If your pet is presenting symptoms of neurological dysfunction, the first step to getting treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis, and that starts with a neurological examination. The board-certified veterinary neurologists at The Animal Neurology & Imaging Center (The ANIC, located within the Animal Medical & Surgical Center) have the expertise to glean a wide array of diagnostic data in only a few minutes of careful observation.
What Happens during a Neurological Examination
A neurological examination looks a lot like a routine exam from your pet’s regular vet. Our doctors will:
- Palpate different areas on your pet’s body, feeling for lumps, bumps and painful spots
- Listen to your pet’s heart and lungs
- Assess your pet’s gait
- Check reflexes
What is different about a neurological examination compared to an exam given by your general vet is what our doctors are looking for and the expert-trained eyes they have to look for it. Our doctors’ extensive training allows them to notice tiny differences in gait patterns, for instance, that can distinguish your pet’s walking problem as a neurologic symptom or an endocrine disorder symptom.
In just a short amount of time with your dog or cat—usually between 15 and 20 minutes—our doctors often know exactly where in the nervous system the problem lies and, possibly, what is causing the symptoms. In the event that we cannot reach a diagnosis through a neurological exam alone, our Arizona clinic has the capability to provide advanced diagnostic imaging—i.e., MRI and CT scans under one roof without delay.
What Happens after a Neurological Examination
Our doctors are highly trained, so they know what to look for to identify symptoms of neurological disorders vs. neurological symptoms that may be caused by another medical condition. Some conditions may be diagnosed with no further testing, such as:
- Muscular dystrophy (and similar muscle disorders)
- Cushing’s myopathy
These conditions may require the involvement of other veterinary specialists, and we can often refer you to excellent care providers in the greater Phoenix area.
Most neurological examinations help our doctors determine what additional testing may be needed, such as:
To the greatest extent possible, we try to complete additional testing the same day as the neurological examination. If our schedule does not accommodate imaging tests, we offer medical boarding to reduce travel and stress for your pet.
Like all our services, neurological examinations are available for emergency cases. Please contact us any time to speak to a neurologist to determine if your pet needs to be seen by a doctor right away or may safely wait until a scheduled appointment.