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Neurology/Neurologic Surgery


Dr. Bell has a keen interest in equine neurology and neurosurgery and has developed a special service within our practice for assessment, diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions in the horse. Dr. Bell often works with human neurosurgeons to help determine innovated and unique solutions to neurological problems in the horse that have yet to be address in veterinary medicine. Dr. Bell also performs many of the current routine and available diagnostics and treatments in equine veterinary medicine.


Neurological exams

Cranial nerve assessment

Vertebral assessment and peripheral nerve assessment

Cervical Facet Injections ( Ultrasound guided)



Endoscopic assessment of the cervical vertebral canal

EPM, EHV-1, WNV - infectious diseases of the CNS assessment


Management of OCD and facet disease

Cranial and Vertebral Radiography

CT, MRI and Scintigraphy available via referral for imaging to major Universities



  • Kissing spine/Impingement of the dorsal spinous process - medical and surgical treatments

    • interspinous ligament desmotomy surgery (ISLD)

  • Cervical Vertebral Stenosis and Instability Assessment (Wobbler's Syndrome)

    • Vertebral fusion surgery

  • Equine Trigeminal Associated Headshaker Syndrome assessment, medical and surgical treatments

    • Infraorbital canal coil compression surgery

    • Maxillary nerve internal neurolysis surgery

  • ​Peripheral and Central Nervous System Tumors

  • Neurovascular Conditions - medical and surgical management

  • Equine Narcolepsy and Epilepsy

Play Video
Facet Injection
Interspinous Ligament Desmotomy

This procedure is used for the treatment of 'kissing spines' (impingement of the dorsal spinous processes) along the spine of your horse. The most common location for the kissing spines is in the center of the back but they can occur all along the spine including the withers. Kissing spines occurs when the bony process ,which projects upward from each veterbra, begin to rub together. This creates inflammation of the bony process and, more importantly, inflammation of the ligament between the processes (interspinous ligament). As this ligament becomes inflamed, it contracts and pulls the bony processes closer together. This results in increased inflammation and a vicious circle of inflammation is created.

The initial treatment for these horses is to work on improving back conditioning and posture (rounding the back) and anti-inflammatories - which may be given orally or via injections into the back around the inflamed bony processes and ligament. If this fails, a new surgical procedure has been recently developed to cut the ligament between the inflamed processes and thus relieve the pain associated with the 'kissing spines'. The success rates have been high with this procedure and Dr. Bell is the only board certified surgeon in the Province able to perform and offer this procedure.

If you have a horse with back soreness or suspect that your horse has 'kissing spines', please feel free to contact Dr. Bell for a consultation

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