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.
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.
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
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.”...
To test hearing in animals, owners and veterinarians can test a patient’s response to high-pitched noises, such as whistling, or loud noises, such as clapping hands or banging an object. Though simple, this is the most practical way to know if an animal can hear....