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Animal Neurology Exam Fountain Hills AZ

The four stages require a functional spinal cord and a functional brain, and they help us determine a lesion's severity. Reflexes tell us only where the lesion is localized.

Animal Clinic Del Rancho
(480) 779-3271
11445 E Via Linda Suite 10
Scottsdale, AZ
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

DC Ranch Animal Hospital
(480) 428-8641
20875 N. Pima Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ
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Welcome Tanya Lopez, dvm to the DC Ranch Animal Hospital. Dr Lopez is an experienced and compassionate veterinarian serving north Scottsdale dogs and cats medical needs for 13 years. Make your appointment today!
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery

Del Lago Veterinary Hospital
(480) 331-6914
7349 N Via Paseo Del Sur Suite 550
Scottsdale, AZ
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Quartz Mountain Animal Hospital
(480) 779-1829
8875 E Via Linda
Scottsdale, AZ
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Call Quartz Mountain Animal Hospital Today\ to schedule an appointment for your pet!
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
24-Hour Vet, Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Alta Mesa Animal Hospital
(480) 779-3821
6704 E Brown Rd
Mesa, AZ
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Now Offering the Pet Pals Referral Program. Simply refer your friends and family members to us and receive a $25 credit
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Pima North Animal Hospital
(480) 779-1959
8864 E Pinnacle Peak Rd
Scottsdale, AZ
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$25 Gift Certificate good on your pet's first physical examination! Please mention LV50 when scheduling your appointment!
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Red Mountain Animal Hospital
(480) 448-0005
6025 E. McKellips Rd
Mesa, AZ
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Save on 1st puppy or kitten vaccination

Bring coupon in and your puppy or kitten will receive a full exam, vaccination, and worming.

Regular price - $43
Coupon price - $33

Please call for an appointment and make sure to bring this
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery

VCA McCormick Ranch Animal Hospital and Pet Care Center
(480) 428-8842
10380 North Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Desert Tails Animal Clinic
(480) 428-8665
9619 N Hayden Rd # 111
Scottsdale, AZ
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Scottsdale Hills Animal Hospital
(480) 428-8826
7139 E. Thunderbird Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ
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We are now happy to see your birds, snakes, tortoises and other reptiles.
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Making Sense of the Neuro Exam

The neurological exam seems to be one of the most confusing concepts in veterinary medicine. Let’s try to clarify things. To simplify, we will focus on the hind legs only.

One way to look at the neuro exam is to divide it into an assessment of “the four stages” and an evaluation of four reflexes.

The patellar reflex causes extension of the stifle. Photo courtesy of Dr. Phil Zeltzman.
The four stages require a functional spinal cord and a functional brain, and they help us determine a lesion’s severity. Reflexes tell us only where the lesion is localized.

Since I am a surgeon and not a neurologist, I talked to Todd Bishop, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (neurology), of Upstate Veterinary Specialties in Latham, N.Y., to ensure the accuracy of the following information.

Decline Into Nociception

Patients might go through four stages between normalcy and being paralyzed with no deep pain:

  • First-stage patients may feel back pain. They can exhibit pain by vocalizing. Certain breeds, such as beagles, are especially good at expressing their feelings. Others may arch their back.
    .
  • As they get worse, patients may become ataxic or lose proprioception. When a patient knuckles, or doesn’t reposition a flipped paw within a couple of seconds, we say he has proprioceptive deficits.
    .
  • The next step is loss of conscious motor function. This means voluntary motion of the hind legs is weak, even if helped by a sling.
    .
  • The last step is loss of pain sensation, or nociception. It is tested by using a hemostat to pinch a toe. Though nobody enjoys performing this test, doing it correctly is critical. We are trying to cause a painful reaction by stimulating the periosteum of the phalanges.

When a deep pain sensation is present, the patient should have a voluntary reaction such as whining, trying to bite or moving away from the painful stimulus. A very stoic patient may show only dilatation of the pupils.

The order of these four stages is fixed. They occur in the same order and always return in the reverse order. Therefore, there is no need to crush a toe in a patient who has motor function. If he has motor function, he has deep pain by definition. Purists will argue that this is not true with a “spinal walker,” but let’s keep things simple.

The Spinal Cord

The cranial tibial reflex causes flexion of the hock. Photo courtesy of Dr. Phil Zeltzman.
Incidentally, these four stages correlate with the anatomy of the spinal cord. Nerve fibers involved with proprioception are located superficially in the cord. This explains why a mild lesion has mild effects on the patient.

A deeper lesion will affect the nerve fibers that control motor function. And a very severe lesion will apply pressure in the deepest nerve fibers—those that relay deep pain.

These four stages help us determine the severity of the lesion. A dog with proprioceptive deficits is mildly affected. At the other end of the spectrum, a dog with n...

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