Neurological Conditions

Neurological Conditions in Pets

When we’re considering ailments that might affect our pets, we typically think of fleas, worms, allergies, ear and eye conditions, but neurological disorders are a very real concern that owners need to be aware of.  Veterinary neurology treats diseases of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) – includes problems like epilepsy, strokes, slipped disks, spinal/head injuries, tumors, meningitis, and cancer of the nervous system.

We are proud to have four board-certified neurosurgeons as part of the specialty team at Miami Veterinary Specialists.  The four board-certified surgeons are Dr. Alvaro Larin, Dr. Juan Sardinas, Dr. Sarah Evans and Dr. Laura D’ Amico.  Information on two of the more common conditions in pets are below:


Dog Epilepsy can be caused by a number of things, each of which ultimately lead to abnormal electrical activity of the brain, however the exact mechanism that triggers seizures is not known. Some symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Intermittent or episodic loss of consciousness
  • Intermittent or episodic mental or physical impairment (confusion, stiffness, twitching)
  • Abnormal musculoskeletal (motor) activity or movements that are uniformly bilateral and symmetrical (about the same on both sides); often referred to as paddling or running in the air with rigid legs
  • Convulsions
  • Excess drooling/salivation (profuse frothing at the mouth)


In dogs, strokes occur when the normal blood supply to the brain has been compromised, and they occur rarely.  The most common underlying medical conditions which can lead to stroke in dogs include brain tumors, Cushing’s diseasediabetesheart disease, kidney disease and thyroid disease.  Some of the symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Head tilt
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Uncontrollable circling

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