Neurology is the study of (-ology) the nervous system (neuro-). In order to gain an understanding of the neurological diseases that affect pets, a basic knowledge of the neurological system, neuroanatomy, neurological terms and classification of neurological disease is helpful. The Neurology Overview provides the guest with an introduction to this information.

Click to learn more about the nervous system (link provided by: University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine)

The website’s glossary is a useful tool for understanding the different terms related to neurology. It is organized into 5 areas specific to veterinary neurology: Anatomy, Signs/Problems, Disorders/Diseases, Pharmaceuticals and Miscellaneous.

A knowledge of certain prefixes and suffixes is helpful in understanding the meaning of some general diseases related to neurology:

GENERAL DISEASESProcess_disease of:inflammation oftumor of:softening of:
Location:Prefix:  Suffix:-opathy-itis-oma-malacia
brainenceph-encephalopathyencephalitis encephalomalacia
spinal cord myel-myelopathymyelitis myelomalacia
meningesmening-  meningitismeningioma 
nerve root radicul-radiculopathy radiculitis  

The terms above describe general types of diseases because they don’t provide specific information about the cause of the disease process. Once the cause has been determined, the name may change. For example, the veterinarian may determine that a patient has inflammation of the meninges (i.e. meningitis). Once it has been determined that the meningitis is caused by an infection from the fungus, coccidiomycosis, the name will change to Cocci meningitis and the patient can be specifically treated for this disease process. Also, the suffix -us denotes an organism and -osis denotes a condition. Therefore, Cryptococcosis is an infection caused by the fungus Cryptococcus.

If multiple areas are being affected by a process, two or more prefixes can be combined. For example:
Meningomyelitis: inflammation of the meninges and spinal cord
Polyradiculoneuritis: inflammation of many (poly-) nerve roots and nerves

The specific neurological diseases mentioned in this website are organized into the following general categories based on the type of process causing the disease:

  • Degenerative
  • Congenital
  • Inflammatory (Infectious or Immune-Mediated)
  • Neoplastic
  • Toxic
  • Traumatic
  • Vascular
  • Metabolic
  • Nutritional
  • Idiopathic