Neurosurgery: Complex is our Everyday

Comprising Neurology Specialists (DipECVN), Residency-trained Neurologists, Residents in Neurology, dedicated Neurology nurses and our in-house Veterinary Physiotherapy team Willows’ Neurology team form one of the largest Neurology-Neurosurgery services in the UK.

With access to world-leading Diagnostic Imaging facilities, Specialist Radiologists, Specialist Anaesthetics, and supported by a truly multidisciplinary approach, our team provide dedicated individualised diagnoses, treatment and care for patients with neurological problems including epilepsy, neuromuscular, spinal or brain diseases.

Supported by a dedicated Neurology nursing team and with an on-site Specialist-led Intensive Care Unit and world-leading diagnostic equipment, Willows delivers the best possible care and treatment for high-dependency cases.

Many patients with neurological conditions need prompt investigation and treatment, and so we aim to see urgent neurological cases the same day, where required.

Our team of Specialists are also happy to provide telephone advice to Veterinary surgeons on the management of neurological cases.


What Can I Expect if my Pet is Referred to an Neurology Specialist?

The starting point for each patient referred to a Neurologist at Willows is a full consultation and discussion with the owner including a detailed neurological examination. Further investigations are often required, Willows has access to state-of-the art neuro diagnostic facilities including high field MRI scanning, CT scanning, EEG, electrodiagnostic testing and 3D printing when required.


What are the Most Common Neurological Conditions?

Patients seen by our Specialist Neurologists include those with:

  • Seizures and other paroxysmal diseases: e.g. movement disorders, narcolepsy-cataplexy
  • Peripheral and central vestibular diseases: inner ear disease, dizziness etc.
  • Cranial nerves deficits: g. facial paralysis, trigeminal neuritis
  • Inflammatory central nervous system diseases: meningitis, myelitis and encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Spinal diseases: g. disc protrusion/extrusion (‘slipped disc’), syringomyelia, spinal malformations
  • Neuromuscular diseases: polyneuropathy (polyradiculoneuritis, endocrine neuropathy), junctionopathy (e.g. Myasthenia Gravis), myopathy (e.g. polymyositis, masticatory muscle myositis)
  • Neurological emergencies: spinal trauma, head trauma and status epilepticus (severe seizures or fits)

What Facilities are Available at Willows?

The Neurology team at Willows is fully supported by our multidisciplinary team of Specialists including the Specialist Diagnostic Imaging team, and Specialists working in the Anaesthesia, Orthopaedic, Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology and Soft Tissue Surgery teams. Our highly trained clinical support staff, including a dedicated Neurology Nurse, provide superb levels of nursing care for all patients. Neurological cases often require intensive care, our dedicated Intensive Care Unit at Willows is equipped to the highest levels, enabling the best possible care and management of such high-dependency cases.

At Willows we provide a full range of investigations, including on-site advanced imaging including; high field MRI scanner producing the highest quality diagnostic images, CT scanning allows evaluation of patients with spinal or head trauma and cerebro-spinal fluid analysis. In addition electro-diagnostic testing is available for neuromuscular disorders and DNA testing for inherited conditions as well as muscle and nerve biopsy where required.


Neurology Fixed Price Packages

To support our patients, clients and referring vets in achieving the best possible diagnosis and treatment plan we now offer fixed price packages for Spinal surgery for acute onset intervertebral disc disease to ensure a smooth referral process.

Willows’ fixed price packages support in making Specialist-led veterinary care accessible when it is needed most.

Spinal surgery for acute onset intervertebral disc disease

Meet The Team

Sebastien Behr


Head of Neurology

RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Sebastien graduated from the Veterinary School of Toulouse, France in 2001. In the same year he presented a veterinary thesis on ‘Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins in the Dog’, which received an award for ‘best thesis of the year’ from the French Companion Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Medicine Paul Sabatier of Toulouse. The following year he performed an internship at Fregis small animal hospital in Paris, the largest private small animal hospital in France, followed by a three year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery in the same hospital from 2002 to 2005. During his residency he focused his research on cerebrospinal fluid analysis and inflammatory non-infectious diseases of the central nervous system. Sebastien was awarded the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2006 and the following year he was recognised as an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology.

Sebastien moved to the United Kingdom in 2005 to join a multi-disciplinary referral centre where he worked as a neurologist and neurosurgeon before joining Willows Referral Service as a senior clinician in March 2010 and he is now head of the neurology-neurosurgery service. He has a special interest in idiopathic inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, advanced neuro-imaging, brain and spinal surgery including advanced spinal surgery with the use of 3D printing which has been pioneered in veterinary medicine at Willows with Bill Oxley.

Sebastien is a past associate editor for neurology of the editorial board of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and a past member of both the Education and the Examination Committee of the European College of Veterinary Neurology. Sebastien has published numerous scientific publications and book chapters, he is also a regular speaker at conferences and CPD courses nationally and internationally.

Sebastien has a young family and two cats named Marcello, a domestic short hair, and Valentino, a British Blue.

Lluis Sánchez


European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Lluís graduated from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2012. The following year he performed a rotating internship at the Small Animal Hospital Babenhausen Dr Susanne Medl, in Germany, followed by a one-year Neurology internship in the same hospital.

He then moved to the UK, where he performed a one-year Neurology internship and a three-year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Animal Health Trust from 2015 to 2019. During the following six months, Lluís worked as a Neurologist in the same institution, as well as at the Small Animal Hospital Babenhausen Dr Susanne Medl.

Lluís was awarded the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2020.

His special interests include idiopathic inflammatory diseases of the central nervous syste and advanced neuro-imaging.

In his spare time, Lluís enjoys travelling with family and friends.

Simona Radaelli

RCVS and European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Simona graduated from the University of Milan, Italy. She developed an interest in neurology during her studies, having rescued a cat with head trauma that became epileptic. After graduation, Simona won a neurology internship at the University of Athens, Georgia, United States. Then, she moved to the University of Hannover, Germany, to complete a neurology residency. As a result, Simona gained the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology (DipECVN) in 2005. Also, she completed a PhD on Neuronal Dysplasia as a cause of refractory seizures in dogs and cats.

Simona has worked in UK referral practices as a Neurology Specialist since 2005. She has a passion for teaching and has taught Foundation and Higher Education Students since 2011. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, and she has also lectured in several national and international congresses.

Cristina Toni


European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology


Cristina graduated from the University of Parma (Italy) in 2013. After two enjoyable years in general practice, Cristina pursued her love for neurology undertaking two rotating internships first, followed by a three-year residency program in Neurology and Neurosurgery at Willows. Her research focused on spinal surgery during her residency with a particular interest in 3D printed patient-specific drill guides. Cristina was awarded the diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2022.

Cristina worked in another multidisciplinary referral centre in the UK as a neurologist and neurosurgeon before re-joining Willows in March 2022. Cristina enjoys all aspects of neurology and neurosurgery, particularly inflammatory diseases of the CNS, epilepsy, and spinal surgery.

Cristina enjoys spending time with her two dachshunds, Tito and Theo and friends in her spare time.

Robert Clark

BVetMed(hons) MRCVS

Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

Robert graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 2017. He spent the next two years working in a busy first opinion practice in Somerset treating a wide range of medical and surgical conditions, partaking in an intense emergency rota.

During this time, he spent a portion of his days off visiting a local neurology specialist to gain insight into the discipline. The enthusiasm and support given here was enough to get him hooked on pursuing a career in veterinary neurology. To this end, in 2019 he undertook a rotating internship to gain further experience working closely with specialists in multiple fields.

Robert joined Willows in early 2020, staying on as a clinician following completion of the ECVN residency training program in 2023. Robert holds a particular interest in the diagnostic utility of MRI, with peer reviewed publications in this area.

During his spare time Robert can often be found competing on a squash court or walking his energetic Working Cocker Spaniels, Islay and Conker.

Francesca Violini


Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

Francesca graduated from the University of Perugia (Italy) in 2016 with a thesis on thoracolumbar disc herniation in dogs.

Following her graduation, she worked in the busy family veterinary practice in Perugia and she moved to the U.K. in 2017 to complete a rotating internship program at Vale Referrals, in Gloucestershire.

She then returned to general practice as a locum Veterinary Surgeon before joining Willows in July 2019 as a rotating intern.

To further advance her career within the neurology field Francesca undertook a Neurology internship at Fitzpatrick Referrals in July 2020. She then returned to Willows as a Resident in Neurology and Neurosurgery in January 2021.

In her spare time, Francesca enjoys running and exploring the British countryside.

Thomas Heaselgrave


Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

Tom studied Veterinary medicine at the University of Nottingham, achieving two degrees BVMedSci(hons) and BVM BVS(hons) MRCVS during his time there.

Since graduating, Tom has worked in a busy small animal hosptial in Dudley where he gained great exposure to surgery and emergency cases. Tom has a keen interest in Neurology and orthopaedics, and is hoping to pursue this interest following his rotating internship at Willows.

In his spare time Tom is in a band and enjoys playing regular gigs around the Nottingham area.

Alba Manzanedo-Delgado


ECVN Resident in Veterinary Neurology

Alba graduated from the University of León in Spain in 2017. After working in Madrid at an emergency out-of-hours clinic she moved to the UK in 2018 where she worked for two years in first opinion practices in Leicestershire.

Alba completed a rotating internship at Southfields Veterinary Specialists, followed by Neurology internships at both Hamilton Specialist Referrals and Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona and during this time also published two neurological case reports in a British journal, before commencing her residency here at Willows in 2024.

Her passion for Neurology started when she adopted her little cross chihuahua, named Lia,  who suffers from a movement disorder. She also shares her life with her two crazy domestic short hair cats named Selva and África.

In her spare time, Alba enjoys travelling, spending time with friends and family, going to concerts and she particularly enjoys going to karaoke.

Peter Jun Lai Tse


Neurology Intern

Peter graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2022 and began working in a general practice in Southampton. He then completed a rotating internship at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists before joining Willows as a Neurology Intern.

Peter has always had a keen interest in Neurology and is actively involved in clinical studies that extend beyond this specialty.

In his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with his two dogs, Venus and Vega, who have been his companions since vet school. He is an avid climber and occasionally competes in local bouldering competitions. Additionally, he loves gardening, cooking, and taking care of his aquarium.


Find out more

To assist owners in understanding more about Neurological conditions, investigations and treatment we have put together a range of information sheets to talk you through the some of the more common neurological conditions seen by our Specialists.