Dr. Clarisa Roblesis a board-certified neurologist and neurosurgeon who works at our Los Angeles hospital. She’s seen here performing a hemilaminectomy, a surgery in which a portion of the vertebra is removed.
Each vertebra contains two pedicles and lamina, which are bony sections that form the sides of the vertebral arch and function as a base for the vertebra. The purpose of a hemilaminectomy is to remove a portion of the pedicle and lamina while still maintaining the stability of the spine.
The removal of bone allows access into the spinal canal to remove any material compressing the spinal cord, such as herniated disc material or cancerous masses. This helps to release nerve tissue from pressure.
Did you know that veterinary specialists go through four years of undergrad, four years of veterinary school, a one-year internship and a three-to-five-year residency before taking their board exams? After all of that, they then need to acquire continuing education credits to maintain their licenses!
Dr. Clarisa Robles (pictured) is Los Angeles native and a board-certified neurology specialist. Along with her great technical training, she brings with her wonderful communication skills and a fondness for building close relationships with referring veterinarians and her patients’ families. She finds such collaboration allows for the best possible patient and client care.
Her interests include inflammatory brain disease, down dogs, and encephalitis, as well as spinal and intracranial surgery.
Mido came to see Dr. Robby Powers-Davis, one of our board-certified neurologists, for a CSF tap and an MRI. Everyone immediately fell in love with him and he spent the afternoon hanging out with his doctor!
We were honored to be a part of Jamie’s birthday celebrations and so happy to see him turn 16! Jamie belongs to Dr. Clarisa Robles, our talented neurologist at ACCESS LA, and loves spending time with her and his brother Oreo.
We recently saw a litter of six snuggly Dogo Argentino puppies for BAER testing with Dr. Jeremy O’Neill.
BAER stands for Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response and is a hearing test that works by using acupuncture size needles and veterinary ear buds to detect the electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain.
The testing only took a few minutes for each pup, who were held and comforted by our gentle staff members the entire time. Just before their test, the puppies all needed a quick bath as they had gotten messy before they arrived, making for one very eventful day in the neurology department!
If you have any questions about your pet’s hearing or overall health, be sure to contact your primary veterinarian.
Simba, a male Chihuahua, came in to ACCESS LA for suddenly not being able to walk. This can be very unnerving for many owners, as there are several reasons for how this may have happened. Luckily, Simba was in the care of Dr. Clarisa Robles in our Neurology Department. After some diagnostics, Dr. Robles concluded that Simba had a condition called atlanto-axial subluxation, or AA Lux for short.
This means the first two bones in Simba’s neck were unstable in relation to each other. This can be very dangerous, as an AA Lux causes compression of the spinal cord, resulting in signs as mild as neck pain to complete paralysis of all limbs.
After speaking with Simba’s owner and discussing all of the options and possible outcomes, it was decided that Simba would go through surgery to correct this scary issue. Along with technicians and assistants to monitor anesthesia and assist with the procedure, Dr. Robles was able to stabilize these two bones with screws and bone cement. After some time for careful recovery, we are pleased to say that Simba is walking well these days and back to creating mischief!
If you suspect your pet has a back, neck, spinal, or brain injury, please contact your veterinarian right away.
Leo is a 5 year old French Bulldog who was referred to Dr. Jeremy O’Neill in the neurology department at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital – San Fernando Valley. Leo’s regular veterinarian wanted him to be evaluated by a Neurologist, given his recent difficulty walking and paralysis. Leo had an MRI done, which uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body. The scan revealed a large herniated disc between his 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebra.
Leo’s family decided they would like to correct the issue with surgery. Leo was placed under anesthesia while Dr. O’Neill performed a hemilaminectomy to remove the herniated disc. He recovered well from anesthesia and is now walking well and recovering at home with his family.
Intervertebral disc disease is one of the most common spinal cord conditions in dogs. The neurologic signs can be span from minor back pain to something as serious as paralysis. Based on the type of disc herniation and MRI findings, treatment can vary from medical to surgical options.
In June of 2014, a specialist evaluation, including a MRI performed by the Neurological team at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital in the San Fernando Valley (led by Dr. Jeremy O’Neill, with Medical Technicians Jonathan Ramirez and Abel Serrano – below) discovered a brain tumor as being the cause of seizures that were disrupting ‘Ernie’s’ life.
This promoted urgent surgery (craniectomy) to remove the tumor, which was identified as a meningioma, as shown below in the Ernie’s MRI images, which is the most common brain tumor seen in dogs and cats.
Good news! Here is Ernie with Dr. O’Neill two weeks after surgery, who is showing positive signs of recovery and preparing for his next step of treatment – radiation therapy to prevent the tumor from growing back.