A diagnosis is normally made on the basis of first excluding other causes of spinal pain (like bone or soft tissue infections, immune-mediated joint disease, infections) by obtaining a blood sample and performing radiographs. Then, cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) analysis is performed by obtaining a sample of CSF from the neck or lower spine (or both) in a sterile manner under general anaesthesia . Your pet will have dedicated one-to-one care during their CSF tap by one of our nurses from the prep nursing team who are trained and experienced in anaesthesia and sedation . The demonstration of inflammation and the presence of a specific type of inflammatory cell facilitate a presumptive diagnosis. Although infection is very unlikely, we will normally run a panel of various blood and urine tests to exclude this possibility.