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Animal Neurology Exam Saugus MA

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.

Melrose Animal Clinic
(781) 330-0954
26 Essex St
Melrose, MA
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 - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery

Animal Hospital of Lynnfield
(781) 816-8927
1 Bay State Rd
Lynnfield, MA
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Free Health Exam for New Patients! Contact us for details!
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Monday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

New England Veterinary Clinic
(978) 219-9925
204 Highland Ave
Salem, MA
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*Attention new Clients:
Mention FelixVets when booking and receive $10.00 off your first visit.
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 - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Exotic Animal Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery

VCA City Cats Hospital - Cats Only
(781) 218-9905
665 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington , MA
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New Clients can receive a Free First Exam!

Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward
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 - 4:00 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, Veterinary Vaccinations

Fresh Pond Animal Hospital
(617) 826-9923
15 Flanders Road
Belmont, MA
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New Client Offer!

20% off your pet's first Wellness Visit!*
Call Fresh Pond Animal Hospital to make your pet's appointment today!

*Offer valid for new clients only. Offer not to be combined with any other offer
Hours
Monday 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Animal Flea Control, 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

VCA Wakefield Animal Hospital
(781) 338-5309
19 Main Street
Wakefield, MA
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We offer a free first exam for new clients (mention Felix) and discounts for registered non-profit animal welfare organizations.
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 - 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Services
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

VCA Everett Animal Hospital
(617) 420-2739
251 Chelsea Street
Everett, MA
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Good dental health is an important part of your pet's overall wellness. At home care includes tooth brushing, use of pet-safe oral rinses, and diets formulated to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Regular professional dental cleanings are also ess
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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 - 4:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Exotic Animal Vet, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Surgery

The Atlantic Veterinary Hospital
(781) 990-8957
10 Ocean Avenue
Marblehead, MA
Hours
Monday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Flea Control, Animal Microchipping, Bird Vet, Declawing, Reptile Vet, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Cropping, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Docking, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary House Calls, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Vaccinations

Boston Cat Hospital
(617) 383-9968
665 Beacon St
Boston, MA
Hours
Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday Closed
Services
Animal Boarding, Animal Daycare, Animal Flea Control, Animal Grooming, Animal Microchipping, Declawing, Small Animal Vet, Spaying/Neutering, Veterinarians, Veterinary Dentistry, Veterinary Euthanasia, Veterinary Medical Specialties, Veterinary Surgery

Metro Cat Hospital - Cats Only
(617) 651-5803
1630 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA
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Summer is in full swing and fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are out. Come see us for specials on heartworm and flea and tick products like Revolution for cats. Saturdays are our Preventative Care Clinic Days! Vaccines are half off with a paid exam during an
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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 - 2:30 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 Euthanasia, 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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