In the October issue of Bay Woof, SFVS’s new neurologist, David Geiger, DVM, answers a reader’s question about some of the neurological issues older dogs are at higher risk for: strokes, brain tumors, intervertebral disk disease, neurodegenerative disorders. He explains:
Common signs of neurological disorders include convulsive seizures, balance loss, limb weakness or incoordination, spinal pain, unexplained changes in behavior, vision loss, and urinary or fecal incontinence. Many neurological diseases are mistakenly attributed to more well-known geriatric problems, including arthritis, or simply to “old age.”
It is never normal for an older animal to display signs of neurological dysfunction. If you suspect a neurological problem, make detailed notes about what you see, including what part(s) of the body are affected, when and how often the problem is observed, whether it appears to worsen over time, and what effect any previous treatments may have had. If a problem only occurs intermittently, a video recording can be invaluable.
Veterinary neurologists have advanced, specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological problems and work in partnership with family veterinarians. Most are also trained to perform neurosurgery. If you or your veterinarian suspect a neurological problem, you may be referred to a neurologist for further evaluation. After an interview and complete neurological exam, neuroimaging (x-rays, MRI, CT scan or others) may be recommended. Special blood or spinal fluid testing may also be helpful.
While neurological diseases can be devastating to canine companions and their families, many problems, including some once considered hopeless, are now regularly treated and cured.
Full article: Ask Dr Dog: Senior Canine Neurology (Bay Woof)