What to Expect from Neurology/Neurosurgery at Upstate Veterinary Specialties

discussion 3The field of human neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles). Veterinary Neurology is similar in many ways, with the obvious exception that our patients cannot discuss their symptoms. Therefore it is important to pay attention to the patient’s clinical signs, your description of the pet’s problem and the results of our neurologic examination.

Referring a patient for consultation with Dr. Chelsie Estey or Dr. Todd Bishop of the UVS neurology department demonstrates your family veterinarian’s commitment to finding solutions and strategies for managing your pet’s tricky medical problems. The referral form and past medical records are sent to our office to give our neurologists the opportunity to review the past pertinent medical history. Like routine visits with your family veterinarian, a UVS neurology consultation appointment begins with a brief medical history, during which a technician obtains your pet’s vital signs and discusses your prospective on your pet’s condition. Following a discussion between the neurology technician and the doctor, one of our neurologists will perform a neurological examination and discuss the findings with you.

neuro exam edit 3It is not uncommon for our doctors to sit on the floor while examining your pet. This is done so that your pet feels more comfortable during his/her examination. Some aspects of a neurological exam may seem unusual to you or your pet such as: hopping, reflex testing, and spinal palpation.

Based on the results of our neurological exam, we can formulate a diagnostic and treatment plan that suits both you and your pet. Some tests can be performed at the time of the consultation such as blood work or x-rays. For this reason, we ask that you please fast your pet for this appointment. Other tests, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may have to be scheduled.

Depending upon the results of your pet’s diagnostic testing, certain conditions may warrant a neurosurgery. Fortunately, our neurologists are prepared, through extensive residency training, to perform neurosurgeries.  If surgery is the recommended course of action, a discussion regarding the logistics and costs associated with the procedure will take place.

Occasionally the physical exam may reveal that your pet’s problem is orthopedic or musculoskeletal in origin. This may require consultation with our surgeon or referral to our rehabilitation service.

jack edit 3For many patients, neurosurgery is not warranted and medical management may be the recommended course of action. For example, “Jack” the Basset Hound has lived for a number of years with a well-managed seizure disorder. Following his initial exam and diagnostic procedures in 2010, “Jack” continues to come to UVS twice a year for Dr. Bishop to evaluate his seizure activity and adjust his medications accordingly.

The neurology team at UVS works with you and your family veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet. If you feel that your pet might need to see a neurologist, please speak with your family veterinarian about a referral to Upstate Veterinary Specialties.

If you are a referring veterinarian and have a patient who could benefit from a neurological consultation, please contact us at (518)783-3198. We have recently made our online referral available for your convenience.