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Animal Neurology Exam Morganville NJ

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.

Marlboro Village Veterinary Hospital
(732) 333-8411
26 N Main St
Marlboro, NJ
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Monday 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed
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Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Basicare Vet Clinic
(732) 518-2486
3253 Route 35 No
Hazlet, NJ
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Free Vaccines with Office Visit*
*Up to 3 vaccines with $49 office visit and $2.50 medical waste fee. Cannot be combined with any other offer or package prices. One coupon per patient.
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Monday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Small Animal Vet, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Vaccinations

Animal Health Care of Marlboro, Llp
(732) 518-8371
299 Route 9 South @ Union Hill Road
Englishtown, NJ
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Grooming needs for all dog breeds: long, short,curly, straight we groom them gr8! Kitty cats and other furry friends welcome, 2! Take $10.00 off first groom >New clients only< Please mention Felixvets or localpets to schedule this special offer no
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Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed
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Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Edgebrook Animal Hospital
(732) 360-6579
777 Helmetta Boulevard
East Brunswick , NJ
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Little Animal Hospital
(732) 360-6343
675 Branch Ave
Little Silver, NJ
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Monday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Exotic Animal Vet, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Brook Meadow Veterinary Hosp
(732) 444-8641
480 County Rd 520
Marlboro, NJ
Hours
Monday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Freehold Animal Hospital
(732) 994-6396
3700 Route 9 South
Freehold, NJ
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Preventive Care Clinic: Receive 50% off all vaccinations with a paid Health Exam. Please call for an appointment.
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Sayrebrook Veterinary Hospital
(732) 654-2164
1400 Main St
Sayreville, NJ
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Shrewsbury Animal Hospital
(732) 440-9964
1008 Shrewsbury Avenue
Tinton Falls, NJ
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New Clients Welcome!
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Two Rivers Animal Hospital
(732) 383-6333
457 River Rd.
Fair Haven, NJ
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Microchipping, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

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.
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  • 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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