Neurology and Neurosurgery

We offer the only Neurology and Neurosurgery service in the South West of England that is fully supported by three European Specialists in veterinary neurology, Tom Harcourt-BrownFrancois Liebel and Tom Shaw, a veterinary neurologist, Alexandra Ferreira, and four residents in training for the diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology, Veronica MorteraEmma Laws, George Nye and Virginia Crespo.

We have 16 slice CT and 1.5T MRI scanners permanently on site.

We further benefit from a combination of state of the art surgical facilities for neurosurgical patients, electrodiagnostic equipments (for muscle and nerve studies but also audition testing and spinal cord monitoring), ICU unit able to receive neurological emergencies at any time and a Pain Management and Rehabilitation Centre. 

Canine Vagal Nerve Stimulation


Welcome to the Neurology Service

We hope you find the questions below useful. There is also a list of more general questions in our General Info for Owners pages.


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How long will the MRI take?

This will depend on which part of your pets central nervous system (i.e. brain or spinal cord) need to be scanned with the MRI.

On average, including preparation of our pet for anaesthesia, it takes around 90 minutes to do one area (i.e. the brain) with MRI. If your pet then needs further investigations under anaesthesia it can take longer.

The majority of patients having an MRI will also have a CSF tap (cerebrospinal fluid tap- which collects fluid that lives around the brain and spinal cord) and this usually adds around 15-30 minutes.


Will I be able to bring my pet home on the same day?

Given that the MRI and further investigations take around 2 hours to complete it is not usually possible to then arrange a discharge on the same day.

This is usually because we need to allow enough time for patients to be fully recovered from their general anaesthetic before discharge. Often we need to await other test results before performing MRI, which means the MRIs are often done later in the day.

If for example your dog was suffering from seizures, we need to rule out disease outside the brain that can cause seizures, before it is safe to perform the general anaesthetic to take an MRI of the brain. Otherwise we can perform a diagnostic MRI that is unnecessary for your pet, potentially dangerous and incur avoidable expense.


Will my pet need physio or hydrotherapy after their treatment?

We are very keen to work with physiotherapists to offer rehabilitation to our patients, as this can form a large part of their recovery in neurological patients. We have a range of services on-site.  We will discuss this with you on this on an individual basis as necessary.

We will offer basic advice for you to perform at home if you are unable to attend a physiotherapist in person.

We can also offer services for the management of chronic pain in neurological patient, either via our pain/anaesthesia team (they provide acupuncture sessions) or via our rehabilitation unit. 


Will I need to come back for re-checks?

The majority of our patients will come back to Langford Vets for a revisit to ensure medical therapy or surgery is working appropriately and we cannot offer any more to improve the quality of life for your pet further.

This is again on a case by case basis and if we do not deem it necessary will not ask you to return.

For particular conditions such as idiopathic epilepsy we may not need to perform further tests here but can ask your normal vet to send results and liaise with us about therapy.

If your pet has had surgery we often ask you to organise a revisit appointment with your normal vet to remove stitches before a revisit appointment.


Can I visit my pet when they are hospitalised with you?

You are welcome to visit your pet whilst staying with us at any time.

We do not have routine visiting hours to ensure visits are as flexible as possible for clients and their pet, so you will need to organise this with a nurse or the neurologist on an individual basis.

We feel it is best not to visit within the first 48 hours of an operation or if you feel that the visit will be detrimental to your pet's chance of recovery.


How do I contact you to find out how they are doing?

We will contact you on a daily basis. This may be via a nurse or through direct contact with the vet.

If you need to contact us in the meantime you can leave a message with our reception team and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.


Am I going to get a report?

We send all our clients a report of the consultation and diagnostics, therapy and aftercare as appropriate.

This may be given to you at your discharge appointment, or emailed on shortly after discharge. We send the same report to your vets to ensure they are up to date with the plan for your pet.

Your vet will also get a ‘case report’ letter that contains more medical details on your pet’s condition, diagnosis and treatment.