Dandy-Walker malformation in Polish hunting dogs: long term prognosis and quality of life
In the last few years, it has become easier to diagnose congenital brain malformations in dog’s ante-mortem. This is probably due to the wider availability of advanced diagnostic imaging, in particular computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Despite this, there is still not much literature available about potential treatments, outcome and overall prognosis with respect to the patient’s quality of life. We present three cases of Dandy-Walker malformation in Polish hunting dogs with up to five years follow up including assessment of their quality of life. A nine-week-old Polish hunting dog was presented with progressive signs of ataxia that had developed over the preceding few weeks. MRI revealed a Dandy-Walker malformation. The dog underwent MRI at the ages of 12 and 36 months, and his neurological condition was followed for five years. No other subsequent abnormities were found on further diagnostic tests. The dog showed transient behavioural problems which improved after castration and training. The ataxia seen at first visit improved with time and intensive physiotherapy, and the dog was considered to have a good quality of life in the owner’s eyes. A further two cases shared a similar disease course. Dandy-Walker malformation was confirmed with MRI, but diagnostic imaging could not be reported here because the owner did not consent to publication. The Dandy-Walker malformations described in these three Polish hunting dogs had a stable disease course and revealed that dogs suffering from this condition may have a good quality of life, providing no other abnormalities are detected and rehabilitation is performed.
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