Welcome to the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where specialized veterinary care is provided for animals with neurological diseases. This includes disorders of the brain, inner ear, spinal cord, and vertebrae, as well as diseases affecting muscles, nerves and the neuromuscular junction (neuromuscular disease). The service is run by a team of board-certified neurologists and resident veterinarians specializing in the neurological diseases of animals. They provide diagnostic testing, medical care, and surgery for dogs and cats, as well as a consultation service for horses, livestock, exotic species and laboratory animals. The service also provides 24-hour emergency care for animals with immediate neurological and neurosurgical needs. The Neurology/Neurosurgery Service also works cooperatively with other specialty services within the VMTH. This team approach allows animals with neurological problems to receive state-of-the-art care throughout their hospital stay.
The mission of the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service is:
- To provide the best available medical and surgical care to animals with neurological problems
- To learn and disseminate information about neurological problems in animals
- To educate veterinary students and residents in Neurology/Neurosurgery
Clinical Activities and Procedures
The Neurology/Neurosurgery Service at the UC Davis VMTH offers specialized veterinary care for animals with neurological diseases. This includes disorders of the brain, inner ear, spinal cord and vertebrae, as well as diseases affecting muscles, nerves and the neuromuscular junction (neuromuscular disease). The service is run by a team of board-certified neorologists and resident veterinarians specializing in the neurological dysfunction of animals. Our clinicians provide a number of specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including ultrasound, fluoroscopy, myelography, linear and computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cerebrospinal fluid collection, intervertebral disc aspiration, aural endoscopy and myringotomy are ancillary diagnostics routinely performed by neurology clinicians.
The Electrodiagnostic Laboratory and the Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory run by the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service, conduct highly-specialized testing for animals with dysfunction of peripheral nerves, muscle and the neuromuscular junction. Electromyography (EMG), motor and sensory nerve conduction velocity (MNCV and SNCV), repetitive nerve stimulation, somatosensory evoked potentials, single fiber electromyography, and F and H waves are some of the tests routinely carried out in the laboratory. Muscle and nerve biopsies collected from animals with neuromuscular problems are also processed in the Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory.
Electrophysiological evaluation of the ear and brain are also routinely done in the Electrodiagnostic Laboratory. Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) tests are performed to diagnose deafness and other diseases affecting the ear and brainstem. Electroencephalography (EEG), which records the electrical activity in the brain, is also available.
A complete range of routine neurosurgeries are performed by the Neurology/Neurosurgery Service. These include dorsal, hemi and hemidorsal laminectomy procedures on all levels of the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral), ventral slot procedure of the cervical spine, intervertebral disc fenestration, and peripheral nerve and nerve root exploration. Spinal stabilization procedures for the treatment of spinal instability or fractures are also performed. State-of-the-art neurosurgical procedures offered by the service include stereotactic CT-guided brain biopsy, craniotomy and cranioplasty, ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, intracranial pressure monitoring device placement, and atlantoaxial luxation repair.
Beverly Sturges, DVM, DACVIM
Chief of Service
Peter Dickinson, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM
Christine Toedebusch, DVM, PhD
Marguerite Knipe, DVM, DACVIM
Chai-Fei Li, DVM, DACVIM
Karen Vernau, DVM, MAS, DACVIM
Vishal Murthy, DVM
Kelly O'Connell, BVMS
Rell Parker, DVM, PhD
Izumi Toyoda, DVM, PhD
Patient Service Coordinator
Amy Corinne Richardson
Patient Service Coordinator
Client/Referring Veterinarian Service Coordinator