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We are excited to announce that we have added Neurology to our stable of specialties to better serve you and your beloved pets. Of course, with new specialty departments come new specialists, and we’re also delighted to introduce the newest addition to our veterinary staff – Dr. Allison Cowan, a board-certified veterinary neurologist who will be at the helm of our Neurology department.

Dr. Cowan graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and did her internship and residency in neurology and neurosurgery at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Cowan grew up in Vermont and is happy to be back in the state and on the BEVS team. She currently shares her home with two cats (Flynn and Duncan) and a mixed-breed dog named Linus. Welcome, Dr. Cowan!

What Does a Neurologist Do?

Neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, muscles, and nerves. They spend every day immersed in the kinds of conditions most veterinarians may only see a few times in their career. They include:

  • Head trauma
  • Congenital brain disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Seizure disorders
  • Vestibular disease
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Encephalitis/meningitis
  • Lumbosacral disease

What Are the Symptoms of a Neurological Condition?

Symptoms of neurological conditions vary, but there are warning signs you can look for. If you notice any of these symptoms affecting your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately because a neurological problem may be the cause:

  • Balance issues
  • Disorientation
  • Neck and/or back pain
  • Confusion
  • Mobility issues, especially in the hind legs
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Circling, head tilt, and head pressing (standing against a wall or corner and pushing against it with their head)
  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Tremors or muscle twitching
  • Problems urinating

When you bring your pet in for a possible neurological condition, the first step is an exam and diagnostics to narrow down a cause and determine the best treatment. BEVS has invested in the most advanced diagnostic testing and treatments available in veterinary medicine, and we have a full range of advanced equipment for our Neurology department to use, including Computed Tomography (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and spinal fluid analysis (spinal tap).

What Kind of Treatment and Prognosis Should I Expect?

While neurological conditions can be scary and dramatic, most are, in fact, treatable. Treatment varies depending on the condition, the cause, and the diagnosis. Some pets improve with medical therapy and/or supportive care. Others may need surgical intervention, which can be done here at BEVS by our neurological specialist, Dr. Cowan. Rehabilitation is also available on site – is almost always recommended to help with the healing process and rebuild strength, endurance, and balance.

If you have questions about our new Neurology department, or want to schedule a neurological consult, call us at 802-863-2387.

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