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Animal Neurology Exam North Fort Myers FL

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.

VCA Miracle Mile Animal Hospital
(239) 244-3486
4400 Cleveland Avenue
Fort Myers, FL
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Verandah Pet Hospital
(239) 244-3149
14381 Palm Beach Blvd
Fort Myers, FL
Promotion
Tell us you found us on LocalVets and receive a free nail trim!
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Coral Veterinary Clinic
(239) 244-3911
9540 Cypress Lake Dr
Fort Myers, FL
Promotion
Call Coral Veterinary Clinic to schedule your pets appointment today!
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
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 Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Tails-A-Waggin Animal Hospital
(239) 244-3379
11960 Kelly Road
Fort Myers, FL
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 7:00 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 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
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 Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Animal Clinic at Kelly Crossing
(239) 244-3352
16120 San Carlos Boulevard #11
Fort Myers, FL
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Exotic Animal Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Suburban Animal Hospital
(239) 244-3791
11131 Palm Beach Blvd
Fort Myers, FL
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 - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Bird Vet, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

East West Veterinary Care Center
(239) 471-4307
3523 Del Prado Blvd S
Cape Coral, FL
Promotion
For established clients in either clinic, we continue to offer after hour emergency services and around the clock critical care when necessary. also we offer boarding to our established patients!Call today for more information...
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
24-Hour Vet, Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Exotic Animal Vet, Holistic Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

South West Veterinary Care Center
(239) 471-4602
1616 Cape Coral Pkwy West
Cape Coral, FL
Promotion
For established clients in either of our clinics, we continue to offer after hour emergency services and around the clock critical care when necessary. We also offer boarding for our established patients! Call today for details
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 Closed
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Indian Creek Pet Hospital
(239) 244-3374
17695 Summerlin Rd.
Fort Myers, FL
Promotion
Welcome offer for new clients and their four legged friends! $10 off your first exam. Just mention LocalVets!
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Best Friends Animal Hospital
(239) 449-6880
12220 Town Lake Dr
Ft. Myers, FL
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, 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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