During a neurological examination, the neurologist reviews the patient’s health history with special attention to the current condition. The patient then takes a neurological exam. Typically, the exam tests mental status, function of the cranial nerves (including vision), strength, coordination, reflexes, and sensation. This information helps the neurologist determine whether the problem exists in the nervous system and the clinical localization. Localization of the pathology is the key process by which neurologists develop their differential diagnosis. Further tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis and ultimately guide therapy and appropriate management.

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is common in dogs and causes varying degrees of pain and weakness. We routinely perform myelography which involves introduction of a contrast agent into the fluid space around the spinal cord to illustrate any spinal cord compression. Often we perform decompressive spinal surgery to relieve spinal cord compression and restore ambulant function.