Neuro Care for pets
Neurology refers to the diagnoses and treatment of conditions affecting the brain, spine, peripheral nerves and muscles. Common neurological problems in pets include seizures, strokes, intervertebral disk diseases and brain or spinal tumors. All these are treatable if diagnosed early, giving your pets the best chance at a long, healthy and happy life.
Seizures occur more commonly in dogs than in cats and may be caused by a variety of different things. It is essentially for the treatment of seizures to identify their cause. Once correctly diagnosed through imagine (MRI, CT, blood tests or other specialised testing), a course of treatment which may include long- term medical management can be suggested.
Strokes may occur due to vascular accidents or bleeding in the brain and may be seen more frequently in older pets. They may also be caused by underlying factors like kidney or liver disease, cardiac issues or hypertension. Treatment is based on acute symptoms and includes long-term care and rehabilitation after the immediate threat has been corrected.
Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to intervertebral disk disease including herniation, lumbosacral disk disease and cervical spondylomyelopathy. Surgery coupled with long-term therapy, rest and rehabilitation can effectively treat these conditions with a high rate of success.
Brain and spinal tumours in pets are treated like those in humans and may be surgically removed where possible and treated with radiation and chemotherapy. Fortunately, a large percentage of these tumours in pets are benign and once they have been removed, the animals can live a good quality of life for a long period of time.
Diagnostic tools for detecting neurological conditions include blood work, imaging through X-rays, MRI and CT scans, analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to test for meningitis or encephalitis, electrodiagnostic to evaluate muscles and nerves and specialised tests like stimulated single fibre EMG, repetitive nerve stimulation or auditory testing.
Typical treatment options for neurological illnesses may be surgical or non-surgical. Anticonvulsant therapy and anti-seizure/anti-epileptic medication may be used for treatment of seizures which options like decompressive spinal surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or compressed nerves.