The Vets Now Hospital in Glasgow has launched a new neurology and neurosurgery service.
Headed up by Katia Marioni-Henry, the service started seeing patients last month, with the first case being a paralysed French bulldog helped to walk again.
Dr Marioni-Henry said: “This is absolutely the best place to be brought in an emergency, but previously, we’d have to refer some cases elsewhere for conditions affecting the brain, peripheral nerves or the spine.
“Now, some of these debilitating neurological conditions can be diagnosed and treated rapidly here without having to transport the animal.”
Dr Marioni-Henry graduated from the University of Parma in 1995, and went on to complete a PhD in clinical electrodiagnostic at the University of Turin and Scott-Ritchey Research Center in Auburn, Alabama.
She then completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University, and a residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, with a subspecialty in neurology.
Dr Marioni-Henry came to the UK to work as a consultant in neurology and neurosurgery for a number of large referral practices. Having missed her academic work, she moved to The University of Edinburgh in 2013.
She started the neurology/neurosurgery service at the Royal (Dick) School’s Hospital for Small Animals and built it up from scratch to a busy, nine-strong team.
Seeking a fresh challenge, she made the move from Edinburgh to Glasgow this autumn.
Dr Marioni-Henry added: “I knew about the support network here and that this was somewhere I could enjoy working with colleagues with great expertise in ECC, anaesthesia, surgery, oncology and medicine.
“Vets Now have a real emphasis on teaching, with rotating and specialist interns and residents, so I could keep up my love of teaching.”
Although still in its infancy, there are already plans to expand the service and add new equipment to the existing facilities. However, many procedures and investigations are already possible.
Dr Marioni-Henry added: “With our CT scanner, for example, we can diagnose slipped discs quickly – especially in small breeds – and treat them surgically.
“And we can use it for brain scans if there is trauma, or if we suspect a tumour or severe inflammation in the brain.
“We can do a lumbar tap to rule out inflammation of the central nervous system, either on infectious or immune-mediated basis.”
Read Vet Times’ coverage of the new neurology service here.