Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake
808 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 224-0121 - ext 5

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To arrange for a consult at Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake, download, fill out and return to us the Referral Request form and either fax it to 1-443-926-9666 or email it to Please include a copy of most recent lab work and please send radiographs if applicable. If you prefer, you can fill out the online form.

Our staff will get back in touch with you to schedule a time to consult with your patient.

Following the consultation, documentation including examination findings, assessment, rule-out lists and recommendations will be available for your patient. Follow-up phone consultations with you including review of test results are provided in the initial consultation.

About the Veterinary Neurological Exam Form
We provide the downloadable veterinary neurological exam form to our referring vets as an aid in gathering information about a patient.
The neurological examination should be carried out in a systematic fashion, emphasizing patient comfort, compliance and obtaining the most information possible. I use this form so that I am reminded of the tests that can be utilized, and as a way to record my findings. In a fast-changing situation (think paretic dog becoming paralyzed or a dull cat becoming stuporous), it is very valuable to have documentation of a patient status at different times of day.

Dr. McDonnell's notes on the veterinary neurological exam form provided:

  • I evaluate the pet’s attitude, level of consciousness, behavior, posture, locomotion and gait prior to actually getting “hands-on” the patient. This can be done during the client interview, while the animal is getting more comfortable in the room.

  • I have listed a number of postural reactions that essentially test much of the same neuroanatomical structures. You should not do all of these tests; use the ones that will be most appropriate for the pet being tested. For instance, performing the tactile and visual placing reactions is easy with an eight-pound cat, but perhaps is not the appropriate test for a 100-pound Lab.

  • Of all the spinal reflexes (biceps, triceps, gastrocnemius, cranial tibial), I have listed the ones that I find most valuable in terms of reliability and ease of performance.

  • The cranial nerves are listed by the functional test that is performed. The cranial nerves numbers are listed following the name of the test.

  • Epaxial palpation can be divided up into light and deep palpation, as well as manipulation of the spine. If possible, I pinpoint the exact spot of pain or reactions.

  • Pain perception is judged lastly, so as to ensure the cooperation of the patient. I will pinch on the webbing of the foot to evaluate for superficial pain. The appropriate reaction is a behavioral response, which may include turning to the stimulated foot, crying or change in attitude/posture. Limb withdrawal is only a local spinal reflex. If the patient has superficial pain, it is unnecessary to test for deep pain. Deep pain can be assessed by pinching one of the phalanges with a hemostat to stimulate the periosteum.