Open Fontanel In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

sad looking Chihuahua dog staring. may have open fontanel.

(Picture Credit: Deniss Kantorovics/Getty Images)

Open fontanel refers to a condition where the affected dog has a hole in their skull. The hole is due to the dog’s bone junctions not fusing together properly. Because of this hole, the brain may be exposed to injuries, and the hole might also contribute to causing fluid on the brain, a condition called hydrocephalus.

In the case of some small dogs, such as Chihuahuas, open fontanelles are considered to be a standard part of the breed. But for many dogs an open fontanel can become a severe problem.

If you see the signs of open fontanel in your dog, then you must get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for open fontanel in dogs.

Symptoms Of Open Fontanel In Dogs

Open fontanelles in dogs can be detected by looking for a soft part of the skull.

Some of the other most common symptoms include:

  • A dome-shaped skull
  • Eyes that seem to point upwards or downwards
  • General problems with coordination

Causes Of Open Fontanel In Dogs

A scared tan and white Chihuahua sitting on the exam table at a vet clinic with the hands of its owner petting and reassuring him.

(Picture Credit: Hillary Kladke/Getty Images)

Open fontanelles in dogs are considered to be congenital, which means affected dogs are usually born with the condition.

Some of the other causes can include:

Open fontanel also affects certain breeds more than others, including Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Toy Poodles.

Treatments For Open Fontanel In Dogs

If your veterinarian suspects that your dog is suffering from an open fontanel, they’ll first examine the dog and also look over their medical history. In some cases, vets may use X-rays and other imaging techniques to further confirm the diagnosis.

Unfortunately, there is no accepted treatment for open fontanelles in dogs. Instead, it’s important to make lifestyle and environment changes to lessen the likelihood of the dog suffering trauma to the affected area.

In some cases, special head gear can also protect the dog from experiencing injuries.

Have you ever had a dog with an open fontanel? What steps did your vet recommend to help your dog stay safe? Let us know in the comments section below!