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  • Author or Editor: Sabrina Gillespie x
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To evaluate signalment, clinical findings, and outcomes of dogs with congenital hydrocephalus treated medically with orally administered prednisolone or surgically by ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement.


Retrospective case series.


40 client-owned dogs.


Medical records from 2005 to 2016 were searched to identify dogs with congenital hydrocephalus confirmed by MRI examination. Patients were categorized by treatment (medical vs surgical). Signalment, clinical signs, neurologic examination findings, results of diagnostic tests, duration of hospitalization, complications potentially related to treatment, and follow-up information were recorded. Outcome was categorized on the basis of clinical (neurologic) signs as improved, stabilized, or deteriorated. Variables of interest were compared between groups by Fisher exact or Mann-Whitney U tests.


28 and 12 dogs had surgical and medical treatment, respectively; 3 medically treated dogs subsequently underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. No significant differences were noted in clinical or imaging findings between surgically and medically treated dogs. Median follow-up time was 9 months and 15.5 months for medically and surgically treated dogs, respectively. Of 12 medically treated dogs, 6 improved and 6 deteriorated. Of 26 surgically treated dogs with data available, 14 (54%) improved, 1 (4%) stabilized, and 11 (42%) deteriorated; 4 (15%) had known postoperative complications.


Approximately half of the dogs treated with prednisolone in this population had neurologic improvement at last follow-up; results of surgical treatment were comparable to those in previous studies. Further research is needed to assess factors associated with acceptable outcomes for dogs with congenital hydrocephalus.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association