It’s hardly unusual for a patient to see a specialist to diagnose and treat certain disorders — a cardiologist or urologist, for example. But what happens when those patients are pets?
Just as specialized practices have evolved to offer a wide range of health care services to humans, the same concept
increasingly applies to veterinary care. Count Peter Maguire among the veterinarians who provide that care.
Maguire has launched a practice in Western Colorado specializing in neurology — disorders related to the brain, spine and nervous system. Working out of the Redstone Veterinary Hospital in Grand Junction and Valley Emergency Pet Care in Basalt, Maguire almost exclusively handles cases that have been referred to him.
Maguire brings to his practice board certification in neurology and neurosurgery, meaning he completed a one-year internship and three years of residency training as well as passed a series of examination. That’s in addition to four years of training in veterinary medicine. As the only board-certified veterinary neurologist practicing in Western Colorado, Maguire offers pet owners the convenience of obtaining services in the region rather than traveling to Denver.
Maguire earned his veterinary degree as well as completed his residency at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He subsequently worked nine years in Northern California and also spent a year working and lecturing in New Zealand.
Given the constantly growing scope of veterinary care, Maguire says he enjoys his specialized practice. “It’s just hard to know it all. It’s easier to focus on one thing that I love and be very good at that.”
A number of neurological disorders and injuries afflict cats and dogs, Maguire says. A change in the position of a disk between the vertebrae in the backbone can cause everything from pain to difficulty walking to even paralysis. Cats and dogs sometimes suffer seizures because of a variety of underlying causes.
Many of the same techniques used on humans also apply to diagnosing neurological problems in pets, Maguire says, including blood tests, X-rays and even MRIs and CT scans.
Fortunately, it’s possible to manage and even cure many neurological disorders in pets, he says, whether its through surgery, medication, radiation treatments or other means.
Given the financial and emotional issues sometimes involved, Maguire says its important for veterinarians to discuss with pet owners various treatment options and what’s best for them and their pets.