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Neurology FAQs

What is an MRI?

MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is a powerful, non-invasive way to image the inside of an animal’s body. MRI uses molecules of water to form detailed images of a cross section of the body. It offers superior image quality over many other types of imaging (e.g., X-rays and CT) and is ideal for imaging of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It also offers advantages for oncological (cancer) imaging.

Can my pet’s MRI be performed on the same day as the initial appointment?

MRIs are performed on a regular basis Monday-Friday, as well as on an emergency basis overnight and on the weekend. Often we can perform the MRI on the same day as your appointment. Emergencies and critical cases take first priority. 

Will I receive a call after the MRI or surgery?

The neurologist will call you after surgery as soon as your pet has recovered from general anesthesia. Typically, the neurologist will schedule a time after the MRI for you to come in and discuss the results of your pet's exam. 

How much fur will be shaved on my pet?

Prior to surgery, we will shave the fur around the surgical site to obtain a sterile field. The extent of the area shaved will depend upon the procedure being performed. Most patients will have small areas shaved for placement of IV catheters, pain medication patches, or where the spinal tap is performed. Depending on the location of the spinal tap, a small square may be shaved at the base of the skull or just above the tail.

Will my pet be monitored during anesthesia?

The neurology service is staffed by experienced licensed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technician specialists in anesthesia. Monitoring consists of supervising a number of parameters including ECG, blood pressure measurement, oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation of blood, respiration rate and level of consciousness. In addition, patient specific protocols allow for safe and low-risk anesthesia.

How long after the MRI is a surgery performed if needed?

How quickly a patient has surgery (if indicated) after the MRI will vary from pet to pet. For example, for emergency procedures, the patient usually goes directly to surgery after the MRI. The neurologist can call you after the MRI and discuss the finding and options. Oftentimes, non-emergency and elective procedures are performed the next day or scheduled at your convenience.

How long will my pet be in the hospital after an MRI or surgery?

Patients that have an MRI performed may be able to go home the same day, usually in the late afternoon. The neurologist will go over the MRI at that time and discuss options and further treatment. Hospitalization after surgery will depend on the surgery and your pet's diagnosis. In general patients are in the hospital 2-5 days after surgery.

Can I visit my pet after surgery?

Visits with your pet while they are in the hospital are typically allowed, depending on a number of factors, including your pet’s personality and their stress levels during visits.

How does my regular veterinarian know what is going on with my pet?

A complete referral letter is sent to your regular veterinarian, and the neurologist will keep in contact with them regarding long-term management of the case. 

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