Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery
Diseases of the nervous system in dogs and cats
Dogs and cats can suffer from medical problems affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerves, neuromuscular plaque and muscles). Walking difficulty, weakness, epilepsy and seizures, behaviour changes and pain, may be some of the clinical signs attributable to neurological disorders. These signs always require the intervention of a skilled and trained veterinary specialist.
The veterinary neurology and neurosurgery unit helps in recognizing and treating disorders such as disc herniation, epilepsy, spinal trauma, nervous system neoplasia, congenital diseases and other diseases. Neurological disorders create serious complications for both the pets and their owners weakening their life quality.
The first step in recognition of neurological disorders begins in the “neurological examination”. A neurological exam is a specialised clinical examination aimed to test reactions and reflexes of our pet. During the examination, the neurologist needs to obtain history from the owner and clinical signs of the patient subsequently. Therefore, it is always useful to bring previous investigations and tests results already performed by your vet. Homemade videos of suspected symptoms are useful, since the dog or cat suffering from neurological disorders often manifest only a few episodes.
Advanced diagnostic techniques such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography), muscle and nerve biopsy and cerebrospinal fluid sampling are often necessary to achieve a diagnosis. In most cases the diagnostic procedures must be performed under general anaesthesia. Neurological diagnostic workup often requires the collaboration of internal medicine, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesia and clinical pathology specialists. A multi-specialist approach optimises the diagnostic workup, in order to obtain a 360 ° management of the neurological disorder.
A correct diagnosis of a neurological disorder is needed to define the most suitable treatment for the patient. The therapeutic solutions can be surgical, pharmacological or even via physiotherapy, however, it depends on the disease.
Herniated disk surgery, vertebral stabilisation, seizures and nervous system inflammatory disease therapies are some of the possible treatments that the neurology and neurosurgery unit offers for your pet.