The Neurologic Exam

The neurologic examination includes the following aspects:

  1. Patient History — To better understand your pet’s current condition we will need to know more about their history. You will be asked to list the problems they are experiencing, when the problems began and how those problems have changed over time. While this can take a considerable amount of time, it is also vital to ensuring an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment that will provide comfort for your pet.

 

  1. Vital Signs — We will also record their weight, temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, mucous membrane color and capillary refill time. These values indicate the overall health of your pet and provide baseline values for comparison throughout their treatment.

 

  1. Neurology Examination — Following these steps, a Veterinary Neurologist will perform a physical exam that includes a review of your pet’s neurologic condition. The neurologic exam will evaluate awareness, gait, posture, reflex, cranial nerve function, retinal and orthopedic function.

 

  1. Record Review — Following the physical and neurologic exam, you will be asked to wait while our team reviews all relevant records from your veterinarian, such as blood work results, radiographs, and CT or MRI images. When necessary, they will also confer with your veterinarian during the examination.

 

  1. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Plan — When your Veterinary Neurologist has reviewed all of your pet’s information (history, exam, existing tests, etc.), they will discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan along with a possible diagnosis and prognosis with you. Our treatment plan may include additional testing if it could make a significant difference in the care of your pet. Useful tests in a patient with neurological disease include laboratory tests, radiographs, analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid, MRI and/or surgery. However, additional testing is not always necessary.