At SAGE, we have a team of skilled and talented veterinary neurologists trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Our neurologists commonly treat diseases such as epilepsy, intervertebral disc disease (i.e. a slipped disc), meningitis, and neuromuscular diseases, as well as tumors of the brain and spine. At your appointment with a SAGE neurologist, you can expect your specialist to review your pet’s records, perform a neurologic examination, and discuss further testing.

SAGE neurologists are experienced in a variety of surgical procedures including surgery for intervertebral disc disease, tumor removal from the brain and spine, corrective surgery for Chiari malformation (commonly seen in some small breed dogs) and spinal fracture repair. We also perform screening hearing exams for dogs prone to hearing loss, called Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response testing (BAER). Often in neurology, imaging of the spine or brain is necessary through advanced diagnostics such as CT or MRI scan. All of our centers have on-site CT scanners. MRI scans are performed through our close relationship with Animal Scan, located in both Campbell and Redwood City. Should your pet be suffering from a condition of the nerves or muscles, all of our neurologists have a full electrodiagnostic testing suite on site. Your neurologist will discuss all of the diagnostics and treatments they feel are appropriate for your pet’s condition at your appointment.

If your dog is being seen because of a seizure disorder, please fill out the Seizure Questionnaire and bring it with you to your appointment.

Neurology services are offered in Campbell by Dr. Christina Vitale, and in Redwood City by Dr. Vivian Lau.

About Our Work with AnimalScan

AnimalScan’s onsite MRI at Campbell and Redwood City allows SAGE neurologists to collaborate with the AnimalScan staff  during the scanning process. They work together to select the areas to scan and can immediately follow up about further diagnostics or surgery. This eliminates the need for multiple anesthetic events for your pet. AnimalScan’s staff includes Kris Kruse-Elliott, a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist who supervises anesthesia and is available to assist SAGE with complicated patient anesthesia and pain management.

About Kris Kruse-Elliott, DVM, Ph.D., Medical Director and Chief of Anesthesia with AnimalScan

Dr. Kris Kruse-Elliott is a board-certified veterinarian specializing in anesthesia (delivery of drugs to keep patients immobilized, pain-free and comfortable during procedures and surgery) and analgesia (management of acute and chronic pain). An Oregon native, Kris earned her B.S. in General Science and her Veterinary Medicine degree at Oregon State University. She started her career as a veterinary practitioner, but was always interested in heart and lung physiology and how anesthesia could be used safely in patients with cardiopulmonary disease. She pursued her passion, completed a residency and became board certified in anesthesia, and followed with a postdoctoral fellowship and Ph.D. in Pulmonary Physiology from North Carolina State University.

Before moving to the Bay Area, Kris was on faculty at the University of Wisconsin where she taught anesthesia and ran the anesthesia service, providing clinical anesthesia to a wide variety of species. She has run her own active federally funded research program and served on research teams that have received federal and private support to study animal disease and treatments, including management of post-surgical pain in cats and dogs. Her published work is vast and includes co-authorship of a 2015 manuscript in Science about how algae toxins can impair sea lion memory and hippocampal connectivity and lead to the animals being stranded. Kris has also been involved with The Marine Mammal Center of California and their work to study the effects of algae toxicity—the project has been documented by National Geographic.


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