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Your BetterVet veterinarian can evaluate your pet’s neurologic health through a variety of tests. We may begin by testing your pet’s cranial nerves (the communications between brain and body that control facial reflexes, swallowing, and vision.) We will continue with evaluations of coordination, paw placement, balance, and posture and will make recommendations for additional testing (for an additional cost) as well as referrals to a board-certified pet neurologist when appropriate. 

Neurological Care for Older Dogs and Cats

Older animals often experience compromises in their cognitive and neurological health, so it is important to create a treatment plan that covers the full spectrum of your pet’s needs. If you have concerns about your pet’s quality of life, we can also provide Quality-of-Life Consultation and guidance as well as end-of-life care.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do they test for neurological problems in dogs?
Evaluation of your pet’s neurological functioning will begin with a review of your pet’s history and a general physical examination. A general neurologic assessment will be performed which includes specific tests that can be carried out during a home visit. These include the testing of your pet’s reflexes, muscle functioning, posture, and gait and any significant or recent behavior changes.
Additional laboratory tests may be required to confirm a diagnosis. Lab tests may include blood work, urinalysis, fecal tests, and diagnostic imaging (for an additional cost).
What are the most common neurological disorders in dogs?

Some common neurological disorders in dogs include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Vestibular Disease
  •  Horner's Syndrome
  • Neoplasia/Cancer affecting the central or peripheral nervous system
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

If your pet is diagnosed with a neurological disorder, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help maintain your pet’s quality of life and make their symptoms more manageable.

What are the 4 components of a neurological check for pets?
Typically, we evaluate a pet’s neurological functioning by testing their reflexes, muscle functioning, posture, and gait.
What are the signs of neurological problems in pets?

The most common symptoms of neurological issues in pets include:

  • Cognitive or behavioral changes
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Head tilting or leaning
  • An abnormal gait or body movements
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Unusual or jerky eye movements
  • Pain along the spine, and neck, or back
  • Seizures 
  • Balance issues
What are neurological issues in pets?
Any condition that affects a pet’s nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, is called a neurological disorder, which can cause the issues listed above.

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