Veterinary neurologists treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and muscles.
Veterinary neurologists treat disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and muscles. The staff at ACCLA includes a residency-trained Neurology doctor as well as other specialists to provide comprehensive care of the neurologic patient.
Decompressive Spinal Surgery
-hemilaminectomy, ventral slot, dorsal laminectomy
Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement
Treatment of inflammatory brain disease
Treatment of neuromuscular disorders
Intervertebral disc herniation
Spinal fractures and Tumors
ACCLA provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for patients with neurological disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. The field of veterinary neurology is constantly advancing. Advancements in technology have aided neurologists in the localization of subtle lesions resulting in longer, healthier lives for pets.
Additionally, our imaging department offers the latest advances in digital radiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and C-arm fluoroscopy. All of our imaging studies are obtained in a digital format, which is transferred and stored on our image database. This equates to higher quality studies in less time, which reduces patient anesthetic and recovery time.
Our veterinary professionals utilize high quality in-house MR imaging (GE 1.5 Tesla Signa MRI) operated by a highly trained and experienced group of technicians. Services also include a full range of diagnostic imaging, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, bromide testing and neurosurgery.
If you would like your client’s pet to be evaluated by a member of our Neurology team, please contact our offices to schedule an appointment. The Neurology team accommodates emergency referrals during office hours and is on call for emergency surgeries after hours. Your client’s pet can also be admitted through the emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for stabilization and transfer to our Neurology team.
All imaging modalities are digitized and DICOM compatible for detailed viewing and rapid distribution to referring veterinarians and clients. ACCLA’s Neurology Department’s Veterinarian and Technicians have specialized education, skills, and experience to prepare them for properly diagnosing and treating patients with neurological disorders.
Seizure disorders are common and there are many causes. The most common cause of seizures in dogs between one and five years of age is primary (idiopathic) epilepsy. Primary epilepsy is generally treated with various anticonvulsant medications. Although not always required, a complete seizure workup may be recommended and could include: bloodwork to screen for metabolic or infectious causes, brain imaging (MRI) to search for structural problems, and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for signs of inflammation.
Limb Paresis & Weakness
In the nervous system, the ability to move a limb can be compared to a computer system and the ability to print a document. The computer (brain), connecting cable (spinal cord), and printer (limb) must all communicate to produce the proper response.
Vestibular diseases in dogs affect the body's balance systems and can arise from peripheral (outside the central nervous system) and central (inside the central nervous system) locations. Symptoms include head tilt, incoordination, rolling or falling, and/or involuntary rhythmic eye movements (nystagmus). Salivation and vomiting may be present as a result of dizziness. Peripheral vestibular disease arises from disorders affecting the balance center in inner ear, while central vestibular disease disorders affect balance centers in the brain, primarily in the brainstem. Peripheral disease is much more common than central disease. Causes of peripheral vestibular disease include inner and middle ear infections, trauma, tumors and polyps, or aminoglycoside antibiotics, and congenital (from birth) and idiopathic (unknown cause) syndromes. Causes of central disease include cancer, loss of blood flow (vascular infarct), trauma or bleeding, infections, and inflammatory disease.
Physical pain involves a complicated series of physiochemical responses leading to the perception of an unpleasant sensation which serves to protect the body. Pain elicits motor actions to move away from a noxious stimulus to avoid injury. It may arise from the actual tissue injury and (inflammation) or from damage to a portion of the nervous system. Inflammation serves to remove the injurious stimuli (pathogens, damaged cells, etc.) and initiate the healing process. During the inflammatory process, blood vessels dilate to facilitate the mobilization of healing factors to the injured site (e.g. white blood cells, plasma). Although the influx of these mediators is necessary in the healing process, the swelling that ensues may cause pain and could put pressure on nearby healthy tissue. Therefore, it is often important to reduce inflammation in order to alleviate pain.
Related Neurological Diseases
Many neurological problems have specific signs that are not associated with pain, limb weakness or balance disorders. The following list includes a few of the more common signs associated with neurological diseases that have not previously been mentioned and is not all-inclusive.
Diagnosis of the cause is key to treatment. When a patient is diagnosed with a neurological disorder, a proper treatment plan must be executed in order to alleviate the signs and cure the underlying disease. Treatment may be performed medically or surgically. Many neurological conditions such as epilepsy or a fibrocartilaginous embolismare only treated medically, meaning that pharmaceutical therapy and patient care are essential for patient recovery. Other neurological problems such as a herniated disk or brain tumor may require surgical treatment to remove the lesion and/or repair damaged tissue. All surgical patients must be treated medically as well.
Physical examination, including a neurological exam, will determine treatment plans. Cerebral spinal fluid taps, MRI, CT scan and blood tests are all useful in determining causes of neurologic diseases. The objective for management of a patient with a possible neurological problem is to:
- Determine if it is caused by a problem in the nervous system
- Localize the problem
- Estimate the extent of the problem
- Determine the cause and/or pathologic process
- Estimate the prognosis with or without treatment