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NEUROLOGY/NEUROSURGERY

Our Services

Dogs and cats can suffer many of the same brain, spinal cord, and neuromuscular problems that humans do. These all fall into the specialty of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery services, which include treatment for a wide range of disorders – epilepsy, ruptured discs, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, brain tumors, etc. Although neurological disorders may cause great distress for pets and owners, many problems can be treated very successfully.
Diagnosis and treatment of a neurological disorder can be complex and challenging. General practice veterinarians often work with our board-certified veterinary specialists, who are experts at neurosurgery and in managing disorders of the brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular systems.

Service Highlights

At the Veterinary Specialty Services, our veterinary neurology and neurosurgery services are provided Dr. Fred Wininger VMD MS DACVIM.  VSS sponsors a Neurology/neurosurgery residency accredited American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (link to acvim.org). Neurology residents have graduated from veterinary school, completed highly sought after rotating internships and are putting their specialty knowledge into clinical work splitting their time between MU and VSS.

Neurology: The neurology service at VSS provides specialized on-site diagnostic procedures, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and myelography. We also offer full service electrodiagnostic testing (EMG/NCV/BAER) for animals with neuromuscular diseases. Muscle and nerve biopsies are performed on-site and processed in the Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory at UCSD.

Neurosurgery: We also perform a complete range of neurosurgeries on dogs and cats. These include dorsal and hemilaminectomies, ventral slot procedures, intervertebral disc fenestration, and exploration of the peripheral nerves and nerve roots. Spinal stabilization is also performed. State-of-the-art intracranial neurosurgical procedures include craniotomy, cranioplasty, and ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Pets that are critically ill or recovering from extensive neurosurgery or diagnostics are personally monitored by both the neurologist and critical care specialist in our intensive care unit.

The following services are available through the VSS neurology service:

  • Diagnostic Imaging
    • High Field (1.5T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Computerized Tomography (CT)
    • Myelography
    • Spinal Radiography
  • Testing of neuromuscular diseases
    • Edrophonium testing
    • Electrodiagnostic Testing
      • Electromyography
      • Motor Nerve Conduction Velocity
      • F Wave
      • Supramaximal Repetitive Nerve Stimulation
    • Muscle and Nerve Biopsy
  • Urine metabolic screening.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection and analysis
  • Hearing Tests (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response).
  • Surgery is perfored with the most state of the art tools including
    • High magnification and illumination by Karl Storz HD Vitom surgical exoscope.
    • Brainsight MR frameless stereotactic device.
    • Cavitron Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator for intracranial mass removal.
    • Ho:Yag Laser
  •  Brain Surgery
    • Stereotactic Guidance.
    • Intracranial mass removal.
    • Transphenoidal Hypophysecotmy (pituitary removal).
    • Foramen magnum decompression for caudal occipital malformation syndrome (COMS/Chiari Malformation).
    • Skull reconstructive techniques with 3D printing
    • Ventriculoperiotenal shunting for hydrocephalus.
  • Spinal Decompressive techniques
    • Dorsal laminectomy
    • Hemilaminectomy
    • Ventral slot
    • Discectomy/Fenestration
    • Lateral approaches to the cervical spine
    • Foramenotomy
  • Spinal Stabilization Techniques
    • Atlanto-axial subluxation.
    • External spinal trauma.
    • Wobbler disease (Caudal Cervical Spondylomyelopathy).
    • Lumbosacral disease/cauda equine syndrome.
  • Total disc laser ablation prophylaxis for Intervertebral Disc disease

MEET OUR DOCTORS

BOARD CERTIFICATION

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

VETERINARY COLLEGE

University of Pennsylvania

INTERNSHIP: SMALL ANIMAL MEDICINE AND SURGERY

University of Georgia

RESIDENCY

Washington State University

ADVANCED DEGREE

Washington State University

Professional Experience

Following residency, Dr. Wininger joined the faculty at the University of Missouri and served as the attending neurosurgical clinician at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. He maintains an adjunct professor role at MU and remains an active member of the research and teaching program.

Fred Wininger

VMD, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology/Neurosurgery)

A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology), Dr. Fred Wininger has extensive training and experience with both medical and surgical neurology. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the brain, spine, nerves and muscles.

Dr. Wininger graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. After concluding a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Georgia, he completed his neurology/neurosurgery residency at Washington State University, concurrently earning a Master of Science in Neuroscience in 2009.

Following residency, Dr. Wininger joined the faculty at the University of Missouri as an assistant professor of neurology/neurosurgery and a member of the Comparative Neurology Program. In addition to serving as the attending neurosurgical clinician at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, he was an active researcher for the development of treatments of neurodegenerative disease that affect both young dogs and children. He received international awards for his efforts that contributed to therapies now utilized in both animals and humans. He maintains an adjunct professor role at Mizzou and remains an active member of the research and teaching program there. He developed one of the first hybrid private practice/academic residency training programs with the faculty at MU and trains four residents per year that will go on to practice neurosurgery themselves.  The training of future veterinarians remains one of his top priorities.  

Dr. Wininger has extensive clinical training in all aspects of veterinary neurology/neurosurgery with a neurosurgical certification from the ACVIM. His special interests include advanced MRI neuroimaging techniques and minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures. He has authored several peer reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on these topics. He is the founding and current treasurer of Veterinary Neurosurgical Society, an organization committed to uniting veterinary surgeons and neurosurgeons in discovering the best therapy for pets.  He is the founder of 3D Veterinary Printing LLC.

Dr. Wininger joined VSS because of his desire to work more closely with his animal patients and their owners.  Dr. Wininger prides himself on his compassionate care and is strongly bonded to his patients and clients.  Dr. Wininger’s wife Brandie is a professional chef and in their free time they enjoy exploring all of the wonderful restaurants St. Louis has to offer. At home, they have two dogs (a dachshund of course), a cat, 3 chickens and a large saltwater reef tank.  

NEUROLOGICAL RESIDENCY

The University of Missouri and Veterinary Specialty Services started the first hybrid academic/private practice neurology/neurosurgery residency.   The program was created in 2013 and since then has a perfect track record of graduating its residents into board-certified specialists. Neurology residency is one of the most sought after and competitive programs.  As such, our residents are the top selections from exceptional applicant pools and we are proud to have them as part of our team.

Randy Cochrane
DVM

Amanda Jurkoshek
DVM

Christie Sibigtroth-Toedebusch
DVM, MS

John Gagnepain
DVM

APPOINTMENTS & OFFICE HOURS


APPOINTMENTS

Patient visits are by appointment only or can be seen in association with an emergency or critical care appointment.

For an appointment: (636) 227-9400.
After hours/weekend emergencies: (636) 227-6100.

REFERRAL PRACTICE Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Emergency Hours

Weekdays, Weekends, & Holidays: 24 Hours