The signs and symptoms of a shunt malfunction include a low grade fever if an infection is present, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. The patient may also experience soreness in the muscles of the neck or shoulders, and tenderness and inflammation where the shunt has been inserted.
A patient may also experience renewed signs of hydrocephalus if the shunt malfunctions, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. In infants, these symptoms include vomiting, irritability, seizures, eyes that are turned downward, poor feeding and other symptoms, notes the Mayo Clinic. Older patients experience headache, personality changes, problems with vision, incontinence and clumsiness. They may also have memory and other cognitive problems.