A healthy brain means a healthy life. This is also true for our beloved pets. The interesting field of pet Neurology is saving the lives of many Australian pets who suffer from diseases affecting the nervous system and brain.
“This is such an interesting veterinary field that is brining hope to many pet owners across the country,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “Today, many pet owners are able to receive a quick and accurate diagnosis of their beloved pet condition and what treatment is available.”
The most common Neuro related problems are Seizure Disorders, Epilepsy and Intervertebral Disk Disease, also known as ‘slipped disks’.
Dr Matthias Le Chevoir, Veterinary Neurologist from U-Vet and Head of Neurology (Acting) at Melbourne University has helped countless pets lead normal happy lives after treatment for various conditions affecting the brain and nervous system.
“There are indeed few misconceptions people have about neurology. Sometimes people think neurology refers to psychiatry or something similar,” Dr Le Chevoir says. “Another common misconception some people and sometimes veterinarians have is that, most of the diseases we deal with are incurable.”
“The nervous system is perceived as a very complex machine that cannot be repaired; and it is true, the physician cannot repair most the neurological defects but, the nervous system is able to heal very well,” Dr Le Chevoir says.
This is great news for pet owners whose companion animals are suffering with complex nervous system conditions.
The Veterinary Neurology profession has also gained in experience regarding the treatment of brain tumours, which today, do not necessarily lead to euthanasia.
“This is wonderful news for pet owners,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia. “The Veterinary Neurology options and advice now available is giving pet owners a sense of relief. It’s fantastic that we can now access specialized healthcare and treatment choices, that is literally saving lives and giving many Australian families options when it comes to the care of their beloved pet.”
Symptoms of seizure:
- Loss of consciousness
- Stiffening of muscles
- Falling on their sides with legs moving like they are swimming
- Dazed and confused look
- Unaware of surroundings
“Symptoms of epilepsy are often detected by the owners and look bad enough so that they immediately contact their veterinarian,” Dr Chevoir says. “For example, most dogs and cats would lose consciousness and start paddling, salivating and sometimes urinate and defecate while unconscious.
Symptoms of back/neck disease:
- Pain and weakness
- Lameness in rear legs
- Hunched back or neck muscles
- Unwillingness to jump
- Crying in pain when lying down or getting up
“Symptoms of back/neck diseases might be a bit subtle at first and really mimic an orthopaedic lameness (like a stifle or hip problems) until the dog or cat is not able to walk anymore.”