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Old 11-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mild Hydrocephalus

Hi everyone,

Our baby, Lulu, has been diagnosed with mild hydrocephalus. She is 9 months old. She's always had a few little issues that we thought were just personality quirks. For example, some very slight balance problems, she's always been very laid-back, and she always wants to lay back in my arms like a baby and look at everything upside down. Very gradually her walking has gotten much worse to the point that she can't play with our other puppy, Scooter. She can't keep up with him, her legs will buckle underneath her when she tries to run and play, and also it seems like he can sense something's not right with her and he picks on her. She can hold her own with him for maybe 5 minutes and then she gives up and he chews on her. Of course, we don't allow that.

When we were driving Lulu home from the breeder, I noticed that her neck felt strange--it bulged out slightly. I didn't think much of it at the time. Then when her walking started getting worse, I started connecting the dots--all of her "quirks" were actually symptoms-- and took her to the vet. The vet thinks she might outgrow this. I hope she does. For now she will be on and off prednisone for the next 3-6 months. I know the risks of long-term steroid use. The vet says it's the lesser of two evils in Lulu's case.

Our breeder has assured me that she will give me another puppy whenever I want one. She has been great. Have any of you had experience with hydrocephalus? Lulu doesn't have fluid on her brain, it's on her spine, causing paralysis in her legs. It's so sad seeing her stumble around and unable to play.
Jane
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so sorry that Lulu is going through this. I don't have any experience with this and can only hope that someone here can offer some help. I pray that the steroids will relieve the symptoms and that she will be able to act like a puppy should. Prayers and hugs to you and Lulu. Please keep us posted on how she is doing.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry Lulu is having problems How sad. Sounds like she came from an unethical backyard breeder. The only case of hydrocephalus I've known was a rescue from a horrible pet store in southern California--a Corgi. He suffered from fluid on the brain and died from it I really hope Lulu has a better prognosis.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am near tears reading this. Envisioning her not being able to play when she wants to is so sad. But I know you will take care of her, be there for her and take care of her. God put her in your hands so love her and keep her safe. Love to you all!
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry. What age did you get her from a breeder? Didn't she notice anything or say anything? Doesn't sound like what an ethical breeder would do but more like a BYB or puppy mill agent. Have you taken her to a neurologist? Also I remember reading about some little wheeled scooters for dogs and some are designed for little ones like ours. Maybe that will help her get around better and not be picked on.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just want to clarify something. Lulu came from one of the best breeders in the country. She didn't have the classic signs of hydrocephalus--large head, bulging eyes, etc. Her symptoms were very, very subtle. Neither the breeder's vet, nor my vet noticed anything wrong. She was 17 weeks old when I brought her home. So...no backyard breeder or unethical breeder. She said this hasn't happened before and I have no reason to doubt her. She feels horrible about what we're going through and has offered us another puppy when we're ready for one.
My vet isn't so sure this is a congenital defect, from Lulu's X-rays, it looks as though she may have had a neck injury, which could have happened during birth or during play with her litter mates.
On a happy note, Lulu's walking much better this morning! My husband and I have said many times that we feel blessed to have this little angel, no matter how this turns out.
Jane
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear about Lulu

My Gus has a thought to be birth injury which caused his left shoulder muscles to form thinner and weaker. So it does happen. I'm so sorry

Did you take her to a neurologist? I'd do that if you haven't already.

I'm glad she is showing some improvement....

I'll pray for little Lulu
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear this, you must be heart-broken. Hopefully a neurologist can find a solution - perhaps a draining tube to relieve the pressure. It might be able to be controlled medically. Hopefully removing pressure from the spinal nerves will let her walk better.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wishing you all the luck in the land! Poor little one, but she seems not to be giving up!!! and she has the fight in her and that is good! Keep us updated!
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for little Lulu. You must be so worried. I will be praying for her to feel better.Thank goodness it is a mild case but I am sure it is still very scary. Prenisone really can work wonders. I know it is not good for long term use, but thank goodness it seems to be helping. My Molly had a spinal disc rupture, which would cause paralysis in her back legs, and was on and off prednisone for years. It really helped, and thank goodness she did not have any side effects. We did give her milk thistle to help protect her liver. (Prescribed by a holistic vet).
Have you been able to take Lulu to see a neurologist? This is such a serious condition, and I bet a neurologist would be more aware of the most advanced techniques to help her. We have a wonderful neurologist here in Boston at Angell Animal Center, Dr. Allen Sisson. I know he does phone consultations if you don't have a specialist nearaby.
Lots of love to little Lulu!
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