Veterinary Neurology and Imaging of the Chesapeake was founded by Dr. Jay McDonnell, a board-certified veterinary neurologist with more than 15 years of clinical experience, who has been practicing in Maryland since 2004.Veterinary Neurology and Imaging of the Chesapeake was founded by Dr. Jay McDonnell, a board-certified veterinary neurologist with more than 15 years of clinical experience, who has been practicing in Maryland since 2004.

Formerly the Chief of Neurology-Neurosurgery at Tufts University, Dr. McDonnell helped established the in-house magnetic resonance imaging suite, a brain surgery unit and minimally invasive CT-guided biopsy program at the university. Since moving to Maryland in 2004, Dr. McDonnell has continued his work in the definitive treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors, Central Nervous System (CNS) imaging, Chiari malformation (structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance) and Wobbler’s disease (a condition of the cervical vertebrae that causes an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness).

We provide a variety of services including:

  • Neurological evaluation and recommendations.
  • Advanced imaging—MRI and CT performance and interpretation.
  • Neurology – back, neck and brain surgery.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection and analysis.
  • Electrodiagnostics exams, BAER testing and neuromuscular disease work-up.
  • Seizure disorder work-up and consultations.
  • Post-operative care, pain management and rehabilitation.

Best imaging. surgical and innovative techniques distinguish us.  


“Dr. McDonnell and his team are the most caring and conscientious people I have ever had the pleasure to deal with in all of my many, many visits to vet specialists. Dr. McDonnell’s gentle and compassionate nature did wonders to calm my nervous kitty Nero during his many visits, and during Nero’s touch-and-go recovery, Dr. McDonnell never once was willing to give up on him. Dr. McDonnell’s skill and unending care, and his team’s personal kindness were the linchpins that got Nero, and me, through such a harrowing ordeal. The care they provide to your pet, and you, is truly unequalled.”

– Jean Crispens & Nero


We are the first in North America to use SonoCure, a revolutionary surgical technology previously restricted to the human field that preferentially removes tumorous tissue and preserves normal tissue.

We are also the first neurosurgical team in the Mid-Atlantic Area to treat Wobbler Syndrome with advanced cervical arthroplasty using an artificial disc (Developed by Dr. Filippo Adamo, California).  

Currently, we’re participating in two brain research projects:  Canine Vaccine trial led by G. Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD at the University of Minnesota, and Molecular Combinatorial Therapy for Canine Malignant Gliomas led by Dr. John Rossmeisl of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

Two highly skilled veterinary neurologist neurosurgeons provide additional coverage several days a month: ADD DR. TODD INFO HERE and Peter J. Early, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology, at North Carolina State University Veterinary Health Complex.

Our associate veterinarian, Emily Kennedy, DVM, assists Dr. McDonnell in Annapolis by providing in-hospital care to hospitalized patients. She does not see patients for any appointments; and all patients cared for by VNIOC are evaluated by Dr. McDonnell or another board-certified neurologist.

At both of our locations, Annapolis and Towson, Maryland, there is a fully staffed veterinary team, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including an ICU with access to groups of veterinary specialists, including cardiologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, internists, and surgeons.