Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (2024)

The Neurology and Neurosurgery Service at Cornell’s Companion Animal Hospital is a team of enthusiastic, compassionate veterinary professionals. Our service uses a collaborative approach that leverages each person’s expertise to diagnose and treat a variety of neurologic conditions afflicting our patients.


Emma Davies, BVSc, MSc, DipECVN
Associate Clinical Professor, Section of Neurology/Neurosurgery and Co-Section Chief

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (1)

Board Certified Neurologist

Dr. Emma Davies joined the neurology and neurosurgery team at Cornell in 2015. She enjoys all aspects of the specialty, especially helping her patients get back on their feet to enjoy quality time at home again.

Dr. Davies completed her veterinary training at Massey University in New Zealand. She worked at the Auckland SPCA and in private practice for 18 months before moving to the United States for a rotating internship at Washington State University. Next, she traveled to the United Kingdom to pursue a residency in neurology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

After this residency, she worked at a private referral practice for one year before returning to the RVC as a lecturer in neurology and neurosurgery. In 2015, she journeyed to Cornell, and became section chief of this service in 2017.

In her free time, Dr. Davies enjoys spending time hiking and biking outdoors and working with her dogs at scent or nose work. She spends time reading, relaxing with her cats, taking photos of nature and animals and she loves to play soccer.

Yael Merbl, BSc, DVM, DipECVN
Assistant Professor, Section of Neurology/Neurosurgery

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (2)

Board Certified Neurologist

Dr. Yael Merbl obtained her DVM from the Hebrew University in Israel. She completed a small animal rotating internship and worked for two years as a general practitioner before pursuing her neurology residency at the Koret Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Israel. Following this training, she spent two additional years in a referral center. Drawn to academia, she moved with her family to Pullman Washington, where she worked as an Assistant Professor for Washington State University. Now at Cornell, her clinical and research interests involve brain diseases and comparative research on diseases sharedby humans and their four-legged friends.

In her free time Dr. Merbl enjoys listening to music, exploring nature, photography and traveling to places she has not yet seen. Dr. Merbl and her husband have three children, two dogs and a cat making their house a happy and livelyhome.

Jonathan H. Wood, VMD, DACVIM (Neurology)
Assistant Clinical Professor Section of Neurology/Neurosurgery and Co-Section Chief

Board Certified NeurologistCompanion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (3)

Dr. Jonathan Wood enjoys novel or advanced neurosurgery, especially tumor reduction of the spine and brain. He also enjoys seeing students, interns and residents learn and grow to love neurology.

Dr. Wood achieved his veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, he did a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery, and stayed to complete a residency in neurology and neurosurgery. He was invited to stay at Penn Vet as a clinical neurologist.

After several years at Penn Vet, Dr. Wood migrated north with his family and happily took a position with the Cornell neurology and neurosurgery team.

Dr. Wood loves being outside and exploring rural New York with his two young sons, Forrest and Orion, and his wife Rebecca. He especially enjoys growing plants and trees from seed and appreciating the beauty in all four seasons.

Licensed Veterinary Technicians

Amanda Atkinson, LVT

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (4)

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Amanda graduated from Alfred State College in 2006. Following graduation, she did a one-year veterinary technician internship at the University of Tennessee.After her internship, she came back to Ithaca and worked in private practice for a few years before joining Cornell. Amanda has been at Cornell for 12 years, working in the nursing care units, the emergency department, and now neurology.

Since joining neurology in June, Amanda has been blown away by the wealth of knowledge gained. It's so rewarding to help the veterinary students in a more focused setting. It's amazing to see the patients and their progress during their time here. She's excited for the road ahead in this department.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys home workouts, reading, and spending time with her family.

Leslie Hopkins, LVT

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (5)

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Leslie Hopkins attended SUNY Canton to pursue certification as a licensed veterinary technician. She has worked with the Cornell Neurology Service for 13 years.

“I enjoy working with our patients and keeping them comfortable while they are staying in the hospital. I love it when a patient comes into our service and can go home on the healing path feeling much better. It makes me happy to share what I have learned over the years with the students and residents that rotate through our service.”

In her free time, Hopkins enjoys gardening, canning, swimming and spending time outside with family.


Amy Huynh, DVM

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (6)

Neurology Resident

Dr. Amy Huynh obtained her veterinary degree at University of California at Davis in 2022. Following graduation, she moved to Cornell to complete her rotating internship in emergency, medicine and surgery and stayed on for her neurology residency. Dr. Huynh is excited to continue her clinical and research training at Cornell and to continue serving pets and clients in the region.

In her free time, Dr. Huynh enjoys exploring the area with her dog, Churro, and spending time with her cat, Sebastian.

Mackenzie Kilbourn, DVM

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (7)

Neurology Resident

Dr. MackenzieKilbournearned her degree in veterinary medicine at Michigan State University in 2020. Following graduation, she completed a rotating internship in medicine, emergency, and surgery at Tufts University and a specialty internship in neurology/neurosurgery at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego. Dr.Kilbournloves to help people and their pets and is delighted to continue her training with the neurology service at Cornell.

In her free time, Dr.Kilbournenjoys camping trips with her large extended family in Michigan, outdoor concerts, and spending time with her snuggly cat Bernadette.

Megan Lin, DVM

Neurology ResidentCompanion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (8)

Incoming resident Dr. Megan Lin graduated from veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and moved to New Jersey for her rotating internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. She then stayed at Red Bank and completed a neurology/neurosurgery specialty internship in 2021.

Dr. Lin is excited to start the next step of her neurology journey with the team at Cornell. She is looking forward to meeting and helping clients and patients and the veterinary community of the region in addition to learning from the diverse faculty and staff at Cornell. She looks forward to teaching vet students why neurology is so fun!

Companion Animal Hospital - Neurology - Meet Our Specialty Team (2024)


What can a dog neurologist do? ›

Veterinary Neurology is the branch of medicine that treats diseases of the nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles in pets. This encompasses such common problems as epilepsy, herniated disks, spinal and head injuries, meningitis, and cancers of the nervous system.

What is dacvim in veterinary medicine? ›

DACVIM: Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. This credential shows that your veterinarian has a Board-certification degree from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and is earned after a veterinary doctorate degree.

Which animal health care team member is able to prescribe diagnose and perform surgery? ›

Veterinarians (DVMs)

Veterinarians alone are qualified to diagnose medical problems, prescribe therapies, and perform surgeries. They have completed veterinary school, passed both a national and State licensing examination, and passed a background check.

Are dog neurologist expensive? ›

Neurology is a specialized form of health care, which means it requires more testing and knowledge to diagnose and care for issues. An initial consultation or exam can cost right above 100 dollars. If your pet needs further testing or procedures, costs can rise into the hundreds, even thousands.

How do dogs act when they have neurological problems? ›

Signs of Neurological Issues in Pets

Unusual or jerky eye movements. Abnormal gait, unexplained weakness or paralysis. Foot dragging or knuckling of paws. Pain along the spine, neck or back.

Is there a difference between DVM and VMD? ›

DVM stands for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine while VMD stands for Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris. The University of Pennsylvania is the only school that issues the VMD diploma, while the other 30 veterinary schools issue the DVM diploma.

Is a DVM easier than a MD? ›

Although aspiring medical students have to take the MCAT before applying to medical school, many may agree that veterinary school is harder than medical school. This is not due to the nature of the work. Both veterinary school and medical school are very demanding.

Who is the greatest veterinarian? ›

James Herriot– The Simple Life of the World's Most Famous Veterinarian.

What can an RVT not do? ›

shall not perform the following functions or any other activity which represents the practice of veterinary medicine or requires the knowledge, skill, and training of a licensed veterinarian: (1) Surgery; (2) Diagnosis and prognosis of animal diseases; (3) Prescription of drugs, medicines, or appliances. (b) An R.V.T.

What to say to a veterinarian? ›

Your kindness and compassion to us is above and beyond. You are all a special kind of people. Please keep up the wonderful and caring work that you do. I want to thank you for being there for me and my kittens and for all you have done.

When should a dog see a neurologist? ›

There are a wide variety of signs of neurological disease in dogs and cats, some of which are listed below: Limb weakness/inability to walk. Lack of coordination. Dragging limbs.

What conditions do neurologists deal with? ›

A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system including, but not limited to, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), concussion, epilepsy, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke.

Can a dog recover from neurological damage? ›

In some cases, the dog's nervous system signs may worsen before improvement begins. The extent of brain recovery may not be obvious for several days. The dog's full level of recovery may not be apparent for up to 6 months or longer.


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