Symptoms of Neurological Disorders in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats have nervous systems similar to humans, and just like humans, the brain, spinal cord, vertebrae and peripheral nerves can experience injury and deterioration. The result is a neurological disorder that can often be healed, cured or managed. The veterinary neurologists at The Animal Neurology & Imaging Center (The ANIC) provides the advanced testing and treatment your pet needs.

Types of Neurological Disorders in Pets

Pets can experience many of the same neurological disorders that humans do, such as:

  • Autoimmune disease affecting the brain and/or spinal cord
  • Infection of the brain and/or spinal cord
  • Inflammation of one or more components of the central nervous systemneurological disorders
  • Seizures (caused by epilepsy and/or endocrine disruption)
  • Slipped disc (degenerative disc disease)
  • Stroke
  • Tumors

For many neurological disorders, diagnostic methods are also the same as those for humans—MRI and CT scan.

Common Symptoms of Neurological Dysfunction

The symptoms that we see most often in patients at The ANIC include:

Some behavior changes, like circling or head pressing, are immediately noticeable and may require emergency care. Others may be intermittent and take hours or days to be recognized.

Causes of Neurological Disorders in Pets

Some causes of neurological disorders are evident, such as trauma. Others, however, may be latent, resulting from:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Congenital conditions
  • Infection
  • Inherited susceptibility
  • Underlying systemic disease

Determining the cause of neurological disorders in most cases can aid the development of an effective treatment plan. When needed, we may request records from your pet’s regular vet so that we have a more complete picture of your pet’s medical history.

How to Address Your Pet’s Neurological Disorder

What to do after observing symptoms of a neurological disorder is determined by the type and cause of the disorder. For example:

  • A slipped disk may be remedied with spine surgery.
  • An autoimmune disorder may be managed with medication.
  • Brain tumors may be treated by brain surgery or with radiation therapy.

Unfortunately, there are some neurological disorders for which there is no cure or a cure is cost-prohibitive. In these cases, you can count on our compassionate staff to help you understand and cope with the approaching loss of your pet.

If your pet presents any symptoms of neurological disorder, contact us for emergency service or to schedule an appointment.

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