Hydrocephalus In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Water on the brain or hydrocephalus in cats is the abnormal expansion or dilation of the ventricular system, because of an increased level of spinal fluid. In this particular case, the ventricles, which are connected with the spinal cord, are the ventricles that get affected. Moreover, the abnormal dilation might affect just one side of the brain, or even both of sides of it. Further, it might also involve the whole ventricular system, or just the elements next to the obstruction site in the ventricular system. Get to learn more about this feline condition, read on to this article.

Hydrocephalus in Cats: What is this feline condition?

The water on the brain or hydrocephalus in cats, is somewhat of a contradiction as it is not water that causes the illness, yet an accumulation of CSF or cerebrospinal fluid. In normal cats, cerebrospinal fluid is continuously circulating all over the brain area after being made in the spinal area. Further, it is then eliminated via the normal bodily methods. In a cat that is suffering from hydrocephalus, symptomatic or visible abnormalities are seen on the head area because of either a deterioration of the brain tissues that causes the appearance of the larger levels of fluid or incapacity or reduced capability for the fluid, in order to drain properly.

Causes of Hydrocephalus in Felines

Water on the brain or hydrocephalus in cats may be a congenital or inherited disease, just like is frequently seen in particular cat breeds, just like the Siamese cat. In addition, it may be an assimilated condition as well, from numerous infections or some other causes.

Compensatory Hydrocephalus

Necrotized, missing or otherwise impaired part of the brain, which fills with cerebrospinal fluid. Additionally, a feline panleukopenia virus or congenital defect might be the reason of the damage and negated in the cavity of the brain.

Obstructive Hydrocephalus

  • Impediment in which the brain wherein the cerebrospinal fluid’s reabsorbed
  • Impediment alongside the circulatory track of the cerebrospinal fluid

Moreover, impediments might be due to a variety of illnesses. In terms of congenital cases, upsetting events to a mother, despite the fact in the utero or various types of medications or infections given to a pregnant cat mother might result in tumors or cysts, thus causing hydrocephalus in cats. The traumatic brain cysts, injury, of indefinite origin, inflammation, tumors, as well as hemorrhage are causes of hydrocephalus that’s acquired well ahead in life.

Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Felines

Some felines might not show any signs of hydrocephalus in cats up until the condition has already become advanced, or the signs might be so subtle and hard for the owners to recognize. Furthermore, below are some of the signs and symptoms that you need to watch out for if you suspect that the cat is suffering from hydrocephalus.

  • Coordination issues
  • Difficulty in drinking, swallowing, or eating
  • High stepping
  • Slow growth
  • Irregular sleeping habits
  • Behavioral issues
  • Seizures
  • Irregularly shaped, domed head, which indicated fluid retention

Prognosis of Hydrocephalus in Felines

Just like with some other serious medical issues in cats, it may be important that you get to provide a complete medical and symptoms history to the vet, to be able to properly diagnose the condition. Further, the vet might also be most interested in the changes in the cat’s appearance, especially on its eye and head area. Whatever recent trauma the cat might have incurred and whatever behavioral symptoms or changes. It is also significant to provide the information you might have about birth, pedigree, or treatment of the cat’s mother during its pregnancy.

Moreover, the vet may also want to conduct a complete examination and a thorough blood work panel, in order to start their own diagnosis of the serious condition. The imaging of the neck and the head may also most probably to be ordered, in order to help in the determination of the form of hydrocephalus the cat is suffering. This may affect the possible treatment options. Further, the vet may also order a spinal tap, in order to analyze the cerebrospinal fluid being yielded. A lot of the diagnostic tests may need that the cat undergo a general anesthesia for the process.

Treatments for Hydrocephalus in Felines

The vet may require a hospitalization of the cat if it is showing severe signs or needs a surgical operation. Further, the cats with less austere symptoms might be medically treated on an outpatient basis. The hospitalized cat may need to be given back in a regular basis, in order to prevent pressure sores, given with eye lubricant, in order to protect the eyes from drying, and positioned properly, in order to avert aspiration pneumonia.

Moreover, the vet might also schedule some follow up appointments, varying on the austerity of the condition of the cat. How well the cat may recover mainly depends on the severity and cause of the confition.


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