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What to Expect at Your Consultation

What to Expect At Your Consultation: Exam Room

Your pet is not acting like themselves, so you take them to your veterinarian for an exam. They suspect it might be neurological, and refer you to Southeast Veterinary Neurology for a consultation. We take a thorough approach to treatment, which means getting to know you and your pet and reviewing all aspects of their health and medical history to ensure that we’re moving in the right direction.

Examining Your Pet

To start, we need to perform a full physical and neurological examination so we can evaluate your pet’s brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. This gets us another step closer to understanding your pet’s condition and what is causing their symptoms.

  • First, an experienced veterinary nurse will speak with you to learn about what is happening with your pet. They will ask questions such as “How long have your pet’s symptoms been present?” and “What medications and treatments have you tried so far?”
  • Next, you will meet with one of our veterinary neurologists for your pet’s physical and neurological exams. They will handle your pet with patience and care, giving them time to build trust.
  • Your veterinary neurologist will then discuss whether your pet’s symptoms are due to a neurological problem, where in the neurological system the problem is occurring, what the causes are, and what the next best course of action should be.
What to Expect At Your Consultation: Vet Gives Dog Exam

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What to Expect At Your Consultation: Vet Gives Dog Neurological Exam

Going a Step Further with Diagnostics

Physical and neurological exams can answer some questions, but a definitive diagnosis depends on what our diagnostic tools actually reveal.

In most if not all cases we evaluate, advanced imaging is necessary for diagnosing accurately. At Southeast Veterinary Neurology, we use the latest and most reliable technologies for correctly identifying neurological conditions in pets:

  • CT (computed tomography) scan
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Myelography – injecting a contrast material into the spinal canal and using continuous X-ray imaging to view the spinal cord in real time
  • Spinal radiography
  • EMG (electromyography)
  • CSF analysis (spinal fluid analysis)
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • BAER testing

Will My Pet Need to Stay Overnight?

Because our MRI equipment and other tools are on-site, in most cases we can run tests for your pet on the same day of their consultation, or the following day as needed. However, it may also be necessary for your pet to stay overnight for testing, or to be treated. We’ll be sure to tell you exactly what the plan is once we’ve examined your pet and helped you decide on the next steps.

Treatment Options

Some of the most common questions we are asked include "What can be done if my pet has a neurological problem?" and "Is surgery going to be the only option?"

Neurological conditions can look scary. But even conditions that look dramatic can improve with proper treatment. The best way to truly help your pet is to find the underlying cause of what's ailing them. By knowing the cause, our neurologists can tailor treatment specifically to your pet's condition.

Some conditions are best treated with medicine. Others need surgery. Still others will do well with physical rehabilitation. Based on your wishes and your pet's particular condition, we will discuss all of the possible treatment options with you and help you make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your pet.

What to Expect At Your Consultation: Dog Carrying Balloons
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