What to expect when visiting your neurologist:
Any visit to a vet can be stressful, and when your pet isn’t well, that stress can be even worse! We try to keep things as relaxed and informal as possible in the neurology service, and to reduce the stress of not knowing what to expect when you arrive, we’ve provided a little guide.
If you’re coming with your pet for the first time, we schedule an hour-long appointment. We start by sitting you down and letting your pet wander around the room to get a feel for things like gait and balance. While this is going on, Dr Long will ask questions about the nature of your pet’s problem – how long it’s been going on, how it has changed, what medications you’ve tried – before having a look at your pet.
We then start with a general physical examination (listening to the chest, feeling in the abdomen, assessing pulses) before getting to the neurological examination. This is designed to assess how well the nervous system is performing and where exactly things are going wrong. The neurological examination can look a little odd since we get your pet to do potentially tricky things like hop on one leg, and test reflexes with them lying down (this can be stressful for many animals in a strange environment so if your animal is too anxious about this we may skip some of these tests).
At the end of this process Dr Long will explain where the problem is likely to be, what are the possible likely causes, and what tests may need to be performed to get a diagnosis. Lastly, since it may be necessary to perform some of these tests under a general anaesthetic, it is important that your pet has had no breakfast (nothing to eat after midnight the night before) and no water after 6 am.