Neurology and Neurosurgery

Pets can suffer from most of the same spinal cord, brain, muscle and nerve diseases that humans do. These often debilitating problems fall under the specialty of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery.  The Animal Medical Center has three board certified veterinary neurologists specializing in the neurological and neurosurgical treatment of small animals.

Some of the most common signs of neurological disease are:

  • Limb weakness, paresis or lack of movement (plegia)
  • Balance disorders (vertigo and vestibular dysfunction)
  • Vision disturbance
  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes including cognitive decline/dementia
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lameness/limping
  • Pain

Given any of these signs, a veterinary neurologist will use a neurological examination to localize where in the nervous system the pets problem arises from. Once the problem is localized, the Animal Medical Center has the most state-of-the-art medical equipment to make a definitive diagnosis as to the cause of the problem:

  • 1.5 Tesla Philips MRI (The exclusive high field MRI for small animals in NYC)
  • 64-slice spiral CT scanner
  • Fluoroscopy/myelography
  • Electromyography (EMG, NCVS, BAER, RNS and sensory evoked potentials)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • In-house laboratory for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis
  • Muscle and nerve biopsy

Once a diagnosis is made, the problem may be treated medically or surgically. The neurologists at the Animal Medical Center are extensively trained in the most advanced neurosurgical procedures. All three of the neurologists have acquired Certificates of Neurosurgical Training. Dr. McCue is also board certified in Small Animal Internal Medicine and is uniquely able to manage some of the most complicated medical conditions of the nervous system.

Medically treated neurological conditions:

  • Complex/refractory seizures
  • Immune-mediated diseases
    • Myasthenia Gravis
    • Polymyositis/polyneuropathy
    • Optic neuritis
  • Inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord
    • Granulomatous meningoencephalitis (GME)
    • Meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology (MUE)
    • Infectious diseases of the brain and spinal cord
    • Infectious disease of the spine (diskospondylitis)
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic disease
  • Disk disease

Neurosurgical Conditions:

  • Disk disease
    • Hemilaminectomy
    • Dorsal laminectomy
    • Ventral slot
    • Pediculectomy
  • Cervical spondylomyelopathy (Wobbler’s syndrome)
  • Brain tumors
    • Biopsy
    • Craniotomy
    • Cranioplasty
  • Congenital diseases
    • Caudal occipital malformation syndrome (COMS or Chiari)
    • Hydrocephalus (ventriculoperitoneal shunt)
  • Spinal fractures and/or luxations
  • Pituitary surgery (Hypophysectomy) (For RDVMs: Hypophysectomy)

The neurology service is available seven days/week for appointments. We are always available to consult with your veterinarian by phone, and work in partnership with referral vets to ensure the highest standard of care possible for your pet. Commonly, neurological problems are emergent in nature. We are readily available to consult with the emergency service at the AMC to make recommendations or to receive admissions and perform any required diagnostic procedure.