Veterinary Neurology and Imaging of the Chesapeake (VNIOC) is uniquely positioned as a trusted, state-of-the-art advanced diagnostic and surgical practice, combining reliable techniques and pioneering innovation.

VNIOC harnesses science and technology to create better outcomes for animals that support healthier living and enhance the overall quality of life.

Our use of best imaging practices with our 1.5T MRI and CT, highly specialized surgery and unparalleled rehabilitation distinguish us in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Region. We also have a full-time veterinarian who supervises anesthesia for MRI.

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 to treat Wobbler Syndrome with advanced cervical arthroplasty using an artificial disc break-through invented by Dr. Filippo Adamo of California.

Our staff is counted among the most highly-trained doctors and technicians in the fields of veterinary neurology, neurosurgery and imaging today. Combining the best care for our patients, with real support for pet-parents, and strong relationships with referring doctors, provides competitive advantage.

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.

“When I refer pets for neuro consults, VNIOC’s staff members are incredibly caring, precisely what a distraught owner needs when dealing with a difficult situation, whether it be a down dog or seizing cat…”

“Capable hands perform delicate neurosurgery which gives new life to pets thought lost…”

“The support team includes nurses of outstanding ability and physical therapists trained and equipped with state of the art techniques.”

“Additionally, VNIOC’s MRI unit is the most powerful in the area, enabling precise diagnoses. Animals anesthetized for imaging benefit from a level of monitoring unsurpassed in the industry.”

“I often call with questions about cases and always get a prompt response.”

“I consider myself and my clients extremely fortunate to have access to this level of care.”

– Celeste Conn, VMD


Founded by our Medical Chief of Staff, 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).

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 including Peter J. Early, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology, at North Carolina State University Veterinary Health Complex.


“Dr. McDonnell and his fabulous staff were wonderful helping us develop a treatment plan for Lewis’ epilepsy. They were always accessible to us as we navigated the complexities of his disease. We felt that they really listened to our observations and concerns, allowing us to be a valued part of the process. If you want a knowledgeable, responsive, and phenomenally kind team treating your pet, this is the place to come!”

– Amy Wernecke & Lewis


“I only have one word to say what I think about Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake and that is AWESOME!! They were all very caring and took wonderful care of Miley. They even made sure that I was okay, because this emergency was very emotional for me as well. I am happy to say, that Miley has made a wonderful recovery so far and in a very short time, thanks to Dr. McDonnell and the staff. I can’t believe the difference in Miley, from May 10th until now. The MRI and spinal tap allowed Dr. McDonnell to find the main cause of her problem and to start treatment. Thank you again for saving my baby girl for me!!!”

– Frank Hawley & Mile