Veterinary Neurology & Neurosurgery at Upstate Veterinary Specialties

Veterinary Neurology is the study and treatment of disorders associated with the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Unlike in human medicine, veterinary neurologists are also trained to perform neurosurgery, including surgeries of the spine and brain.

What to Expect

A new patient’s initial visit to the neurology service consists of a 60-minute consultation where a complete neurologic evaluation will occur. Our neurologists will discuss the patient’s neuroanatomic localization, differential diagnoses, and diagnostic/treatment options. We ask all new consults to fast if further testing is recommended at the initial visit.

Common Conditions, Management, and Treatment of Neurologic Diseases in Pets

Common neurologic conditions include seizures, stroke, vestibular dysfunction, IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease), encephalitis, brain tumors, myasthenia gravis, and degenerative diseases.

The most common test ordered by a veterinary neurologist is a Magnetic Resonance Image or MRI. MRI is an advanced imaging test that allows our neurologists to look inside the skull and spinal column to see disease processes affecting the brain and spinal cord in a non-invasive way. Other tests may be required in addition to or instead of MRI to confirm a pet’s diagnosis, including:

  • Radiographs (x-rays)
  • CT scan
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis (spinal tap)
  • Infectious disease testing
  • Electrodiagnostic testing
  • Advanced blood testing
  • Biopsy of the nervous tissues

Once a diagnosis is achieved, a neurologist’s attention shifts toward potential treatment options. Most problems involving the nervous system are treatable, while others are potentially fixable. Unfortunately, some neurologic problems cannot be cured; however, many are manageable.

Treatments can range from oral medications at home, injectable medications while hospitalized, brain or spinal cord surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

View our list of neurology handouts for more information on common neurologic conditions.

Board Certified Veterinary Neurologists and Neurosurgeons

A board-certified neurologist has advanced training beyond their veterinary school, including a one-year internship and a three-year residency. Upon completion of their residency, an extensive examination must be passed to demonstrate the knowledge necessary to become a board-certified veterinary neurologist by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Our neurology service aims to help animals with neurologic disorders live longer, healthier lives. Our doctors are strongly interested in neurology’s medical and surgical aspects and are continually expanding the services and quality of medicine provided.

If your pet needs to see a neurologist, speak with your primary care veterinarian about a referral to Upstate Veterinary Specialties. Our Veterinary Neurologists, Dr. Todd Bishop, Dr. Laura Krzykowski, and Dr. Christina Scanlon, and their teams can work with you and your primary care veterinarian to diagnose and manage your pet’s neurologic condition.

Our Neurologists: