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What is Veterinary Neurology?

If your veterinarian has referred your pet to a Board-Certified Veterinary Neurologist in Vancouver, you may be wondering what neurology is and why your veterinarian has referred your pet to our clinic. Today, our veterinarians provide additional information about this specialty.

What is veterinary neurology?

Neurology is a specialized area of veterinary medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the central nervous system of pets. 

Your pet's central nervous system includes their spinal cord and their brain but within those 2 areas a lot is going on:

  • The spinal cord of dogs and cats is divided into various regions (in order from neck to tail): cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal segments.
  • The brain also has multiple regions controlling different aspects of your animal's behavior, overall health, and basic life functions including:
    • The cerebrum, which is the center of conscious decision-making
    • The cerebellum, which is involved in movement and motor control
  • Specialized tissues called the meninges that cover the brain and spinal cord, as well as the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.

Why does my pet need to see a veterinarian neurologist?

If your primary care veterinarian has referred your pet to our team of Vancouver neurology specialists, it is because your veterinarian believes your animal is suffering from a condition involving the central nervous system's health (their brain or their spine).

Symptoms that can prompt your vet to refer you to our Veterinary Neurologist:

  • Abnormal gait, unexplained weakness, or paralysis
  • Spinal pain
  • Seizures and movement problems
  • Loss of balance
  • Cognitive or behavioral changes

What are some common neurological conditions in dogs and cats?

Disorders of the nervous system can lead to several conditions such as:

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Cancer
  • Degenerative disorders
  • Spinal or brain trauma
  • Peripheral nerve diseases

What can a veterinary neurologist do that my regular vet can't?

Veterinarian neurologists who are board-certified undergo additional education and testing in this specialized field. As a result, they have a greater understanding of the conditions affecting your pet's nervous system and are capable of performing more advanced testing.

Advanced neurology services may include:

  • A detailed consultation regarding the brain, spinal cord, and neuromuscular issues that your pet is experiencing, such as intervertebral disc disease and other causes of weakness or paralysis, seizure management, encephalitis, tumors, and disorders of hearing or balance
  • Advanced Imaging including MRI and CT
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection and analysis
  • Electrodiagnostic evaluations including electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction velocity (NCV), electroencephalography (EEG), and brain stem auditory evoked response (BAER)
  • Neurosurgery includes hemilaminectomy, ventral slot procedure, craniotomy, stereotactic-guided brain biopsy, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, stabilization and fusion procedures, fracture repair, nerve and muscle biopsies
  • Ultrasound-guided surgery and other procedures

What are the benefits of visiting a pet Neurologist at Veterinary Specialty Center of Vancouver?

There are numerous benefits to coming to our Vancouver clinic for specialized neurology care for your pet, including:

  • We have years of experience diagnosing and treating neurological disorders in pets
  • At Veterinary Specialty Center of Vancouver our neurology specialists work in the same facility as other skilled and experienced veterinary specialists (including surgeons, and internal medicine, dermatology, thyroid, and eye specialists) making collaboration easy.
  • Our facility is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing our specialists to diagnose conditions quickly so that your pet's treatment can start sooner.
  • The neurology team at our animal hospital provides pets with patient-focused care that spotlights quality of life when dealing with complex neurological disorders.
  • The technology at our facility allows us to provide animals with image-guided surgeries and treatments for the best possible outcomes.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your pet is exhibiting symptoms consistent with a neurological condition, contact us to learn more about scheduling an appointment for your pet with our neurologist.

We Welcome New Patients

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists is accepting new patients by referral and for emergency services. Our experienced emergency vets  and specialists are passionate about the health of Vancouver companion animals. Ask your vet today about a referral.

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