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Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced primarily within the ventricles of the brain and travels within the central nervous system (CNS) down towards the lower back and tail. CSF surrounds the brain and spinal cord and acts to support, protect and nourish these structures.

Spinal fluid can be obtained from the back of the neck just behind the head or from the lower back. Collection of CSF involves shaving hair over these areas, aseptically preparing the overlying skin and carefully placing a small needle into the space around the spinal cord. This procedure is performed in anesthetized patients placed in very specific positions. When performed by a well trained and experienced veterinarian, such as a veterinary neurologist, risks of complications associated with this procedure are generally low.

CSF can be analyzed for cell types and numbers, as well as for changes in normal components, such as protein level, or presence of abnormalities, e.g. infectious agents or cancerous cells. CSF analysis is generally used together with other tests (e.g. MRI, myelography) to help determine the underlying cause of a problem affecting the CNS. CSF analysis can be especially important in diagnosis of inflammatory CNS conditions, e.g. meningitis.

Neurology

Veterinary Neurology is the branch of medicine that treats diseases of the nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles in pets. This specialty encompasses such common problems as epilepsy, herniated disks, spinal and head injuries, meningitis, and cancers of the nervous system.

A board certified veterinary neurologist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained additional intensive training in veterinary neurology and has been certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) to specialize in veterinary neurology.While your regular veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in veterinary neurology in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Neurologist? 

Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs a veterinary neurologist to help diagnose or treat a problem. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her condition.

Specifically, veterinary neurologists can provide the following:

  • A thorough neurologic examination and localization
  • Brain and spinal cord imaging, including CT scans
  • MRI, ultrasound, myelography, and radiography
  • Spinal fluid tap and analysis.Intensive care
  • Neurosurgery of the brain, skull, spine, and peripheral nervous system
  • Electrophysiologic examination of nerves and muscles
  • Knowledge of clinical trials available to pets with specific neurologic disorder

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

Your veterinarian will receive a copy of your pet’s medical records for every visit. We work in partnership with your veterinarian to provide necessary follow up care and monitoring.

Our Neurology Services

Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection and Analysis
CT Scan Brain Bullae Skull Spine
Electromyography EMG
Nerve Conduction Velocity NCV

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