Nerve and Muscle Biopsies

Biopsies of muscles and nerves may be taken as part of the diagnostic testing process for animals with neuromuscular weakness.

Small pieces of muscle, or a small section of nerve, are surgically removed and submitted to a highly specialized laboratory that does a series of  tests to help us determine the cause of the disease.

Examples of diseases that may require nerve or muscle biopsy include:

  • Masticatory Muscle Myositis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Muscle Infection (Neospora, Toxoplasma, etc)
  • Polyneuropathies
  • Peripheral Nervous System Lymphoma or other cancers
  • Degenerative disease of the peripheral nervous system

 Biopsies of the brain or spinal cord

Biopsies of brain or spinal cord may be recommended if there is an abnormality that we are unable to “name” with advanced diagnostics, such as MRI.

Small pieces of abnormal area in the brain or spinal cord, are surgically removed and submitted to a highly specialized laboratory to tell us what it is so we can treat it as effectively as possible.  This is only recommended if the benefits of this procedure outweigh the risks of treating without knowing what it is!