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Hyprocephalus And The Molera
Hyprocephalus and the molera are not one in the same and should not be
confused as so. The molera, a soft spot on the top of your Chihuahua's head is
similar to that of a new born human and is normal. This trait is unique to the
Chihuahua breed. Hyprocephalus is the accumulation of excess cerebrospinal
fluid in the brain and is not at all normal, nor is it curable. It is also
known as 'water on the brain.'
When fluid accumulates on the brain, it compresses the brain against the
skull. A Chihuahua puppy can be born with this disorder, or it can be caused
by a brain infection.
Check the molera, making certain it is no larger than the tip of your little
finger and that there is no swelling, bulging or throbbing, although, dog's
with a normal molera can still be hydrocephalic. Check carefully on the sides
of the head for bone as well. Make sure there is no more then one molera, as
this is not normal. Other signs include wide-set eyeballs, blindness, abnormal
behavior, waling in circles, slowness (mental and physical), seizures, slow
growing puppies and uncoordination. These signs may come and go or become
worse over time. Concerns should only be answered by a licensed veterinarian.
Diagnosis is based on the signs in conjunction with techniques to image the
brain. In dogs with a fontanel (molera), ultrasound can be performed by
scanning through the fontanel to detect the excessive accumulation of fluid
within the brain. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hydrocephalus. Mild
cases can be treated with steroids to reduce pressure or with a shunt to
divert fluid from the brain to the abdomen. Severe cases in puppies usually
cause death before 4 months of age.
For more information, concerns and questions contact your veterinarian.