The nervous system is essential to your pet’s overall health. Similar to humans, dogs and cats have brains, spinal cords, vertebrae, and peripheral nerves—all of which help coordinate the function of your pet’s organs, blood circulation, motor function, and more. Sometimes, the nervous system can be damaged by injury or deterioration and require a specialist’s attention. Here at Heart of Texas Vets, we offer advanced testing and treatment options for pets with neurological disorders. From CT scans to advanced neurological surgery, we have the experience and expertise to care for your pet when he or she needs it most.
Neurological Disorders in Pets
Types of neurological disorders
Pets are prone to the same neurological disorders as humans. These may include:
- Autoimmune diseases that affect the brain or spinal cord
- Bacterial or viral infections of the brain or spinal cord
- Degenerative disc disease, also known as a “slipped disc”
- Head trauma
- Inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves
- Seizure disorders
Symptoms of neurological disorders
Cats or dogs may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Head pressing
- Inability to use one or more limns
- Pain, including vocalization, behavior changes, or sensitivity to touch
- Unexplained weakness or stumbling
In some neurological disorders, symptoms occur suddenly and require immediate medical care. Others may occur intermittently or develop over time.
Causes of neurological disorders
Disorders of the nervous system can be caused by various diseases, conditions, or illnesses. These may include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Congenital conditions
- Hereditary disorders
- Systemic disease
Diagnosing Neurological Disorders
Determining the cause of your pet’s symptoms is the first step in creating an effective treatment plan. In order to do this, we first review your pet’s medical history, request records if needed, discuss your concerns in depth, and complete a thorough physical examination.
To gain a complete picture of your pet’s health, we also use advanced medical imaging. This type of imaging may include computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to evaluate your pet’s nervous system and identify the cause of his or her symptoms.
Types of advanced medical imaging
At Heart of Texas Vets, we use computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to diagnose your pet’s neurological conditions. Painless and non-invasive, these scans create high-definition images of your pet’s brain and spinal cord. These images help our veterinary specialists diagnose a range of neurological conditions, including:
What to expect
Advanced medical imaging involves multiple steps, all of which are designed to keep your pet safe and comfortable. In order to ensure your animal companion receives the best possible care, we perform the following:
- Pre-procedure bloodwork and physical examination to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo the procedure
- Administration of anesthesia or sedation prior to the procedure, which helps your pet remain comfortable while in the MRI or CT scan
- Continuous monitoring of your pet’s vitals by an experienced veterinary technician throughout the imaging procedure
- Post-procedure monitoring in our intensive care unit
We also strive to provide thorough client education throughout the process, from information on the benefits of advanced imaging procedures to discussion of expected behaviors immediately post-procedure.
Treatment for Neurological Disorders
Many neurological disorders can be healed, cured, or managed. After identifying the type of neurological disorder and its cause, our veterinary neurologists will create an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your pet’s needs. We strive to work together with pet owners to create treatment recommendations that fit your unique situation.
Several different types of treatment are available for neurological disorders in pets, including:
- Brain surgery
- Medication management
- Radiation therapy
- Spinal surgery
Our staff are dedicated to helping you navigate the diagnosis and treatment process. Contact us today to learn more about our neurological services or to schedule an appointment.