Bovine neurology: Lesion localization, neurologic exam, and why we care (Proceedings)


Bovine neurology: Lesion localization, neurologic exam, and why we care (Proceedings)

Aug 01, 2008
By staff

Question 1: Is it a primary neurological disease?

Question 2: Is it rostral or caudal to foramen magnum?


A. bacterial

B. viral

C. toxic

D. metabolic/nutritional

E. traumatic

F. neoplastic

G. congenital or hereditary

H. degenerative


A. Very important!

B. Environment ie: hogs nearby?, junkyard?, plants?, feeding practices?, silage?

C. Past disease? ie: pneumonia?, diarrhea?, navel infection?, BVD?

D. Age of onset

E. Breed ie: Brown Swiss, Charolais, Saler

F. Length of illness

G. Therapy and response

H. Past vaccinations, dehorning, castrations, spraying

Signs associated with lesions in the head


Diffuse or Local

A. Seizures

B. Depression –Reticular Activating System

C. Change in mentation

D. Cortical blindness (normal PLR)

E. Compulsive circling

F. Opisthotonus

G. Head pressing

H. Yawning

I. Bellowing (abnormal vocalization)


A. Ataxia w/o paresis

B. Intention tremors

C. Wide based stance

D. Hypermetria

E. Strong muscle tone

F. Falling over backwards

G. No conscious proprioception (CP) deficits

H. May lack menace reflex, but have normal vision (swelling in the cerebellar region


Peripheral – usually not depressed (ie: Pasteurella, Histophilus., Mycoplasma, ear ticks/mites

A. Head tilt – to side of lesion

B. Eye drop- to side of lesion

C. Leaning- to side of lesion

D. Circling – to side of lesion

E. Nystagmus – fast phase away from lesion – usually horizontal

F. Ataxia w/o weakness

G. Bright, alert, good appetite

Central – depression can occur

A. Head tilt

B. Eye drop

C. Circling

D. Hemiparesis

E. Nystagmus – horizontal/vertical/rotary - fast phase any direction (changes direction with movement of head)