Neurology - Appointments
We accept new cases only if they are referrals from a veterinarian. This ensures that the patient is initially referred to the most appropriate service within the Veterinary Health Complex. Some cases, particularly orthopedic or cardiac cases, can show very similar signs to neurologic cases. This policy is also important because once discharged from the hospital, we will need to work with the patient's veterinarian in order to provide continued, high quality care.
- New patient non-emergency appointments are made on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
- Emergency cases are seen as needed depending upon the medical condition of the patient and the daily appointment schedule.
There is always a board-certified neurologist on call to provide expert consultation and, where indicated, evaluation of emergency cases that present through the Veterinary Health Complex emergency service.
How Do I Get An Appointment?
Our service works on a referral only basis, so the primary veterinarian must first evaluate the patient and then contact our service directly to initiate the referral, if needed. The final arrangements for the date and time of the appointment are usually made directly with the client. We prefer to have the owner bring the patient to the neurology appointment rather than delegate this to a friend or relative, as it is often crucial to the management and outcome of the case that an accurate history be obtained. In many cases, this will involve information that only the owner is aware of.
What Will Happen at an Appointment?
For the first appointment at the Veterinary Health Complex, please allow 2-3 hours. The visit will start at the admission desk where a medical record is set up for the patient.
The client and patient will be met by either a student, clinical technician or veterinarian who will then take the patient's history information. An initial review of any radiographs, bloodwork or other referral information from the primary veterinarian is also done at this time. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that this information is conveyed to the Veterinary Health Complex in time for the appointment as the primary veterinarian may not be aware of the exact date of the appointment.
A physical examination will then be performed on the patient, followed by a neurologic examination. These may be performed initially by a student, intern or visiting resident. Following this, a neurology clinician (either a neurology resident or senior neurologist) will speak with the client to review the examination findings and to make recommendations on any other specific tests that are recommended to make a precise diagnosis. Depending upon the diagnostics needed and the treatment plan prescribed, the patient may need to be hospitalized for several days.
When will the diagnostic tests be performed?
It is very important to realize that the major diagnostic tests are often run one or two days after the patient is brought to the Veterinary Health Complex. This is done in order to refine exactly which tests will be required and to determine whether the patient can be safely anesthetized.
Can a diagnosis be given via a telephone consult?
Unfortunately, it is usually impossible to determine a specific diagnosis from a telephone desciption provided by the client or from the referring veterinarian. In nearly all cases, a full patient history, thorough physical and neurologic examinations, and a series of tests are needed before we can provide a diagnosis for the patient's condition.