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

Electroencephalography

Electroencephalography is the measurement of the spontaneous electrical activity of brain. It is non-invasive examination during which tiny small needles are placed under skin, while the animal is in sedation (sleeping) for about 20 minutes. EEG is usually performed in patients with seizures or where seizures are suspected. EEG currently is the only examination which can positively confirm presence of epileptic activity in the brain of the animal and therefore is the most useful in differentiation of the epileptic and non-epileptic events.

Another important role of EEG is in treatment of status epilepticus (continuous seizure) patients. In these cases EEG is the only tool which is able to say objectively if the patient has been treated sufficiently or not as the EEG is showing if the brain has calmed down already or not.

Electromyography

EMG is the recording of the electrical activity of the muscle. During the test the small needle is inserted in to the muscle and the activity recorded. EMG is done on a patient under deep sedation or general anesthesia therefore no pain is felt during examination.

Normal resting muscle is generally electrically silent. In abnormal muscle there is spontaneous activity and based on the characteristics of this activity, may tell us the kind of process present in the muscle. EMG helps to confirm the existence of disease of the peripheral nervous system and helps to distinguish between primary nerve and muscle disease. It says precisely if the muscle atrophy is because of disease of the muscle or nerve or because of because of too little activity. In case the nerve(s) of the patient have been damaged during trauma episode, the so called denervation potentials will be detectable on EMG 5 days after trauma. The measurement of the denervation potentials in different muscles will tell the examiner which nerves have been traumatized.

Nerve conduction studies

Nerve conduction studies evaluate the function of the peripheral nerves. In the clinical practice, the function of the motor nerves is the most commonly evaluated. The measurement is done while the patient is under general anesthesia. Two small needles are inserted near the nerve and the nerve is stimulated with low electrical current. The stimulation of the nerve initiates muscle contraction. Distance from the stimulation to the recording site is measured as well as time needed for impulse to arrive to the muscle. Changes in the nerve conduction velocity indicate damage to the axon of the nerve, to its myelin sheath or both. Nerve conduction velocity helps to confirm the presence of the peripheral nerve disease and to choose the right nerve for the further investigation such as nerve biopsy.

Nerve and muscle biopsies

Nerve and muscle biopsies are often taken at the same time as the electrodiagnostic testing. This is a minor surgery, and typically the patients will go home the same day. Often they will go home on some pain medication for a few days. The biopsies are done so a pathologist who specializes in looking at nerves and muscles can evaluate these organs under a microscope. We will be able to see if there is any infectious or cancerous process occurring. Sometimes, we can tell prognosis from the biopsies as well.

See our departments

Neurology

Welcome to the Neurology Department of Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury!

Our hospital's Neurology Department offers complete evaluations, diagnostics, and therapeutic or surgical treatment options for a full range of neurological diseases and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Our Board Certified Neurologist has advanced training in all diagnostic modalities including CT Scan, MRI, and in electrodiagnostic testing, as well as neurosurgical procedures.

Our Neurology service uses a clinical approach coupled with evidence based medicine to address Neurological conditions. We favor the prognosis that every neurological affliction is treatable until proven otherwise. Our mission is to provide high-quality specialized neurological care to pets and help keep them together with their families. Compassion, expertise, and advanced technology are key elements in providing the care that your pet needs. We rely on thorough neurological examinations that take advantage of the hospital's full reserve of high powered leading edge diagnostic tools-including MRI AND CT imaging. We offer a full range of treatment options plus adjunct therapies such as low level in hospital laser therapy and rehabilitation.

Our Neurology Department's advanced diagnostic procedures include:

  • Helical CT Scan (onsite)
  • Myelography
  • Digital Radiology
  • MRI (onsite)
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) aspirate and analysis
  • Electromyography
  • Nerve conduction testing

We specialized in medical management of all of the following conditions:

  • Polyneuropathies
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • Inflammatory and infectious disorders
  • Brain/Spinal Trauma

Our neurosurgical procedures include:

  • Intervertebral disc disease decompression
  • Spinal stabilization
  • Brain & spinal tumors
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Nerve and muscle biopsy
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

What Is Veterinary 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 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 either the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in the United States or the European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN) in Europe to specialize in veterinary neurology.

While your general practitioner 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. While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, there is sometimes a need for the attention of a specialist. 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, which may be videotaped for future reference.
  • Brain and spinal cord imaging, including CT and bone scans, MRI, ultrasound, myelography, and radiography.
  • Spinal fluid tap and analysis.
  • Intensive care.
  • Neurosurgery of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve system.
  • Electrophysiologic examination of nerves and muscles.
  • Knowledge of clinical trials available to pets with specific neurologic disorders.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In many cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care, especially if your pet is coping with multiple disease states or conditions. In other cases, your referral doctor will take over the majority of your pet's medical care for the duration of its referred treatment. It depends on your pet's particular problem.

Please call, 516.420.0000 24 hours in advance during office hours for all medication and food refills. - Dr. Santare's Service Coordinator is Alana Cappello

For more information about board-certified neurology specialists, visit the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine-Neurology at acvim.org

Our Neurology Services

BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential) Testing
Brain and Spinal MRI
Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection and Analysis
Craniotomy/Craniectomy-Diagnostic and Therapeutic

Looking for The Referral Form?

Loading... Please wait