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.
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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.
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The surgical approach for removal of a herniated disc depends upon the location of the disc material within the spinal canal. A ventral slot procedure is the most common surgical procedure for disc herniation in the cervical spine. The approach is from the underside (ventral) of the neck, where intervertebral discs are located. A small hole (slot) is drilled through the center of the disc and a small portion of the adjacent vertebrae. This allows access to the spinal canal at the location of the herniated disc. Small instruments are then used to remove any free fragments of disc material that have herniated or ruptured into the spinal canal.

When indicated surgical success with a ventral slot procedure is good, provided that the disc herniation is acute and that neurological function (pain sensation of the toes and normal ventilation) is adequate at the time of surgery. Potential complications include hemorrhage, post-operative infection, instability/subluxation and spinal cord trauma. Fusion is not typically done with routine disc herniations, as dogs do well without it and the disc space will partially fuse within a few months post operatively.

Recovery depends on the initial neurological status with return of ambulation within days 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. 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

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