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Neurology & Neurosurgery

Animals can suffer many of the same brain, spinal cord, and neuromuscular problems that humans do. These include a wide range of disorders, such as seizures, ruptured discs, spinal cord injuries, and fractures, head trauma, brain tumors, and much more. In conjunction with our surgery department, Lakeshore is proud to offer diagnostic neurological services, utilizing state-of-the-art equipment (including high field MRI and CT) for patients with these complex and challenging conditions.

Your pet may be experiencing a neurological disorder if you notice these symptoms:

  • Altered consciousness
  • Behavior changes
  • Confusion
  • Head or spinal trauma
  • Head tilt
  • Incontinence
  • Incoordination or imbalance
  • Loss/change in eyesight
  • Neck and/or back pain
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Weakness/paralysis

Techniques available for diagnosing and treating neurologic conditions include:

  • Computed tomography
  • Cerebral spinal fluid analysis
  • Digital radiography
  • Intracranial surgery
  • Immunosuppresive therapy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Muscle and nerve biopsies
  • Spinal stabilization
  • Spinal surgery

What can I expect at my pet's initial neurology consultation?

Your consultation appointment with Dr. Haley will involve the following:

  • The veterinary technician will obtain a thorough history of your pet, reviewing records from your family veterinarian.
  • Dr. Haley will review your pet’s medical history records as provided by your pet’s other health care providers.
  • She will discuss and review your pet’s current health status as reported by you.
  • Dr. Haley will perform a thorough physical examination, including evaluation of coordination, reflexes, mental status, and level of pain.
  • She will then discuss next steps that may include: additional tests, treatment options, and a long term care plan. This discussion will focus on the health of your pet, addressing concerns and answering questions you may have. Should treatment of any kind be indicated, we will discuss your options including expected outcomes (prognosis), recovery, and costs.
  • Decisions on treatment are made jointly with you, so it is important that the person(s) responsible for the patient is present to ask questions and provide information about the pet’s behavior, routines, and history.
  • Dr. Haley may recommend advanced testing such as CT or MRI. This will be discussed in detail with you, including the reasoning and costs.
  • At the initial consultation, she will also discuss which treatment plan will be most beneficial going forward with individual budget and schedule considerations kept in mind.
Please allow at least 1-2 hours for this entire discussion.

MRI DAY OF INSTRUCTIONS

Guidelines for Eating and Drinking

  • Withhold food for 12 hours prior to appointment.
  • Water is permitted until you drop your pet off at Lakeshore.
  • If surgery is scheduled and/or a possibility - do not give your pet any aspirin for one week prior.
  • Medications can be given the day of imaging in a small meatball.
What to Bring the Day of Imaging
  • All medications your pet is currently taking (including prescription, homeopathic and non-prescription).
  • Special diets (especially important for pets with food allergies!!).
The Day of Imaging
  • You will be asked whether or not you authorize CPR in the event of an emergency. Please do not be alarmed, this is a precaution taken with every hospitalized patient.
  • The neurology service facilitates appointments in the morning. Imaging is done during the late morning/early afternoon.
  • Someone from the neurology service will call prior to imaging to let you know we are starting.
  • Please take your pet's collars, leashes, and personal belongings home with you at the time of drop off. Lakeshore is not responsible for the loss or damage of any personal items.
After Imaging
  • The doctor or technician will call you when your pet is in recovery. It is important that you leave a number where you can be reached.
  • Your pet will most likely NOT have to stay overnight unless surgery is planned. We will set up a take home time after imaging.
  • At the time of discharge, a technician will teach you and your family members about your home care needs. Written instructions will also be sent home with you.
  • Follow up care will be determined based on imaging results.

NEUROLOGY & NEUROSURGERY DAY OF INSTRUCTIONS

  • On the morning of your appointment, please DO NOT feed your pet breakfast. Please however, keep water out for pet up until their appointment time.
  • The only patients who can eat breakfast on the morning of their appointment include diabetic patients and young patients less than 4 months old.
  • Medications may be given the day of your appointment with a small meatball if needed.
  • Please list any prescription diet that your pet is currently on (if applicable).
  • Please list all medications and/or supplements your pet is on - including tablet size, dose, frequency and duration of treatment for EACH medication.
  • Please list any metal objects your pet may have within its body, ie shrapnel, BBs, pacemaker, surgical implants - including what type of object and location within the body.
  • Please provide Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists with the names of all veterinary practices that have evaluated your pet, in order for us to obtain pertinent medical records prior to your appointment.
PLEASE NOTE: We make an effort to perform all diagnostics as close to the appointment time as possible. In some cases, however, diagnostics such as imaging (MRI) procedures will need to be scheduled later in the day or at a later date to ensure that we have adequate time to perform the procedure with the highest possible quality standards.

MEET OUR BOARD-CERTIFIED SPECIALIST:

  • Allison Haley
    DVM, MRCVS, ACVIM
    Neurology
    Board-Certified Neurologist