Top specialists at VET Festival 2018

8th & 9th June 2018 at Loseley Park, Surrey

Chris Zink

Please, can you tell me a bit about yourself?

I am a specialist in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation with additional certifications in canine rehabilitation, acupuncture and chiropractic. I have won awards for five books and a DVD on canine sports medicine and rehabilitation, including Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the first textbook on the subject. I helped to establish the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation as one of the newest specialities in veterinary medicine and am President-Elect of its Board of Directors. I teach canine sports medicine and rehabilitation to veterinarians, physical therapists and veterinary technicians throughout the world. I have been named Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year by the Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation in 2009 and won the John J. Sherman III Award for Excellence in the Field of Veterinary Rehabilitation in 2015. As a canine sports competitor, I have put over 100 titles on my dogs in agility, obedience, rally, conformation, tracking, hunt tests, barn hunts and nosework. I am currently competing with my Golden Retriever, Hobby, and Norwich Terrier, Helix.

Did anyone or anything, in particular, inspire you to specialise in sports medicine and rehabilitation?

What do you find most interesting? I have been interested in canine sports medicine for 40 years since I first started competing and realised how large the gap was between our knowledge of the orthopaedic needs of pet animals and those of canine athletes. In addition, the field of rehabilitation was completely lacking in veterinary medicine. I have worked hard over those 40 years to develop the field of canine sports medicine and rehabilitation to veterinary medicine.

What do you think the future holds for sports medicine or veterinary medicine in general?

The field of canine sports medicine is growing along with the increasing number of people who are participating in activities with their dogs, whether those are formal activities involving training and competition, or just people who walk, run, hike or play ball or other games at home with their active dogs.

What attracts you to coming to lecture at VET Festival in the UK?

I would be lying if I didn’t say that an incredible part is to work alongside of my colleague, Noel Fitzpatrick, one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated veterinarians in the field. In the VET Festival, he has designed a unique venue that will combine an abundance of learning opportunities with fun and relaxation - who wouldn’t want that? This is not your average veterinary conference!

What are you hoping that delegates will take away from your lectures? Why is it so important for them to attend?

In addition to being one of the veterinarians who established the speciality of canine sports medicine, I have a unique perspective from the points of view not only of an actively practising veterinarian but also of a canine sports competitor. In this field, developing a relationship with the competitors is important, and the material that I will present combines these two perspectives in a practical way.

Ellen Martens

Please, can you tell me a bit about yourself?

My mother is a vet and I obtained my passion for animals from her. I had to choose which pre education I wanted to do to learn this profession: vet school or physical therapy school. I decided to do physical therapy school because all the human techniques we learn are techniques used in veterinary medicine, and I received my master’s degree in Physical Therapy in Belgium in 2002. I worked with human patients for seven years while I trained in manual therapy, animal physiotherapy (the Netherlands) and animal osteopathy. I have worked with humans, dogs and horses since 2003 until I founded Het Waterhof Animal Rehabilitation Center in 2009. Since then, I have worked full-time with animals. I am the founder and president of the Belgian Association for Certified Animal Physical Therapy and have been the physical therapist for the Belgian agility team since 2008. I teach canine and equine rehabilitation at the University of Ghent and lecture nationally and internationally. I completed my certification at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (USA) in 2009. I am an instructor for CRI in The Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and Advanced Canine Rehabilitation Therapist.

Did anyone or anything, in particular, inspire you to specialise in sports medicine and rehabilitation? What do you find most interesting?

My mum introduced me into rehab. In that time, rehab existed of only hydrotherapy. Nowadays, hydrotherapy is only a small part of the treatment plan. 96% of the patients benefit from rehab without hydrotherapy.

What do you think the future holds for sports medicine or veterinary medicine in general?

Veterinary medicine is progressing really fast, and rehab follows this evolution. Veterinary medicine is meeting the same quality as human medicine.

What attracts you to coming to lecture at VET Festival in the UK?

The great audience to share my knowledge with! What are you hoping that delegates will take away from your lectures?

Why is it so important for them to attend? I hope to make a difference in how delegates can manage a sporting dog, with or without a physical problem.

For further information, please visit www.vetfestival.co.uk.

VET Festival tickets are available to buy on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vet-festival-2018-tickets-35876825551. A Practice Package is available offering a two-day pass to groups of four, with the Practice Manager attending free.

The Vet Festival