Common Neurological Diseases & How to Spot Them

Common Neurological Diseases & How to Spot Them


Signs & Symptoms

What it could be


  Back pain Disc herniationDegenerative disease of the spinal cord

Compression of the spinal cord caused by tumor or congenital malformation


Treatment options vary based on diagnosis. If treated early, pets suffering from back pain due to spinal cord compression have a fair to very good prognosis for complete recovery. Conservative treatment may be chosen for pets experiencing their first bout of back pain that do not have problems walking.
  Neck pain/tenderness Cervical disc herniationInstability of the neck vertebrae (AA luxation)

Infection/inflammation of the brain/spinal cord

Serious brain & spinal cord condition (Chiari-like malformation)


Cervical pain in a cat or dog can be a symptom of many different neurological disorders. A board-certified neurologist will use your pet’s history and physical neurological examination to determine treatment. It is important to remember for many neurological conditions, there are treatment options. Pets with meningitis or encephalitis can be successfully treated with the proper diagnosis and medications.
  Seizures/trembling/falling over*NOTE* If this is your pets first seizure or if more than 3 seizures in a 24 hour period, seek medical advice ASAP! EpilepsyBrain tumor

Infection/inflammation of the brain/spinal cord


Many neurological disorders can mask themselves as other conditions, early diagnosis is key to treatment and recovery. Once diagnosed, pets having seizures, trouble walking or showing symptoms of dizziness may be treated medically while others will require a surgical approach for a successful recovery. Some neurological disorders, such as Degenerative Myelopathy, cannot be cured; however rehabilitation has been proven to slow down the disease progression.
  Weakness/trouble    walking/dragging toes/wobbliness Disc herniationWobbler’s Syndrome


Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE)

Degenerative disease of the spinal cord

Instability of the neck vertebrae (AA luxation)

 Disorientation/behavioral changes StrokeBrain tumor

Vestibular disease

 Head tilt/dizziness StrokeVestibular disease

Infection/inflammation of the brain/spinal cord

  Paralysis/inability to walk/acute    weakness *NOTE* THIS IS AN EMERGENCY StrokeSpinal fracture

Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE)

Disc herniation of the cervical or lumbar spine

If your pet is unable to walk, it is an emergency. The sooner treatment is started, the better the prognosis. Early surgical decompression offers a more rapid recovery. Pets suffering from paralysis and loss of deep pain (feeling to their toes) exceeding a 24 hour time period have a grave prognosis for return of neurological function, in spite of medical and surgical intervention.