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What is Veterinary Neurology?

What is Veterinary Neurology?

You may be wondering what neurology is and why your pet has been referred to our clinic if your pet has been referred to our Board-Certified Veterinary Neurologist in Gaithersburg. Today, our veterinarians will go over this specialty in greater detail.

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 Gaithersburg neurology specialists, it is because your veterinarian believes your pet is suffering from a condition affecting the health of their central nervous system (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?

Board-certified veterinary neurologists go through years of additional training and testing in this specialized field. As a result, they have a more in-depth understanding of conditions affecting your pet's nervous system and can perform more advanced testing.

Advanced neurology services may include:

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

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

There are numerous benefits to coming to our Gaithersburg 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 Gaithersburg 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 of a neurological condition, please contact us to learn more about having your pet seen by our neurology experts.

New Patients Welcome

Veterinary Referral Associates is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Gaithersburg companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact (301) 926-3300