For scheduled appointments & MRIs please visit our Neurology & Physical Rehabilitation Departments at 11 Cornerstone Square, Suite 300, Westford, MA 01886

Veterinary Neurology Services

When does my pet need a neurologist?

Your family vet may recommend a consultation with a veterinary neurologist for conditions such as seizures, mentation changes, back/neck pain, balance problems, or difficulty walking. If your pet develops sudden neurologic signs, a neurologic assessment may be recommended by an emergency veterinarian.

What is a veterinary neurologic exam?

A full history helps to put your pet’s current illness into perspective. A thorough neurologic exam will tell us where in the nervous system the problem lies, and indicates the next steps for diagnosis and treatment. We will discuss the multiple options for care. The information from this consultation and recommendations will be given to both you and your family vet to help you make decisions.

A treatment plan will be personalized for your pet. Our goal is to help you understand your pet’s condition and the choices for diagnosis and treatment. Neurologic signs can be frightening and may occur suddenly; our compassionate and skilled staff will help you with the best care.

If further diagnostics and treatment are recommended, they may include:

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - is used to create detailed images of the brain and spinal cord based on the water content of these tissues. Although this imaging is non-invasive, it does require general anesthesia for all pets. Our MRI is the same as machines used in human hospitals, and the 1.5 Tesla high-field magnet gives excellent quality results that are analyzed by our Neurologist and board-certified Radiology team.
  • CT (Computed Tomography) - gives a three dimensional x-ray image of the bones around the brain and spinal cord, useful in cases such as malformation or trauma.
  • Digital Radiography (x-rays)
  • Spinal Fluid Analysis - in some cases, important microscopic information can be gained by taking a sample of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord while under anesthesia.
  • Nerve and Muscle Biopsy - samples of affected nerves and muscle tissue can help diagnose neuromuscular conditions.
  • Additional Testing - additional blood tests or genetic screens can be performed or recommended to your family veterinarian.
  • Surgical InterventionDr. Weiss and Dr. Wilmarth are skilled Neurosurgeons who can perform specialized surgery if it is indicated. Other conditions may be treated with short- or long-term medications and physical therapy.
  • Medical Management, referral to physical therapy.

What conditions does a veterinary neurologist treat?

  • Paralysis or paresis (weakness)
  • Neck and back pain
  • Intervertebral disk herniation
  • Seizures
  • Balance problems and vestibular events
  • Neuromuscular disease such as myasthenia gravis
  • Inflammatory diseases (autoimmune or infectious) of the brain and spinal cord
  • Tumors of the spinal cord and brain
  • Malformations of the skull, vertebrae, brain and spinal cord

What is a board-certified veterinary neurologist?

Neurologists/Neurosurgeons undergo specialized internship and residency training for 4-5 years after obtaining a veterinary degree, culminating in multiple-day board exams.