We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. We thank you for your continued patience and support. Learn more about our COVID-19 response and guidelines.
Read More
There is an outbreak of Canine Influenza in dogs which is very contagious. If your dog is coughing, sneezing, lethargic or has a runny nose, consider seeking veterinary care. We do not offer the vaccine at this location. Please contact your regular veterinarian for more information.
Read More
A hemilaminectomy is the most common surgical approach in the thoracolumbar spine. The approach is less commonly used in the cervical spine. The surgical approach for a hemilaminectomy is from the top side of the dog or cat. Once the spinal column is reached a portion (lamina) of the vertebrae is removed from the side. This allows for removal of disc that has herniated off to one side or the other or removal of a tumor or cyst that may be located on one side of the spinal cord. This approach also allows direct access to the disc that lies underneath the spinal cord. It allows for greater access to the spinal canal compared to a ventral slot and allows visualization beneath the spinal cord which is difficult to obtain during a dorsal laminectomy. Once the portion of the vertebrae is removed during a hemilaminectomy the herniated or ruptured disc material is then removed with small instruments. The combination of the hemilaminectomy approach and disc material removal alleviates compression or pinching the spinal cord allowing further spinal cord healing to take place. During the hemilaminectomy procedure the disc is not replaced. Fenestration of the affected disc and sometimes the nearby discs may be done depending on the clinical scenario and neurosurgeon’s preference. Potential complications from hemilaminectomy include trauma to the spinal cord, hemorrhage, infection and instability. The prognosis with the hemilaminectomy procedure is often good, but depends on the pre-surgical condition of the pet. Dogs and cats with acute disc herniation that have the ability to feel their toes at the time of surgery typically do quite well. The success rate with surgery is less for dogs without sensation of their toes, chronic spinal cord compression and multiple compressive sites. Recovery time is variable with return to ambulation typically within weeks to months. Strict rest/confinement is recommended for about 1 month post-surgery with gradual increase in activity thereafter. During confinement a well-padded surface is recommended to prevent bed sores. It is important to ensure that your pet is urinating regularly post operatively. Urinary tract infections are common in dogs with spinal cord injury and should be monitored for. Rehabilitation therapy can speed recovery.
See our departments

Neurology

VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley is proud to offer medical and surgical care for patients with neurological disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system.

Our Neurology Department board certified specialist, Dr. Lisa Gerlach, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), provides comprehensive and cutting edge neurological services to our patients.

The field of veterinary neurology is constantly growing. Advancements in technology have aided neurologists in the localization of subtle lesions resulting in longer, healthier lives for pets. VSV utilizes high quality diagnostic equipment, including in-house CT and high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to assist in providing precise diagnosis. We also offer myelography, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and neurosurgery. From spinal surgery to the treatment of epilepsy and neuromuscular disorders, VCA VSV is able to treat your special pet and help him/her back to recovery.

Our Neurology Services

Brain and Spinal MRI
Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection and Analysis
Craniotomy/Craniectomy-Diagnostic and Therapeutic
CT Myelography

Looking for The Referral Form?

Loading... Please wait