The Pomerama

Open Fontanelles (hole in skull)

Maintained by Susann Philbrook

I can feel a soft spot in the top of my Pomeranian puppy's skull. Will it effect my dog's health? Should I take her back to the breeder?
From Foy Boswell Jr./email:

Open Fontanelles in small Poms were fairly commonplace and unless the sections of skull bone are literally floating, she should be all right. Open Fontanelles are the pet peeve of ALL Vets. I think they can't get their DVM degree, unless they have a deep-seated dislike for holes in the skull. Most likely, they will close by the time she's 1 year old, but even if the center one remains, many dogs live long lives with their skulls not completely closed. This will not keep her from being shown, nor will it make her brain-damaged, unless she sustained a serious injury, and the membranes are rather strong and tough.
From Erika Moureau/email:

First of all, molera (open fontanelles, "holes in the head") are relatively common in Poms, particularly in the smaller ones and those with the more baby faces. They are usually not a major problem, and certainly not a cause for worrying yourself frantic about brain damage unless she has a fairly hard knock on just the soft spot - not easy to do. The coverings of the brain are extremely tough and between those coverings is a fluid "cushion", which will protect the brain from everyday bumps. I (personally) would not expect that to be grounds for any refund unless she is **definitely** hydrocephalic - and that means that the cerebral fluid is not draining from the brain as it should, which will cause the head to enlarge enormously, and your dog to be very, very sick. Did you buy the dog on the understanding that she would be show quality? That she would be breeding quality? Did you buy from a reputable breeder that regularly shows his dogs? Do you have a contract that spells out exactly what quality dog you were buying and the responsibilities of yourself and the breeder towards the dog? If the answer to all the above is "yes" then you should contact the breeder and explain how you feel, and ask his advice. However, as he referred to your gal as a "teacup" and as she was apparently the only small Pom in his kennel, he does not sound like the sort of breeder who knows a whole lot about the breed or what constitutes show quality. My advice is to love your Pom for what she IS (a fuzzy bundle of love) not what she is NOT, have her spayed when she is old enough and if you decide that you want to get into showing and breeding contact the APC [American Pomeranian Club], who can help you get in touch with reputable breeder-exhibitors in your area. A word of warning though - Poms are not an easy breed to raise, so before you decide you might like to raise a litter or two, be sure to listen to all the tales of woe - and we got a million of 'em - and be sure that you can take it! This is not a breed for the faint of heart.
You might search out a Pom Club in your area. They always need new members and are wonderful places for getting to know the breed and breeders. Oh! For what it's worth - I have a 13 year old champion bitch who has a hole the size of quarter on top of her head, so you see it's really not so frightening. Good luck, let us know how your puppy progresses, won't you? You might want to take her to puppy kindergarten in a few weeks and maybe consider doing Obedience with her. Poms do very well, and are always crowd-pleasers at the Obedience Trials.
From Mary Allen/email:

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