CARE’s board-certified neurologists focus on diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Some of the more common neurological disorders that our neurology and neurosurgery specialists treat include:
- Herniated disc(s)
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Traumatic spinal and/or head injury
- Hearing loss (BAER test)
- Vision loss
- Movement disorders (such as difficulty standing and walking)
Neurology and Neurosurgery Appointments
Our neurologists and registered veterinary technicians work closely with our patients’ family vets to review your pet’s medical history and previous diagnostic testing. When our neurologists examine your pet, the primary aim is to discover where in the nervous system your dog or cat has a problem.
Once we determine the location, we consider a list of possible causes. However, we often rely on advanced imaging (CT or MRI), to differentiate the possibilities.
Before we move to advanced imaging we discuss options with our clients to determine next steps.
CARE offers on-site CT and MRI scanning that enable us to get your pet scheduled for advanced diagnostics rapidly. Further, CARE has a state-of-the-art 3D surgical exoscope, which allows for superior visualization during delicate neurosurgery. We are one of a few private veterinary practices with this technology.
At CARE, we emphasize the importance of discussing your pet’s treatment options along with medical management options for your pet. We have a dedicated, fully equipped neurosurgical suite should your pet require surgery. CARE’s overall goal is to treat our patients in the most effective and efficient way. We want to get them home as quickly as we can while experiencing the best long-term results.
Once your pet has returned home, we continue to provide personalized care and work cooperatively with your family veterinarian to ensure the best possible long-term outcome for your pet.
How to Schedule An Appointment
To schedule an appointment with our Neurology and Neurosurgery department, ask for a referral from your primary veterinarian. If your pet is unable to walk or seems to be in an emergency state, please call (704) 457-2300 to let us know you are bringing him or her in through our Emergency Service. We are open 24/7/365 for emergency care.
Hospital Admit Guide
If your pet is admitted for hospitalization at CARE, please review our Hospital Admit Guide to help answer questions about your pet’s stay.
Our Neurology & Neurosurgery Doctors
Our Neurology & Neurosurgery Residents
The CARE Neurology and Neurosurgery Service has partnered with the University of Missouri in the advanced training of neurology residents. Neurology residents are doctors who have completed a rotating internship and often a neurology-focused internship following veterinary school. These doctors spend four months in each year of their three-year residency with CARE’s two board-certified neurologists.
sCSR for Neurology
2016. “I started out working part-time as an ER CSR in the evenings, then transitioned to working full-time during the day. For the past three years, I have been the Specialty CSR for the Neurology department.”
Favorite part of the job
“The connection I make with my clients. Clients coming to our hospital and trusting us to take the very best care of their fur-baby is something that can be very scary. I take great pride in being able to assuage their fears and in being their go-to person for communication and comfort.”
Something she wishes people knew about her job
“CSRs don’t just answer phones and schedule appointments. We represent our clients, we advocate for them, and we are their cheerleaders. In veterinary medicine, it is everyone’s job to focus on patient care. Every phone call I have holds weight and has the potential to be a difficult discussion. The neurology doctors and team have provided me with a depth of knowledge that enables me to help not only our clients but also our patients, and I could not be more honored. This is a sliver of what I do in a day’s work!”
Her furry family
Chloe, 4, a black domestic shorthair cat, and Charlie, 3, a Golden Retriever. “She’s an angel, and he’s a hot mess!”
What people might be surprised to know
“I typically spend a few hours of a day out of my weekend focusing on a room in my house. I work in the room to get rid of items or things I don’t use anymore, reorganize shelves or cabinets, and build areas that make them functional. It’s like this fun game in my head where you balance both sides of your brain and have both creativity and satisfaction of order. My coworkers love how this translates into my work life. I am always coming up with ways to organize our space to make it more orderly and efficient.”
This is one of seven spotlights on some of CARE’s Client Services Representatives.
Vet Tech Profiles
Make appointments, take histories, assist doctors, and help with everything from administering anesthesia and inserting catheters to doing tests such as MRIs and bloodwork.
Vet Tech education
Bachelors in Zoology at N.C. State University. Trained in the field as neurology tech.
Lived in Charlotte since she was 1.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
“Have wine and cook and read (fantasy and realistic fiction).” Also, learning to play guitar.
What is the best part of your job?
“We work with many paralyzed animals, so it’s tough. Recently, there was a dog with no feeling in its hind legs and only a 50% chance of getting it back if they could do surgery on her as soon as possible.” It had been a long day, but at 7:30 that night, Dr. Fauber, Jackie, and others started the surgery. They left work at midnight. The following day, feeling had started to return to the dog’s legs, and she ended up walking out the door with her family. “That’s the best part.”
Who is your favorite pet among your three cats, two dogs, an albino corn snake, and beta fish?
“Midnight, a black cat with five tails’ worth of tail.” She found him under a bush when he was four weeks old and on her sister’s death anniversary. He’s not super affectionate, but when Jackie grabs a certain fuzzy blanket, Midnight makes a beeline for her and lets her love on him. Midnight assists with cooking and loves green beans and mushrooms. “He knows he’s the favorite.”
Originally posted as part of CARE’s celebration of National Veterinary Technician Week (Oct. 16-22, 2022).
Wilson and his 3D-printed skull plate
To celebrate CARE Charlotte’s 7th anniversary, we are sharing seven stories of patients who are thriving thanks to our team’s excellent work. Wilson, a terrier mix, became the first patient in the United States to receive a 3D-printed acrylic skull plate (cranioplasty), thanks to an innovative treatment by Dr. Fred Wininger, a Veterinary Neurologist/Neurosurgeon.
In 2019, Anna Mesen brought in a very laid-back, 1-year-old Wilson to have his seizures and behavioral issues (bumping into walls) checked out. During the exam and testing, a small bump on Wilson’s head turned out to be a large benign bone tumor (osteoma) compressing the brain to 50% of its normal size.
Dr. Wininger’s treatment plan to remove the large tumor required losing most of Wilson’s skull. The risky surgery became nearly impossible when they found the titanium plates on the market were too small and would cost thousands of dollars to outsource.
Dr. Wininger, who also owns 3D Veterinary Printing, found a life-saving and affordable solution. He crafted a cranial plate for Wilson from a polymer on a commercial 3D printer. It took 10 hours to print.
Wilson, now 3, is expected to have a normal doggo life. “He’s now super playful and has got plenty of energy,” says Anna Mesen. He gets lots of attention from the family’s three children.
The treatment and team at CARE are nothing short of impressive, Mesen says. “Wilson wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for CARE. … They really rally around you and root for the patient.”
Dr. Wininger considers Wilson’s case a career highlight that combined traditional neurosurgical training with novel approaches for challenging cases using state-of-the-art technology. WCNC Charlotte featured Wilson’s history-making surgery in a February 2020 report.
See Zachy’s story (a joint effort by Neurology and Oncology) here.
Recent Neurology & Neurosurgery Blog Posts
How Do Dogs Recover from Back Surgery?
Your dog, once ready to dash around the park and leap into the sky for a stick or a Frisbee, has been sidelined by a slipped disc. Back surgery has gone well, but now they are headed home to continue their recovery. You and your pet face a learning curve in recovery:...
When Sudden Hind Leg Weakness Strikes Your Dog, What’s Going On?
You’ve been playing with your dog in the park or watching it trot up the stairs when you see her hind legs suddenly weaken and give way. Could this hind leg weakness be the normal toll of old age? Or does your pet have a serious medical condition? Sudden onset of...
Pelvic Limb Weakness May Require a Rapid Response
One day, you notice your dog struggling to stand or support herself, as her hind limbs tremble with the effort. That could be a natural progression due to extreme old age. Or it could be a condition known as pelvic limb weakness – also called hind limb weakness – that...
Taking Care of Your Dog or Cat with Epilepsy
While epilepsy is an uncommon disease in our pets, fewer than 1 in 100 develop the condition, it is the most common neurologic condition we treat. Just like their human counterparts, pets with epilepsy can lead full, enjoyable lives. The term epilepsy applies to pets...
Spinal Fluid Analysis
The “Blood Brain Barrier” separates the brain and the spinal cord from the rest of the body. This protects the brain from toxins and infections. For example, when you get the flu – or eat a bad oyster – you suffer from general body illness but your brain remains...
Vestibular Disease in Dogs and Cats
The vestibular system, also known as “the balance center,” is the part of our nervous system that enables us to stay upright relative to gravity and movement. If a dog has a problem associated with his or her balance, we often refer to this as “vestibular disease.”...