Clinical signs of infectious central nervous system (CNS) disease are frequently very similar to those caused by non-infectious inflammatory CNS disease and can even appear similar to neoplasia. An antemortem diagnosis therefore relies on cross-sectional imaging, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sampling and appropriate serological testing to rule out infectious disease. Neoplastic CNS lesions are generally focal and CSF analysis is often normal. However, none of these findings is 100 per cent specific so it is important to understand the features of each condition to know when it is and when it is not appropriate to perform various tests. This article describes how imaging can help diagnose the main infectious and non-infectious inflammatory causes of seizures in dogs and cats, and provides suggestions for treatment, if appropriate.
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