Evaluating Neurological Trauma in a Veterinary Setting

November 22, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how veterinarians can evaluate if a patient has experienced neurological trauma.

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how veterinarians can evaluate if a patient has experience neurological trauma.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“When we evaluate a patient’s neurological status, we do an examination of the nerves that come out of the brain, and we also see how they walk, what their reflexes are [like]. [The exam] is very similar to what we do in people, and so, even though animals may not be able to talk, there can be some very definitive signs, like unequal pupils, or they may not feel, or be able to sense that their paws are not in the right place. They may not be able to react, [so] if you make a menacing response to their eye, they may not blink, because if they’re blind they wouldn’t see that. We have a number of ways that we use with our physical examination to determine if they have any neurological trauma that’s not difficult to do."