Neurology and Neurosurgery

The Neurology / Neurosurgery Service of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, is one of the most on demand clinics in the Small Animal Hospital and one of the largest neurology clinics in Europe. We accept referral cases and provide telephone advice to veterinary surgeons throughout the UK and beyond. The team of the Neurology / Neurosurgery Service includes Diplomates and Residents of the European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN) and have dedicated Specialist Neurology Support Nurses. The service is also supported by an on-site rehabilitation and physiotherapy service.

The service provides consultations, further investigations and medical and surgical treatments for diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system such as:

  • seizures
  • movement disorders
  • vestibular diseases (inner ear disease, dizziness, etc.)
  • facial paralysis
  • inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis), intervertebral disc disease (‘slipped disc’)
  • syringomyelia
  • vertebral malformations
  • neuromuscular diseases (polyneuropathies, myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, masticatory muscle myositis)
  • head trauma
  • spinal fractures


Brain surgery being performed by two of the University of Glasgow Neurology Specialists

On-site we have access to a number of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities including:

  • Electrodiagnostic techniques (electromyography and nerve conduction studies)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Computerised radiology
  • Computerised tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasonic surgical aspirator
  • 3D printing and patient-based virtual surgical planning

    Preop planning & customized 3D printed guides (video)

Therapeutic modalities include:

  • Intracranial and spinal surgery for disorders such as hydrocephalus and vertebral malformations

Dilated spinal fluid-filled cavities (blue arrows) in the brain of a puppy with congenital hydrocephalus. CT scan reconstruction of ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement to drain excessive spinal fluid to the abdomen (centre image). MRI scan demonstrating normal size cavities 2 months post-op (right image)

  • Intervertebral disc disease and brain and spinal tumour removal

'Friskie's Story' (video)  Brain tumour debulking and post-operative recovery in a Boxer with a high-grade glioma

The most commonly performed surgical techniques include:

  • Hemilaminectomy
  • Ventral slot decompression
  • Dorsal laminectomy
  • Partial lateral corpectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Vertebral stabilisation
  • Stereotactic brain biopsy

Stereotactic brain biopsy using a 3D-printed patient-specific skull mould (video)

Seizure Clinic

The management of canine and feline epilepsy can be extremely frustrating and can cause owners significant levels of anxiety. We endeavour to continually improve the support we offer referring vets and owners and are launching Scotland’s first dedicated seizure clinic.  

This clinic provides a complete medical assessment, treatment plan and life-long support for the patient.  Prior to consultation the owner is invited to complete an Epilepsy questionnaire to assist the categorisation of the seizure. Investigation is likely to involve a history, full clinical and neurological examination followed by blood tests, and other appropriate tests such as brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Full treatment options are discussed with the owner and they are issued with a seizure diary to monitor future events. Following the initial consultation we can liaise directly with the client regarding future treatment or with the referring veterinarian.

Small Animal Hospital Seizure clinic features:

  • On-site imaging specialists and facilities with the only Scottish centre to offer daily appointments for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • On-site laboratory facilitating same day results for blood tests and cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Multi-disciplinary team to work-up cases with a medical cause for seizures or offer supportive care for comatose patients
  • 24/7 monitored intensive care unit for cases with status epilepticus or cluster seizures
  • Scotland’s largest team of neurologists to offer advice on cases via telephone or email
  • Out of hours service allows owners to contact the hospital 24/7

A dedicated clinic aims to improve the level of support for both owners and referring vets. We hope this will assist in the collation of relevant information to help combat this disease in the future.

Brain tumour & neuro-oncology centre for companion animals

Composite image of pre and post-op MRI

Brain tumours affect from 2.8 to 4.5% of dogs and around 2.2% of cats. Additionally, dogs and cats can suffer from spinal or nerve tumours. Although frequently associated with a poor prognosis, current advances in veterinary therapeutics allow for considerable improvements in the quality of life of many companion animals with cancer affecting their nervous system.

Our Neurology and Oncology teams here at the Small Animal Hospital of the University of Glasgow hold vast experience in the diagnosis and treatment of tumours involving the nervous system of dogs and cats and have access to state-of-the-art facilities to provide the best standards of care for affected patients. Thus, we are establishing the first neuro-oncology clinic for dogs and cats in Europe, the Brain Tumour & Neuro-Oncology Centre for Companion Animals (Brain tumour & neuro-oncology centre brochure).


  • to provide dogs and cats with primary and metastatic spine, nerve and brain cancer with the best standards of care including the most advanced treatment options
  • to educate and support pet-owners and referring veterinarians
  • to further progress our understanding of cancer affecting the nervous system of companion animals

Features of the Brain Tumour & Neuro-Oncology Centre for Companion Animals:

  • one of the largest Neurology/Neurosurgery teams in Europe
  • on-site imaging facilities including MRI & CT for diagnosis and therapy planning
  • state-of-the-art facilities for brain and spinal surgery including CUSA Excel+ Ultrasonic Aspirator to optimize tumour removal
  • on-site radiotherapy and an experienced, compassionate Oncology team
  • large team of anaesthetists with broad experience on managing patients with nervous system tumours
  • a 24/7 intensive care unit
  • on-site pathology service to provide prompt specific diagnosis for sampled tumours allowing most appropriate treatments to be implemented timely

Diagnostic techniques & therapeutic modalities available at the SAH: