got excited (we had visitors) and is back chewing, although she can still only open her mouth a fraction. She has bundles of energy and despite the fact that her belly is 3 times bigger than everything else (bloated from steroids) she is moving FAST around the place.

So thanks for the thoughts everyone!! I'm sure the positivity helped :D :D

24th September 2006, 04:57 AM
This is such great news that Rio is doing well. I know you must be so relieved.