Why Pets are Referred to a Veterinary Neurologist
Your dog or cat was referred to a veterinary neurologist by your family veterinarian due to a suspected illness or disease affecting your pet’s brain or spine. Advancements in veterinary neurology offer many new options. Just like in humans, most such conditions can be treated or managed.
Choosing a Veterinary Neurologist for your Pet
Choose a hospital and doctor you are comfortable with and that are equipped to care for your pet’s needs. Where you go can make all the difference in your pet’s well-being and recovery. To help you make your decision, we hope you will find the following questions useful.
Questions to ask: Why this is important:
|Is the neurologist who will be seeing your pet board-certified and how long has he/she been a practicing veterinary neurologist?||Board-certified neurologists must complete considerable postgraduate training and an intensive residency program followed by a certification exam.|
|Is the hospital accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association?||Hospitals that are accredited follow standards developed to “raise the bar of veterinary excellence.” These hospitals are on top of recent advancements made in veterinary medicine and are committed to delivering the highest quality care.|
|Does the hospital have comprehensive on-site imaging including MRI, CT-scan and digital x-ray?||Moving a pet from one hospital to another for diagnostics is stressful. Having multiple imaging modalities under one roof reduces the chances of having to repeat tests and anesthesia.|
|Is the hospital’s MRI human grade with a minimum 1.5 Tesla high field magnet?||Low field or “pet” MRI’s can miss problems in your pet’s brain or spine. Tesla measures the STRENGTH of the magnet in the MRI. The stronger the magnet, the less time your pet must spend under anesthesia. Plus, High field magnet images are clearer leading to a more accurate diagnosis.|
|Does the hospital have an on-site emergency hospital for complete monitoring, or will your pet need to be transported after treatment or surgery?||A patient’s status can change at any time and having a doctor caring for your pet on-site 24 hours a day makes a difference.|
|Does the hospital offer both surgical and non-surgical options to treatment?||Not all neurological illnesses require surgery. Many pets can be conservatively treated with medication and / or rehabilitation.|
|Does the hospital offer on-site rehabilitation services, including water therapy using an underwater treadmill, and other treatments?||Follow up treatment is significant in helping pets recover following treatment or surgery. Having doctors and staff on-site who are fully apprised of your pets after-surgical needs means better results for your pet.|
|If you have a large dog, can the hospital accommodate him/her with lifts, particularly in the rehabilitation area?||Lifts enable gentle placement and movement of your pet. They are also important for rehabilitation.|
|Does the hospital offer holistic treatment to aid pets in healing such as acupuncture, laser therapy, exercise and massage?||Many pets benefit, physically and emotionally, from combining holistic treatments with other forms of rehabilitation and recovery.|
|Is there more than one neurologist on staff for second opinions and to cover in a doctor’s absence?||Collaboration among doctors – just like in human centers of excellence — means the best possible outcome for your pet.|
|Is the hospital willing to provide written cost estimates with ranges to address unforeseen outcomes?||Every pet is different, so there is no “one size fits all” treatment. Hospitals providing a range of cost estimates follow “best practices” by providing complete information.|
|Does the hospital have a place where families can stay or spend the night if they would like to?||Families want to be close to their pets when they are having complex procedures; a best in class hospital will offer this to pet families.|
If you would like to know more about treatment options for your pet, please contact Animal Neurology & MRI center to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to discuss available treatment options with you and your family veterinarian.