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Category: neurological disease

A neurological disease is one that affects the brain or the network of nerves running throughout the body. The signs of illness can range from very mild (a weakness in one leg) to very severe (the inability to stand). In order for your vet to investigate the disease they need to know where the problem actually lies. If your pet has difficulty walking this may be because of a problem with the nerves in its leg, pressure on the nerves in its spine (like a slipped disc) or a problem in the brain. Only by careful examination can your vet identify where the problem is likely to be in order to perform the most appropriate tests.

Diseases affecting the brain can make dogs very unwell. The brain is a very delicate organ and even minor changes within the brain can cause significant clinical signs. Animals with brain disease can show a variety of signs: depression and apparent headache (pressing their head against a wall); seizures (fits); behavioural changes (including aggression, loss of training). If only a small area of the brain is affected then animals may show localised signs, eg lameness; head tilt; blindness; wobbliness.

Signs of brain disease may be caused by a disease within the brain or by a disease elsewhere in the body that results in toxins or other potentially harmful substances entering the blood and being transported to the brain. If your vet suspects that your pet has a brain disease they will need to do a variety of tests to work out where the primary problem is.

Wobbler Syndrome

This condition is encountered most frequently in large and giant breeds of dog, and especially Dobermans. It causes progressive difficulties in movement and an abnormal gait. Investigation and surgical treatment is usually carried out by specialist veterinary orthopaedic surgeons or

Vestibular Syndrome

Vestibular syndrome refers to a group of diseases that affect the balance system also known as the vestibular system. Common signs of vestibular syndrome include loss of balance, falling, rolling over, abnormal flickering of the eyes and general wobbliness. The

Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)

Until recently, it was thought that strokes were very rare in domestic pets. In the last few years, with the advance and increased availability of more specialist tests, strokes are being recognised more often in pets. The thought of your

Phenobarbital

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from nerve cells in the brain. Phenobarbital suppresses seizure activity by reducing the electrical charge within these cells. How much phenobarbital should my dog have? Phenobarbital is sold under the name Epiphen and

Paroxystic Events

A paroxysm is a sudden uncontrollable attack and in people is often applied to events like a fit of giggles. In animals a paroxystic attack is more serious and describes a disorder that starts suddenly but also resolves quickly. A

Neurological Examination

A neurological disease is one that affects the brain or the system of nerves running throughout the body. The signs of illness can range from very mild (a weakness in one leg) to very severe (the inability to stand). In

Neuro-Diagnostic Tests

If your pet is unwell it can be a confusing time trying to make sense of what your vet is doing and why. There are many tests commonly used in veterinary practice that help your vet to work out what

Ischaemic Myelopathy

Back (spinal) problems are common in dogs and some breeds of dog may be particularly at risk of particular types of spinal problem. Affected dogs may have neck or back pain or show a variety of signs including difficulty walking,

Inflammatory CNS Disease

Animals with brain disease may show sudden, dramatic signs and become very poorly extremely quickly. In other cases the signs are more vague and it may be some time before your vet gets to the bottom of the problem. Diseases

Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis is quite common in dogs, particularly in middle to old-age. The term is simply the description of drooping of muscles in the face, which is caused, not by damage to the muscles themselves, but to the nerves supplying

Epilepsy (Seizures)

If your dog has had a fit (convulsion) you will know how frightening it can be. Fits are not uncommon in dogs but many dogs only ever have a single fit. If your dog has had more than one fit

Bromide

Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges from nerve cells in the brain. Bromide suppresses seizure activity by reducing the electrical charge within these cells. How much bromide should my dog have? Bromide is normally given as a potassium salt