Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is one of the three main treatment options for various types of cancer, the other two being surgery and then chemotherapy. Radiation is offered at two centres locally, Seattle and Pullman, which are both in Washington State. Radiation works mainly by damaging the DNA of tumor cells but unfortunately it does also damage normal tissue as well. Therefore side effects can occur, particularly if the animal’s eyes, ears or nose are in the radiation field. Ideally, any owner considering radiation therapy for their pet should have a consultation with a radiation therapist. See the links below for additional information

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Rabies

Overview

This is a very rare disease in British Columbia but rabies is endemic (meaning it occurs regularly) in British Columbia in bats.  It also occurred in two skunks in Vancouver’s Stanley Park in 2004. Therefore, any animal that catches a bat and any animal (or person) that is bitten by a bat or is exposed to a bat while sleeping, should seek medical attention immediately. Any animal (regardless of whether or not it has been vaccinated) that develops acute neurological disease after exposure to bats should be considered a rabies suspect until proven otherwise. Rabies causes a uniformly fatal encephalitis and this is the only type of encephalitis that can be transmitted easily from animals to people.

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Physical Therapy

Overview

Rehabilitation after an injury or from any serious neurologic disease is enhanced considerably by the appropriate use of physical therapy techniques. For example, animals that have been paralyzed in their rear legs have to regain the strength that has been lost during their bout of paralysis and then retrain their joint position sense (called proprioception) before they can walk and balance normally. Animals that have had diseases that affect the brain also often have to learn how to balance or walk again. Physical therapy is especially important for animals that can not move themselves at all, such as to even change sides, as these animals are at great risk of complications like pneumonia. Our [intlink id=”61″ type=”page”]physical therapy service[/intlink] can help your pet to recover from its illness. In some cases we will recommend that you work with other centres in the lower mainland that offer hydrotherapy, such as … Continue reading

Neurosurgery

Information on neurosurgical procedures is available in the section on disc diseaseWobbler syndrome, spinal fractures, syringohydromyelia, and atlantoaxial disease.

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Human:

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Neuroimaging

Overview

Figure 18-1: Dog with multiple spinal cord tumors (black arrowheads) outlined by myelography. The tumors displace the myelographic contrast agent that is mixed with spinal fluid (CSF) and so appear as dark masses surrounded by a white halo of contrast. The contrast can also be seen as a white line at the top and bottom of the spinal cord (white arrows).

The brain and spinal cord are buried deep within your pet’s body and unfortunately they do not show up at all on an X-ray. Either a dye has to be used to outline the spinal cord (see Figure 18-1) or advanced imaging studies need to be done using either a CT scan (Figure 18-5) or an MRI (Figures 18-7, 19-1). X-rays are nevertheless very useful in certain conditions, such as discospondylitis (Figure 18-2).

Spinal X-rays remain an important diagnostic tool in veterinary neurology. Their main value is to … Continue reading

Nervous System Tumors

Overview

Tumors are relatively common in dogs and overall they occur roughly twice as often in dogs as they do in people. Tumors that affect the nervous system occur regularly in both dogs and cats and can be considered under the subheadings of brain tumors and spinal tumors.

Brain

Brain tumors in animals can cause a wide variety of clinical signs; the exact signs are dependent mainly on the location and to some extent the size of the tumor. Seizures are the most common clinical sign caused by brain tumors in dogs and cats. In fact brain tumors are the most common cause of seizures that develop after 5 years of age in any animal, although obviously there are a number of other possible causes of [intlink id=”1565″ type=”post”]seizures[/intlink]. Diagnosis of brain tumors depends initially on a good neurological examination followed by intracranial imaging using either a CT scan or … Continue reading