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Is there a neurological problem with my pet?

Pet owners should be aware that neurological problems may afflict animals of any age or breed, and that symptom can vary widely. Members of our Tucson-based veterinary neurology team discuss symptoms that indicate your pet may be experiencing a neurological problem.

Problems in the nervous system are

The field of veterinary neurology focuses on the evaluation and treatment of neurological diseases in companion animals. Problems with the nervous system, or neurological disorders, are those that prevent or impair the central nervous system’s capacity to connect effectively with the rest of the body.

The brain and spinal cord make up your pet’s central nervous system, which also includes the spinal cord:

  • The brain stem controls many basic life functions.
  • The cerebrum is in command of decision-making.
  • The cerebellum helps to coordinate your pet’s movement and motor control.

Neurological symptoms in dogs

Symptoms of neurological disorders in your cat may vary widely since different parts of the central nervous system are responsible for different life processes, decisions, and coordinated movements. But some of the most typical neurological problems in pets include:

  • Unusual or jerky eye movements
  • Abnormal gait, unexplained weakness or paralysis
  • Foot dragging or knuckling of paws
  • Pain along the spine, neck or back
  • Head tilt or leaning
  • Seizures of different kinds
  • Loss of balance
  • Scratching at the air without making contact with their body
  • Cognitive or behavioral changes
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation such as staring into space or getting stuck in corners

Some Frequent Neurological Disorders in Pets

Diseases of the nervous system that may affect both cats and dogs include:

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

Methods a Veterinary Neurologist May Be Able to Aid

Veterinary neurologists who want to become board-certified in their area must go through extensive training and testing over the course of many years. They have a deeper knowledge of issues affecting your pet’s neurological system and access to more sophisticated diagnostic tools as a result.

Potentially cutting-edge neurological care includes:

  • An in-depth discussion of your pet’s neurological and musculoskeletal problems, including but not limited to: intervertebral disc disease and other causes of weakness or paralysis; seizure treatment; encephalitis; tumors; and abnormalities of hearing or balance; and more.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are examples of high-tech
  • Sampling and testing of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Methods of electrodiagnosis include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction velocity (NCV), electroencephalography (EEG), and brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER)
  • Stereotactic brain biopsy, ventriculoperitoneal shunt installation, fracture repair, nerve and muscle biopsies, and hemilaminectomy are all examples of neurosurgical operations.
  • Surgery and other operations guided by ultrasound

Arizona’s Tucson Veterinary Specialty Hospital’s Department of Neurology
At the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, our neurology department is managed by three Board-Certified neurologists: Drs. Marie Dantio, Robert Bergman, and Rainier Ko, and is staffed by a team of committed, highly-trained veterinary technicians.

We know you have a choice in pet care providers, so why should you choose us?

We are here to assist you if your pet has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

  • We’ve been in the business for a long time, and we know how to spot and treat neurological problems in dogs.
  • Our neurology team is housed in the same building as our other veterinary experts (surgeons, internal medicine, dermatology, thyroid, and eye doctors).
  • To get your pet started on the road to recovery as soon as possible, our facility is stocked with cutting-edge diagnostic tools.
  • Our neurology department treats dogs with severe neurological problems with compassionate treatment that prioritizes the patient’s quality of life.
  • Our facility is equipped with the latest tools for performing image-guided operations and treatments on animals.

Please be aware that the material in this article is for educational reasons only and not meant to replace professional veterinary care. Schedule a visit to the veterinarian immediately for an accurate assessment of your pet’s health.

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