Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Neurology Appointments

What should I expect when I arrive for my neurology consultation?

  • Please check in with the front desk when you arrive for your appointment, so the neurology team knows you have arrived. A neurology technician will meet with you to record information on your pet’s history, confirm current medications, and ask specific questions dependent on what your pet is being seen for. The neurologist will review any testing you have done with your primary veterinarian, perform a physical and neurological examination on your pet, and talk with you face to face regarding any treatment and testing recommendations. This may include bloodwork, radiographs, ultrasound, advanced imaging (MRI), medications, etc.

What is a neurological examination?

  • A neurological examination is a series of lights and reflexes, and is not considered invasive. The goal of the neurological exam is to determine whether a patient has a neurological problem, and localize where in the nervous system this problem is occurring (specific parts of the brain, spinal cord, or nerves). This will determine what types of testing or treatment recommendations will be recommended.
  • A neurological examination is often done in a large area where the patient can be observed walking, turning, interacting with objects, and safely be examined away from other clients and patients.

Should my pet be fasted for the initial appointment, and can I give them their current medications?

  • If you are being seen for an initial consultation, please withhold food from midnight the night before they are to be seen. Water is ok to offer up until the appointment. A majority of tests (including bloodwork panels, abdominal ultrasound, radiographs, and advanced imaging ) are done on an empty stomach, so having your pet fasted that day may expedite any testing and treatments.
  • If your pet is on anti-epileptic medications (phenobarbital, potassium bromide, levetiracetam, zonisamide, etc), please ensure they DO get these medications, at the normal time, the day of your appointment. They can be given in a small amount of food or treat, but not a full meal.
  • All other medications (corticosteroids, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, analgesic medications, etc) should be withheld unless otherwise specified by the Neurology team. If you have any questions regarding which medications should be given, please do not hesitate to call our office and speak with a neurology technician.
  • If your pet has diabetes mellitus, other blood glucose problems, is less than 6 months old, or is less than 10 lbs (4.5 kg) we recommend giving 1/4-1/3 of their normal breakfast. If you have any doubts, please call our office prior to your appointment for guidance.

Will my pet have advanced imaging (MRI, CT) the same day as my initial appointment?

  • This is case dependent. Occasionally the neurology service may recommend an MRI the same day as your appointment, especially if your pet’s condition is deemed a neurological emergency.
  • MRI and CT are both performed under general anesthesia, and on average take several hours to perform. Prior to general anesthesia the neurologist may recommend bloodwork, thoracic radiographs, and/or other testing to ensure that this type of general anesthesia is safe for your pet.
  • The neurologist needs to be available at all times during your pet’s advanced imaging to interpret the images, and guide the MRI technicians throughout the process regarding which types of scans to run and which areas (of the brain and/or spinal cord) to focus the scans on.
  • If appropriate, it may be recommended to schedule a morning admission appointment for your pet to have further testing (including advanced imaging) performed. Your neurologist will make this decision on a case-to-case basis, so that the best decision is made for your pet’s safety and care.