An ever expanding area of work is the neurology caseload, thanks to on site MRI and CT. This mainly involves spinal work (disc failures, vertebral instability, tumours and traumatic injury) and occasionally intracranial surgery.
Failure of intervertebral discs is a common cause of partial or total paralysis and may be very painful. The discs form shock absorbers between adjacent vertebrae and may either bulge or burst. In the latter case the contents of the disc can 'explode' upwards into the spinal canal with significant force. There is very little room around the spinal cord and it is encased in a bony tube, so the combination of extra material, swelling and hemorrhage pressurises the delicate nervous tissue, necessitating emergency surgery in some dogs. The MRI and CT facilities are not only invaluable for detecting these events with great accuracy but also in assessing the 'health' of neighbouring discs which may not have failed, yet.
It is also much easier to identify animals that, whilst they may have swelling or bleeding, do not necessarily have ongoing compression of the cord and, therefore, do not require surgery.