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What Causes Hydrocephalus in Puppies?

Derrick Campana

Puppies with dome-shaped heads can have a brain problem called hydrocephalus. Knowing how to recognize it before it causes severe brain damage is important.

Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition that affects puppies, causing an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. Many factors, including genetic defects and infections, can cause it. This blog post will discuss what causes hydrocephalus in puppies.


hydrocephalus in puppies

Are you curious if hydrocephalus is genetic in dogs? Let us explain it. Hydrocephalus in puppies can be either congenital (presented before birth) or acquired after birth - the two main causes of this condition.


Is Hydrocephalus in Dogs Genetic?

Hydrocephalus can be genetic, meaning it is passed down through generations of dogs. If a puppy's parents or grandparents had hydrocephalus, that pup might also develop this brain condition. In most cases, the cause of hydrocephalus remains unknown; however, there are some known risk factors and environmental triggers that can lead to an increased risk of developing hydrocephalus.

Congenital Hydrocephalus

From the initial moment of birth, puppies with congenital hydrocephalus display soft skulls shaped like a dome. This particular abnormality is caused by an error in fetal development during pregnancy. As they grow older, their skull hardens around blocked cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow pathways, worsening symptoms over time.

Certain small breeds and "smoosh-faced" dogs are most prone to congenital hydrocephalus, including species such as:

  • Chihuahua
  • Boston terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Yorkshire terrier
  • English bulldog
  • Pug
  • Maltese
  • Lhasa apso
  • Pekingese
  • Toy poodle

Acquire Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus that has been developed later in a dog's life is usually the result of an underlying brain tumor. Additionally, other triggers for this condition include:

  • Brain trauma
  • Brain infection
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Inflammatory brain disease

Hydrocephalus Animal Helmets by Bionic Pets

Hydrocephalus is a serious problem for puppies, and many things can cause it. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help your pup with this condition. You should also consult with your vet to ensure proper care and treatment. With the right approach, hydrocephalus doesn't have to keep your puppy from living a happy life.

At Bionic Pets, we specialize in custom-made cranial helmets handcrafted to fit each pet's head. Our cranial helmets are designed to guide the shape of your dog's skull and protect it from further damage. This allows your pup to live a safe and comfortable life without the fear of compromising its skull.

If you have a puppy with hydrocephalus, we would be happy to provide you with one of our custom-made cranial helmets to help your pup live its life with ease. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your pet!