VCA Berwyn Animal Hospital


Myelography is a contrast iodinated radiographic study used to highlight the spinal cord within the vertebral canal. While survey vertebral column radiographs do not allow visualization of the spinal cord or the meninges, Myelography with the use of radiographs as described above, allows visualization of the outline of the spinal cord.

The procedure is technical and performed by veterinarians experienced with the procedure. The procedure is carried out under anesthesia. A spinal needle is introduced into the spinal canal as for a spinal tap. For myelography of the entire spine usually lumbar puncture at L4-5 or L5-6 is performed (low back area). After sterile surgical preparation of the skin, the needle is inserted into the subarachnoid space. This space lies between the outer meninges (fibrous covering of the spinal cord) and the spinal cord itself. This space is filled with spinal fluid. The contrast agent is slowly and gently instilled with care until the entire spinal cord can be visualized into the high neck region.

Myelography for many years was the only way to further image the spinal cord. Although it does not allow for imaging the spinal cord itself, because the contrast agent surrounds and thus highlights the spinal cord, it can provide information on diseases causing compression from the outside the cord but within the canal (extra-dural), within the meninges (intra-dural, extramedullary) and also within the spinal cord (intramedullary).

Examples of extradural diseases include: intervertebral disc extrusion, tumors, cysts, infection, hemorrhage, compression from malformation, fracture or instability and other. Examples of intradural-extramedullary diseases include tumors or infection of the meninges/nerve roots, and cysts or dilations or adhesions of the meningeal elements. Intramedullary diseases include tumors of the spinal cord itself, ischemic stroke, hemorrhage, infection, inflammation, cavities (syrinx), traumatic high velocity intervertebral disc rupture and others.


Diagnostic Imaging, Surgery

General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Emergency Care

Call 708-749-4200 if you have any questions or concern regarding your pet.

We provide emergency care from 8am until 1am seven days a week. We are closed on holidays.

Some symptoms that may indicate your pet may need to be seen on an emergency basis include:

  • Difficulty Breathing and/or pale or blue gums or tongue
  • Heavy Bleeding - apply direct pressure to the wound
  • Major Trauma - if your pet has fallen, been hit by a car or has multiple wounds
  • Gaping Wounds
  • Collapse/Loss of Consciousness
  • Paralysis
  • Lacerations and Bite Wounds
  • Poisoning
  • Infections - or if your pet suddenly gets worse while on medication for an infection
  • Difficulty Urinating - frequent attempts to urinate that don't produce a normal urine flow could indicate infection or obstruction - especially in male cats!
  • Eye Problems - redness, tearing, pain, squinting or eyelid spasms
  • Prolonged or multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea