Neurological disorders often are as challenging to diagnose and treat in dogs and cats as they are in humans, which leads many primary care veterinarians to rely on the expertise of the neurologists/neurosurgeons at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital.
These board-certified specialists manage diseases and conditions of the brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular system including epilepsy, brain tumors, balance disorders (vestibular disease), neck pain, and weakness or paralysis due to disc disease, congenital spinal malformations or spinal fractures. Brain and spinal surgeries are performed every day by this team, making that experience a highlight among their many capabilities.
Neurological problems involving the brain are often characterized by behavioral changes, facial asymmetry, unequal pupil size, or seizures. Spinal disease is characterized by changes in the gait, back or neck pain, and weakness, which often progresses to paralysis. Contact a veterinarian if any of the following warning signs are evident:
- Altered consciousness (depression, disorientation, coma)
- Changes in gait or posture (scuffing nails, dragging/shuffling, crouching)
- Lack of coordination or imbalance
- Deterioration of sight or hearing
- Tilted head, facial droop, or unequal pupil size
- Fecal or urinary incontinence
- Neck or back pain
- Compulsive activities (fly-snapping, neck scratching, circling)
- Tremors or twitches
- Difficulty rising, jumping onto furniture, or using stairs
- Paralysis (This is an emergency!)
The neurology/neurosurgery department’s extensive experience and the facility’s technologically advanced equipment provide unsurpassed diagnostic services, which is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment. In addition to the in-house 1.5T MRI system and its many diagnostic capabilities, SCVSH offers the following specialized procedures:
- Digital fluoroscopic myelogram (video x-ray spinal dye study)
- Cerebral spinal fluid collection and analysis (CSF tap), cisternal and lumbar
- Electromyogram (EMG), muscle and nerve biopsies
- BAER (Brain Auditory Evoked Response hearing testing)
- Spinal surgeries, including disc rupture, wobbler’s syndrome, subarachnoid cyst, cauda equina syndrome/lumbosacral disease, spinal tumor, spinal fracture, atlanto-axial luxation, and spinal stenosis
- Brain surgeries, including brain tumor, ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery, foramen magnum decompression with titanium plate (syringomeyleia surgery), skull fracture repair, and MLO
As a nationally recognized veterinary trauma center, SCVSH is staffed 24/7/365, providing immediate access to critical care specialists with board-certified neurologists/neurosurgeons on call. Patients requiring emergency care can receive immediate attention by a collaborating team of specialists by calling SCVSH at 949-833-9020.