Frequently Asked Questions
Does my pet need an appointment to see the Neurology/Neurosurgery service?
Yes. In order for the Neurology/Neurosurgery service to provide the best treatment for our patients, appointments are required for animals with emergency and non-emergency neurological disorders.
How do I schedule an appointment?
You may schedule an appointment by calling the Small Animal Reception Two desk at (530) 752-1393, from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. While it is not essential that your pet be referred by your veterinarian, we encourage referral. Regular Neurology/Neurosurgery appointments are generally booked 4-6 weeks in advance. If you feel that your pet has an urgent medical problem or a problem that cannot wait for the first available appointment please indicate this to the receptionist, who will direct you to the Neurologist on emergency duty. If you would like an earlier appointment than scheduled, please indicate this to the receptionist and a move up comment can be added to your appointment. If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, please notify the Small Animal Reception Two desk ASAP by calling (530) 752-1393.
How do I schedule an emergency appointment?
The Neurology/Neurosurgery service provides an emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
During regular business hours
8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, call (530) 752-1393. You or your veterinarian will indicate to the receptionist the nature of your pet's neurological problem. The receptionist will direct your call to the Neurologist on emergency duty.
5pm-8am, Monday through Thursday and on Fridays, 5pm through 8am Monday, you will call (530) 752-1393, press 1 for emergency. You or your veterinarian should indicate to the receptionist the nature of your pet's neurological problem. The receptionist will direct your call to the Neurologist on emergency duty or to the veterinarian on emergency duty.
The doctor will discuss with you or your veterinarian your pet's history, clinical signs and test results, in order to gain an understanding of where your pet's neurological problem is located, what could be causing the problem, tests which would likely be required and costs, treatment options and prognosis. The doctor will schedule an appointment and discuss how to safely transport your pet.
My pet is a VMTH patient. How do I set up a recheck appointment?
Recheck appointments can also be booked up 4-6 weeks in advance. It is best to make your recheck appointment as your pet is discharged from the hospital, or by calling soon after the initial visit. To schedule a recheck appointment, call Small Animal Reception Two desk at (530) 752-1393. If reception isn't able to offer you an appointment in the time frame needed, ask to leave a message with the Service Coordinator, Toni Beelard.
Please provide Toni with your pet's six digit "VMTH" number (usually begins with a 3), the doctor you wish to schedule the appointment with, the time frame you wish to schedule the appointment for, and telephone numbers she can reach you at during the day.
What preparation is needed for the Neurology/Neurosurgery appointment?
If your pet is referred, your veterinarian is asked to provide a referral letter. The referral letter summarizes your pet's neurological problem and medical history. Please bring copies of recent or important lab work results, radiographs and any medication your pet has been receiving with you. Your pet should ideally not receive any food for 12 hours prior to the appointment, unless you have a young animal or are otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Your pet should have access to water at all times.
What happens in an appointment?
You will be greeted by a veterinary student in the Reception Two area, who will take you and your pet into an examination room. The student will ask you a series of questions concerning your pet's neurological problem, and then some general health questions such as vaccination history, etc. The student will review any information that you have brought with you. A general physical examination will be done by the student, which includes measuring temperature, pulse, respiration, weight. The student will leave the examination room and discuss your pet's history and physical examination findings with the Neurology resident and attending Neurologist. The Neurology resident and student will then return to the examination room and the Neurology resident will ask you some additional questions and do a physical examination followed by a specialized neurological examination of your pet. The doctor and student will leave the examination room to discuss their findings and to review any radiographs that you have brought. They will return in approximately 10 minutes. At this time, the Neurology resident will discuss with you their findings on the history, review of the material you brought with you, and the physical and neurological examinations. They will discuss with you whether they feel your pet has a primary neurological problem and if so, where the problem is located in the nervous system, what the most likely causes of the problem are, what tests are necessary, the cost and risks of those tests, what the most likely treatment will be, the cost of the treatment, and the prognosis. The entire appointment usually takes about 2 hours.
What role does the student play?
One of the primary missions of the VMTH is teaching. Veterinary students rotate through the Neurology/Neurosurgery service for 2-4 weeks. They are an integral part of this service and are involved in all aspects of patient diagnostics and treatment. Their primary responsibilities include patient care and client communication. Students are closely supervised by the Neurologist and Registered Veterinary Technician on duty. Neurology/Neurosurgery students do not do advanced diagnostic tests such as spinal taps, myelograms or neurosurgery as these skills require extensive training.
What is a Neurological examination?
The neurological examination is a specialized type of physical examination where the functional integrity of the nervous system is systematically evaluated. There are several different components to the examination such as evaluation of reflexes, gait analysis and palpation. Usually this examination is done in the examination room with the owner present. Sometimes the animal is taken outside for a more detailed examination of the gait or other neurological functions on different surfaces.
What is a myelogram?
Myelogram Information page
What is disc disease?
Disc Disease Information page