Hydrocephalus is a common disease of young puppies that results
in neurological signs including sedation, poor coordination,
blindness, and seizures. In this disease process, there is
excessive cerebrospinal fluid that accumulates within cavities in
the brain called ventricles. Usually, hydrocephalus in young
puppies results from problems in normal cerebrospinal fluid out
flow from the skull. Medical treatments include drugs that reduce
fluid production or inflammation associated with this malformation.
Surgery may be a more definitive treatment and involves placement
of a tube (shunt) within the ventricle that allows cerebrospinal
fluid to exit the skull (usually into the abdominal cavity).
Figure 1 shows a radiograph from a dog with
hydrocephalus that has a ventriculoperitoneal shunt in place. The
arrow head identifies the shunt as it enters the skull whereas the
2 arrows indicate the position of the shunt as it enters the