Neurology & Neurosurgery

neurology & neurosurgery


Our neurology & neurosurgery service at Northwest Veterinary Specialists was launched in May 2015 when Lorenzo Golini joined the hospital. Our three neurologists are RCVS &  European Specialists in Veterinary Neurology; Lorenzo Golini, Luca Motta & Massimo Mariscoli. This specialist qualification is awarded by the European College of Veterinary Neurology.

With onsite MRI, CT & an electrodiagnostic system we are well equipped to manage neurology and neurosurgical cases. Our neurologists are supported by specialists in veterinary anaesthesia, interns and a nursing team trained to the highest standards providing round the clock care. Our on-site MRI and CT scanning is performed by our nurse technicians who are trained in acquiring images of the highest quality. One of our imaging technicians has been awarded the Veterinary Magnetic Resonance Imager (RVMRI) with the American Association of Veterinary Radiologists (AAVR).

The neurology and orthopaedic teams work closely to provide the very best in neurosurgery. We see all types of spinal and brain surgery cases. The neurosurgical unit is supported by first rate nursing care of paralysed patients and 24/7 patient supervision by interns who are MRCVS.

We are one of the few veterinary hospitals using a neurosurgical microscope for spinal and brain surgery in small animals. The surgical microscope features brilliant illumination and customisable options to offer the quality and reliability needed to perform outstanding neurosurgery in small animals. Read about how this essential equipment helped one little dog. 

The neurological disorders that we commonly encounter in our small animal population include:


Meningitis and meningoencephalitis of unknown origin

Spine and spinal cord malformations
Spinal trauma (vertebral fracture and luxations/subluxations)
Brain tumours


Intervertebral disc disease
Infectious diseases of the nervous system
Neuromuscular disorders


Would all the diagnostic investigations take place on the same day as the consultation?

Where possible we carry out all the diagnostic investigations on the same day, however, this is not always possible. One of the reasons for this is that we are a busy multidisciplinary hospital seeing many emergencies. Emergency cases are seen as a priority and we know you understand if your own pet was in this situation. In certain cases, we may need to carry out a step-by-step diagnostic investigation approach which could take a few days.

Is MRI an invasive imaging technology?

MRI is non-invasive imaging technology that produces detailed anatomical images without the use of damaging radiation. You can read more about MRI here.

How long does an MRI examination take?

Full examination of the brain in small animals normally takes approximately 45-60 minutes. The time to carry out a full examination of one portion of the spine may vary but usually takes around 60 minutes.

Is CT an invasive imaging technology?

CT scans are generally safe, however, your pet will exposed to X-ray radiation. CT scanners are designed to make sure that your pet is not exposed to unnecessarily high levels of X-ray radiation.

How long does a CT examination take?

Commonly, CT examination takes only a few minutes to acquire the images.

Does my pet need an anaesthetic for these procedures?

It is really important that the patient is still to acquire images for both MRI and CT and therefore anaesthesia is essential for MRI. Sedation may be appropriate for CT but will always be at the discretion of our specialist anaesthetists.

After the diagnostic procedures, would I be able to take my pet home?

Pets are often discharged on the same day as the diagnostic procedures. However, if it is in your pets’ best interest to to remain hospitalised for observation or recovery, this is what we will advise.

If my pet is hospitalised, will I be contacted to see how he/she is doing?

Yes, we will contact you on a daily basis. You may receive an update from one of our neurology nurses, from the clinician directly responsible for the case or from another clinician. You are also more than welcome to telephone us to enquire how your pet is doing after 10am.

Will my pet be discharged by the clinician responsible for the case?

Usually, the clinician who has performed the work-up on your pet will discharge him/her, however, it may be that your pet is discharged by one of our nurses. In the latter case, a clinician will ring you as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours).

Would I be notified about the results of the diagnostic investigations on the same day of the investigations?

The clinician may be able to discuss some of the findings of the diagnostic investigations with you on the same day. However, we would usually need a few days or weeks (often no more than 2-3 weeks) to acquire all the results and to formulate a presumptive or definitive diagnosis, to plan therapy and to notify your referring veterinary surgeon. Our MRI and CT scans are reported externally by specialist radiologists and the time taken depends on the complexity of the case.

How do I get my pet referred to NWVS?

You can request referral to our neurology team by speaking to your vet.

We want you to access reliable information on all aspects of what we do at Northwest.

Click on the links to our specialists above to read their blogs on topics related to neurology. Each blog is written by one of our specialists so you can ensure that the information you are reading is of the highest quality.