Neurology and Neurosurgery

The Neurology and Neurosurgery Service at the CTVSEH provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for companion animals with neurological conditions. The team is comprised of a neurologist, neurosurgeon and nursing staff.

Both human and veterinary medicine recognize the specialty of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Neurologic diseases are commonly seen in veterinary practices worldwide with an increased recognition and thus diagnosis of these conditions. Just as in people, companion animal’s life expectancy is longer than it used to be thus neurologic problems are becoming more prevalent. The increasing knowledge within veterinary neurology results in increased expectations from those practitioners treating such conditions. A study out of the United Kingdom about the cause of death in dogs revealed the most frequent causes were neoplasia (cancer), musculoskeletal and neurologic disorders. Thus the need for veterinary neurology specialists.

CTVSEH’s Neurology and Neurosurgery Department offers evaluations and consultations for patients with neurologic disease. We provide specialized care for disorders of the nervous system, including:

  • Brain disorders – including hydrocephalus, brain tumors or cancer, meningitis, GME Disc herniation (IVDDz) or ruptured disc
  • Paralysis Lumbosacral disorders (LS disease) Muscle disorders – including muscle weakness & myopathies
  • Neck and back pain
  • Nerve diseases – including Degenerative Myelopathy, infections, cancer
  • Seizure disorders
  • Spinal cord diseases – including spinal cancer or tumors
  • Vestibular problems – loss of balance and inner ear conditions

Diagnosing Neurologic Disease

Consultations include a thorough review of your pet’s medical history along with physical and neurologic examinations. Observations of your pet’s behavior along with the consultation helps us provide appropriate and individualized treatment plans.

Our diagnostic capabilities include:

  • Digital radiography – X-rays
  • Cerebrospinal fluid sampling—Fluid is collected from a space around the brain and spinal cord, and then analyzed for different substances.
  • Computed tomography (CT)—CT is an advanced imaging technique providing detailed images used to evaluate the nervous system.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—MRI is the standard of care to evaluate the nervous system, a superior imaging modality.
  • Nerve and muscle biopsy—Biopsy is a simple surgical procedure that allows muscles and nerves to be evaluated microscopically.

Some of the diagnostic tests that we perform require short general anesthesia. We continuously monitor a variety of patient parameters during all of our testing procedures to obtain the most accurate diagnosis in as safe a way as possible. Patients recovering from anesthesia may need to spend a night with us in the hospital to ensure a safe recovery. Please be prepared to leave your pet with us by bringing any medications or special diets that are currently being given.

Treating Neurologic Disease or Conditions

Once diagnosed, our specialists create a specific and tailored treatment plan for each patient with a neurological disorder. This plan is discussed at length with the pet owner in a team approach to determine the best course of action for their family member. Treatment plans may include medical management, brain or spinal surgeries, and/or physical rehabilitation.

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