What is Vet Neurology?

Vet Neurology is the medical and non-surgical treatment of conditions relating to the nerves and nervous systems of animals, like dogs and cats. A veterinary neurologist is a veterinarian who has graduated college, veterinary school and has also had a one-year internship followed by at least a three-year residency program in the field of animal neurology. A veterinary neurologist is a board-certified DVM and a veterinary specialist. While in residency, the veterinarian will diagnose and treat dogs, cats, horses, livestock, and exotic animals. The doctor specializes in treating animals with neurological maladies such as tremors, seizures, brain and spine disorders, unusual behavior, abnormal gait and balance issues, to name just a few.

A veterinary neurologist is trained to do extensive testing on animals with the assistance of the following:

  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Biopsy of the muscle or nerve
  • Electrodiagnostics
  • Myelogram
  • Spinal Taps
  • Neurosurgery

These tests help to determine a cause for acute or chronic problems and will ultimately determine the proper course of treatment. A doctor of veterinary medicine has the ability to diagnose and treat all animals for endless diseases and injuries, but when an animal displays neurological symptoms the veterinarian will partner with a board-certified veterinary neurologist to diagnose and treat the patient.

Why Should I see a Vet Neurologist?

Examples of some reasons to see an animal or veterinary neurologist include:

  • Your pet has trouble walking or standing or shows signs of weakness
  • Your pet is wobbly
  • Your pet is having seizures
  • Your pet is circling or falling
  • Your pet is having difficulty maintain balance or having vertigo-type of episodes
  • Your pet has acutely become blind (primary eye disease vs. neurologic)
  • Your pet’s voice/bark has recently changed
  • Your pet exhibits odd behavior or acts confused
  • Your pet gets tired easily and excessively
  • Your pet is having trouble swallowing or is regurgitating
  • Your pet seems to have problems holding his or her head up or seems to have pain
  • Your pain has spinal pain (back or neck) that is not responding to medications prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Your pet has abnormal muscle atrophy on the head or limbs

If you notice any of these changes in your pet call us to schedule an appointment with a veterinary neurologist at our animal neurology center or come to our emergency department.