Neurology & Neurosurgery

Appointments for our Neurology service will be available soon. For questions or more information, please give us a call at 602-697-4694. 

What is a Board-Certified Veterinary Neurologist?

Board-certified veterinary neurologists are specialists who focus on diagnosing and treating diseases of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, muscles, and peripheral nerves of animals. In addition to completing undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, board-certified veterinary neurologists complete an internship and residency in their specialized field, an additional four to five years of training. This is followed by a rigorous examination from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Passing this examination grants the status of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM), with the area of concentration placed in parenthesis after that title.

Our Neurology Specialist:

Ilyssa Meren, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

How Do We Diagnose Neurologic Disease?

Evaluations by the neurologist start with a review of your pet’s medical history and current concerns. A thorough physical and neurologic examination is performed to determine where the problem is within a specific part of the nervous system. From there, a plan for diagnostic testing is developed based on the abnormalities identified on examination and the suspected cause of the symptoms. Neurological disease can manifest with some frightening symptoms: changes in behavior, paralysis, difficult walking, tremors, pain, or seizures. Home videos of episodes can often help in our evaluation and assessment. Following the initial examination and consultation with our board-certified neurologist, additional diagnostics may be recommended.

What Diagnostics Does VetMED Neurology Have Available?
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): *NEUROIMAGING CENTER COMING EARLY 2021!*
    • Our 1.5 Tesla MRI proves high-resolution, multi-plane images allowing us to visualize soft tissue structures including the nervous system, that would not be visible with traditional radiography (x-rays) or computed tomography (CT). MRI is the gold standard to evaluate the nervous system.
  • Computed Tomography (CT):
    • Our 16-slice CT scanner can be used for some conditions or to complement the MRI.
  • Digital Radiography (X-Rays):
    • Digital radiography provides a 2-dimensional image for a general assessment of the vertebral column, but can also be used for general health screen (for example, chest radiographs to look for disease of the heart and lungs) before general anesthesia that is required for advanced imaging such as MRI.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sampling and analysis:
    • Our neurologist may need to collect fluid from the space around the brain and spinal cord to assess for inflammation of the central nervous system. This fluid is then submitted to a laboratory for analysis.
  • Laboratory Procedures:
    • This includes, but is not limited to, complete blood counts, biochemistry profiles, infectious disease testing, and genetic testing.
Why Should I Choose VetMED Neurology?

VetMED Neurology is unique in the Valley due to our collaborative care between a large variety of board-certified veterinary specialists. Not only do we have 24/7 emergency care available, but we also have an excellent group of specialists to meet all of your pet’s needs. If an abdominal ultrasound is indicated prior to general anesthesia, we have specialists that can perform this procedure. If your pet has a heart murmur, our cardiologists can perform an echocardiogram of your pet’s heart before anesthesia for MRI. Not only does our board-certified neurologist review the images from MRI, but so does our board-certified radiologist. When you bring your pet to VetMED, you know you are getting the very best care!

What Are Some Common Reasons to Schedule an Appointment with a Veterinary Neurologist?

If your pet is experiencing seizures, changes in behavior, balance problems, weakness in the limbs, wobbly gait, back or neck pain, inability to walk, or other progressive neurological signs, please consider scheduling an appointment with our board-certified neurologist.

What Are Common Conditions a Neurologist Treats?

Our neurologist sees a variety of conditions. Some of these conditions (but not limited to this list) include the following:

  • Seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
  • Vestibular diseases (balance system disturbances)
  • Strokes
  • Inflammation (infectious or auto-immune) of the nervous system
  • Syringomyelia
  • Back and neck pain due to disc herniations or protrusion
  • Neurodegenerative/genetic disorders
  • Brain and spinal tumors
  • Myasthenia gravis and other neuromuscular conditions
  • Degenerative myelopathy

If your primary veterinarian has mentioned any of the following diseases or other neurologic concerns and you are interested in consulting with our neurologist, please schedule an appointment!