Neurology Appointment FAQ

Does my pet need to be fasted for neurology appointments?

We recommend that you not feed your pet on the morning of the initial appointment. It is ok to give water. Please call for instructions if your pet is diabetic or younger than 4 months.

What should I expect during my initial neurology appointment?

Initial neurology appointments are scheduled for 1 ½ hours. When you arrive for your appointment, please check in with Reception. The receptionist will advise the neurology service that you have arrived.

An neurology assistant or technician will bring you into an exam room with your pet, complete a history form, and perform a check of your pet’s vital signs (such as heart rate, temperature, etc). The neurologist will then review the information and examine your pet. Once this is complete, the neurologist will go over the diagnosis (or any further testing that may be required to reach a diagnosis) and treatment options. Each option will be thoroughly explained so that you can make an informed choice for your pet.

A treatment plan will be prepared for you based on your pet’s specific needs. A treatment estimate will be explained and authorized by you prior to diagnostics or treatment.

We are often able to perform diagnostic procedures and treatments on the same day as your initial appointment, in which case you may be leaving your pet with us for several hours or for the day. Unless your pet requires surgery, it is unlikely that he or she will stay overnight. We are open 24-hours per day, so animals may be picked up in the evening if necessary.

What should I bring to my initial neurology appointment?

Please bring your pet and any current medications. Your family veterinarian should have provided records prior to your visit. However, it is a good idea to bring an extra copy of your pet’s records just in case. Please bring any x-rays/radiographs that have been performed. It is acceptable for your family veterinarian to send digital x-rays/radiographs prior to your visit.

When are neurology appointments available?

Dr. Peter Gordon is currently accepting new patients. Please contact the neurology liaison at 604-514-8383 if you have questions about your appointment with Dr. Gordon.

How do I make an appointment?

Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital strongly encourages animal owners to obtain a referral from their regular veterinarian whenever possible. This ensures the proper transfer of medical information, is beneficial to the animal and the specialty veterinarian, and will help your companion receive the best care possible.

What is a CT Scan?

Computed Tomography is commonly referred to as a CT scan. This technology is very useful when looking at parts of the body such as the brain, spine, lungs and thorax, nasal passage and sinuses, ears, abdomen and some orthopedic structures. CT scans are non-invasive and are not painful. The table on which the animal is lying is slowly advanced into the part of the machine that performs the scan (called the gantry). An x-ray tube rotates 360° around the patient to record the x-rays from many angles, creating slices. The number of images taken depends on the area and size of the suspected problem. When the computer finishes processing the information, the slices are stacked together to create a three dimensional image of your pet without superimposition of organs or other tissues.

Why would a CT scan be recommended for my pet?

Animals who are candidates for a CT scan include those with brain disease, lung disease, spinal injury, screening the lungs for metastatic cancer prior to surgery, nasal disease, ear disease, abdominal and some orthopedic conditions and patients with metal implants that cannot be imaged with MRI. CT can also be used to guide tissue sampling of deep structures, particularly within the spine or thorax. CT scans provide better differentiation of bones and soft tissues than conventional radiographs (x-rays) because this slice-based x-ray technology avoids the superimposition of structures that occurs with radiographs, and because CT can differentiate between fluid and soft tissue. An iodine-based contrast media is usually injected intravenously to further increase the differentiation of tissue. The results of the CT scan will help your veterinarian make a definitive diagnosis and offer you the best options for treating your pet

Are there any known complications from a CT scan?

CT scans are considered safe, but they do utilize ionizing radiation (like an x-ray). There can be some side effects associated with the iodine-containing contrast which may be injected during the procedure. If your pet has seizures, kidney disease, or cardiac disease, we may elect to use a different type of contrast or not give contrast at all. If CT is used to guide tissue sampling, risks are similar to those associated with any aspirate or biopsy.

How should I prepare my pet for the CT scan?

Pets having a CT scan must be sedated or anesthetized so that they remain still for the procedure, which lasts about 30-60 minutes. In preparation for sedation or anesthesia, your pet should not eat after 8 p.m. the night before the exam. Please continue to provide free access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for instructions if your pet is on any medications.

What should I bring to the appointment?

We will ask your veterinarian to fax us a copy of the medical record. However, if your veterinarian has any x-rays that they are unable to e-mail to us, we ask that you please bring the films or a CD with your pet’s x-rays to the appointment.

What should I expect during the CT scan?

Your pet will be sedated or anesthetized for the CT scan which will take approximately 30-60 minutes. Before any sedation or anesthesia is given, we will make sure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. An intravenous catheter will be placed for the procedure. Your pet’s vital signs will be carefully monitored during and after the procedure.

What happens to my pet after the CT scan?

After the CT scan, your pet will likely be temporarily disoriented and off balance due to the sedation or anesthesia. We will watch your pet closely until he/she has recovered. Once your pet is standing and able to move around safely, he/she will be hospitalized in our wards. Your pet will be able to be discharged as soon as he/she is walking. You will be notified as to when you may pick up your pet.

Your pet may urinate a large amount after they get home if fluids are given during the procedure. Once home, it will be important to keep your pet away from stairs and obstacles and feed only a small meal. The effects of sedation or anesthesia should be gone within about 24 hours. If you feel your pet has not fully recovered by that time, please call us or your regular veterinarian.

How will I learn the results of the CT scan?

The veterinary specialist that you and your pet have been referred to will review the CT Scan results with you. A complete a report will also be faxed to your veterinarian.