All neurologist patients undergo a neurological examination. This examination helps veterinarian to decide if it is a neurological patient, where the patient’s main problem is, what tests he needs. The veterinarian expects to hear as detailed, accurate description of the problem as possible from each patient owner. Each neurological examination begins with a general clinical, orthopedic examination, followed by a neurological examination. Of course, the sequence of tests can vary, depending on whether the patient is willing to cooperate or not. Some internal and orthopedic diseases may appear to be neurological diseases, so joint clinical and orthopedic tests help to confirm or rule out these diseases. For example, a patient in shock may be apathetic, unresponsive to the environment, and thus mimic diseases of the brain or peripheral nervous system. A cat with abdominal aortic thrombosis has paralyzed hind legs, but the origin of the paralysis is not the spinal cord, but because blood does not flow into the hind legs. A rupture of the cruciate ligament (especially in both legs) may resemble diseases in the lumbar sacrum or paralysis.

A neurologist working in Kaivana can perform and interpret neurological examination, independently interprets magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography spinal radiological examinations. Can take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to examine and interpret it. Prescribe, monitor and adjust the treatment of neurological diseases (epilepsy, paroxysmal dyskinesia, meningoencephalitis, etc.). Operates on acute and chronic intervertebral disc herniations in the neck, chest-lumbar, lumbar, lumbar-sacral area. Also operates on subarachnoid cysts, certain tumors of the brain and spinal cord, atalantoaxial subluxation, and some vertebral fractures. Can take a nerve muscle biopsy.

Neurological examination

Neurological examination includes a whole range of tests: the patient’s consciousness, behavior, posture, gait, postural reactions, scalp nerves, reflexes, and looking for painful areas.

If the neurological examination is not normal, the tests performed help to decide the neurological localization of the disease. It can be the brain, where the hemispheres of the brain are additionally secreted. The spinal cord, where the neck, chest, lumbar region, the lumbar region, which contains only the nerves, is also known as the cauda equina region. Subsequent possible localizations may include the peripheral nervous system, nerve muscle junction (synapse), or muscle. Each localization has its own specific diseases, which sometimes require specific testing methods.

Taking into account the neuroanatomical localization, symptoms, and their progression, the veterinarian can compile a list of suspected diseases and prescribe further tests accordingly.

Neurological symptoms

The most obvious neurological symptoms are epileptic seizures, paralysis, clouded consciousness, spinning in circles, uncoordinated gait, turned head, but there are also less specific symptoms, such as limping, reluctance to jump, scratching, or non-specific ones – soreness, sudden stiffness, etc. Attention should be paid

Tests after neurological examination

After the neurological examination, depending on the suspected disease or diseases, a blood test, magnetic resonance, computer tomography, X-ray, electromyography tests, spinal fluid, or nerve muscle biopsy may be prescribed. More common conditions would include epilepsy, paroxysmal dyskinesia, encephalitis, herniated intervertebral discs, syringomyelia, subarachnoid cysts, degenerative myelopathy, spinal fractures, polyneuropathies, myasthenia, and other diseases.


Once diagnosed, medication or surgical treatment may be given. Some neurological diseases, with an accurate diagnosis, do not require any specific treatment and pets recover on their own, but before starting any tests or even treatment, the most important thing is to start with a neurological examination, because it will significantly facilitate the decision-making, research and treatment process.

Mindaugas Rakauskas

Veterinarian Mindaugas Rakauskas, who has worked for a long time at the Finnish neurology clinic Aisti, specializes in neurology and neurosurgery