Canine open fontanel in puppies is a condition where a puppies skull still has an opening between the two bones. This occurs because the bones of a puppy’s skull have not yet fused together, leaving an opening for the blood vessels and nerves that supply the brain with nutrients and oxygen. In most cases, this condition resolves on its own as the puppy grows older and the bones begin to fuse together.
Symptoms of Canine Open Fontanel
The most common symptom of open fontanel is a soft spot on the top of their head, usually located at the back of their skull. This area can appear swollen and might be slightly sunken in. In some cases, there will be a visible gap between the two bones. Puppies with this condition can have headaches or have difficulty focusing.
Diagnosing Canine Open Fontanel
Open fontanel is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. A veterinarian will palpate the puppy’s skull to locate the soft spot and assess its size and shape. They could also order imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI to further examine the condition of their skull bones.
Stages of Canine Open Fontanel
Open fontanel is split into three stages, depending on the size of the opening.
The opening is less than 5mm wide and does not cause any medical problems. At this stage, the fontanel usually resolves itself over time without any intervention.
The opening is between 5-20mm wide and can begin to affect brain development. At this stage, a veterinarian will recommend surgery to close the fontanel.
The opening is greater than 20mm wide and can cause serious medical complications. At this stage, surgical intervention is usually needed to prevent further damage to the brain and other organs.
Treating Canine Open Fontanel
In most cases, open fontanel will resolve on its own without any treatment. If the opening is too large or is causing medical complications, surgery can be recommended to close the fontanel. During this procedure, a surgeon will use plates and screws to secure the two skull bones together and close the opening. In more severe cases, a patch will be used to close the fontanel.
It’s important to note that open fontanel can be a serious medical condition that needs prompt treatment. If you think that your puppy has this condition, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately for an evaluation and treatment plan.
Preventing Canine Open Fontanel
The best way to prevent open fontanel is to give your puppy a balanced diet and adequate exercise. This will help promote healthy growth and development of their skull bones, which can reduce the risk of this condition occurring. It’s important to vaccinate your puppy against common diseases and parasites that can affect their health.