1. Discospondylitis

    Discospondylitis is an infection of the intervertebral disk and adjacent vertebra and may be associated with significant illness and neurologic impairment if definitive diagnosis and initiation of appropriate antimicrobial treatment are delayed.  The infection typically spreads to the intervertebral disk via the bloodstream from another source of infection such as the bladder, reproductive organs…Read More

  2. When To Refer Neurosurgery Cases: Backs, Necks & Seizures

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) The most common neurosurgical cases for dogs are those of the thoracolumbar (T3-L3) spine, the cervical-cervicothoracic (C1-T2) spine and intracranial surgery. Knowing when to refer your neurosurgical cases can be the most artful of the art and science of veterinary medicine. We wish to provide our patients with the best options for a successf…Read More

  3. 7 Questions About Spinal Subarachnoid “Cysts”

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) 1. What is a spinal arachnoid cyst? A spinal subarachnoid cyst is not actually a cyst; instead it is a fluid-filled dilation within the subarachnoid space. It's best referred to as an Arachnoid Diverticulum (plural=Diverticula).  The term “pseudocyst” has been used to describe this abnormality as well. 2. What are the clinical signs and h…Read More

  4. Cervical Arthroplasty: Artificial Disc Replacement for Disc-Associated Wobbler Syndrome

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) For more than 15 years, I’ve had a special interest in the definitive treatment of cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM or Wobbler Syndrome). The two most commonly recognized forms of the disease include the static form (young Great Danes and Mastiffs) and dynamic CSM (middle-aged Dobermans, Rottweilers and retrievers). Over the past several yea…Read More

  5. Atlantoaxial Subluxation Microsurgery

    In July, Shannon G. and her family brought home two Yorkie puppies, Benny and his sister, Pippa. After having Benny groomed, they noticed Benny started to wobble. His condition worsened over the next few days to the point where Benny fell and couldn't get up.  "We took him to our regular veterinarian who put Benny on steroids and antibiotics, but when we tried to wean him off the steroids, he got…Read More

  6. 10 Questions Dog Owners Ask About Seizures

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) 1. Why is my dog trembling or shaking? Could it be a seizure? There are many reasons your dog may be shaking or trembling including stress or anxiety, cold, pain, muscular weakness, a neurological problems, chronic kidney disease and Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS). GTS  is a condition that was first seen in small, white dogs such as Maltes…Read More

  7. Six Questions Dog Owners Ask About Back Problems and Paralysis in Dogs

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)   My dachshund is having trouble walking. My vet suspects that it’s a problem with his spine. Is there anything that can be done—or will my dog end up in a doggie wheelchair? Dogs that can barely walk and those that can’t walk at all due to disk disease have an 80% to 95% chance to return to normal function with surgery. First however, …Read More

  8. 8 Questions About Feline Idiopathic Vestibular Disease

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) 1. What is Feline idiopathic vestibular disease? Feline idiopathic vestibular disease (IVD) is a disease of uncertain cause that affects the peripheral (outside the brain) vestibular system. Although the origin of the disease has yet to be determined, it is speculated that it occurs due to an inflammatory process that affects the peripheral ve…Read More

  9. Cutting Edge Treatment For Brain Tumors in Dogs

    By Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) There’s exciting, ground-breaking research on brain tumors in dogs being done by G. Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, PhD  and John Ohlfest, PhD and their colleagues at the University of Minnesota. The Canine Brain Tumor Clinical Trial Program they direct seeks to further cutting edge brain tumor treatment using dogs with naturally-occurring brain tu…Read More

  10. The Great Imitator: Diagnosing and Treating Idiopathic Polyarthritis (Immune-Mediated)

    Veterinary neurologists often evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients that are referred to us for back pain and/or weakness. Polyarthritis is often considered the Great Imitator as patients suffering from this problem can appear very similar to patients with intervertebral disc disease, myopathies, meningitis, and even myasthenia gravis.  The most critical step required to diagnose polyarthritis i…Read More