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Friday, October 15, 2010

Liverpool's Professor Derek Knottenbelt Speaker at Michigan State University Vet School

Each year, the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Equine Division invites a visiting Freeman Scholar to visit MSU-CVM to provide seminars and informal instruction to the large animal faculty and residents.  This year Professor Derek Knottenbelt from the Leahurst Equine Hospital at the University of Liverpool in England will be at the East Lansing campus from Wednesday October 20 through Friday October 22.

Professor Knottenbelt will be giving two seminars for faculty and students at the College of Veterinary Medicine and he will also be the speaker for the October 20 evening program of the Michigan Equine Practitioners Association.

The topics of Knottenbelt's lectures will be "Equine Sarcoids" and "Role of Working Equids Around the Globe – Why Should We Care?"

Biography: Professor Knottenbelt graducated from the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in 1970. After a four-year spell in his native Zimbabwe working in the State Veterinary Service as a research officer, he moved into private practice in the UK where he stayed for 12 years. During this time he developed an interest in equine medicine and so, in 1985 he turned to the academic world, first in Zimbabwe and, after 1989, at Liverpool.

Professor Knottenbelt‘s expertise in equine internal medicine is recognized both nationally and internationally, particularly in equine oncology and dermatology. He is a Diplomate of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine and holds a personal Chair in Equine Medicine at the University of Liverpool. He has published widely in journals, authored 13 equine veterinary medicine textbooks and is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings.

Knottenbelt received the Animal Health Trust Scientific Award in 2003, the BEVA (Blue Cross) Welfare Award in 2004 and the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors of 2005 for his services to Equine Medicine. He is actively involved in many domestic and international charities relating to equine welfare and works tirelessly to support these causes.

His most recent effort was organzing a mad motorcycle relay of ten senior academic and private-practice veterinarians around England and Scotland to present research education at vet schools. The "Horsepower CPD" vets delivered their lectures in their motorcycle leathers and then sped off to the next university. The purpose was to benefit the British Equine Veterinary Association's fund-raising efforts and to help establish a therapeutic riding program for handicapped children in Mali, where Knottenbelt volunteers for part of each year as an equine education outreach provider. The lectures were free but donations for the funds were requested and the tour was partially sponsored by Petplan. The volunteer lecturers visited seven vet colleges in six days and planned to raise 60,000 pounds for charity.

A special service provided by Professor Knottenbelt is a web site he created to help horse owners around the world who have horses affected by sarcoids. Sarcoids affect as many as seven percent of the horses in Great Britain; that is a higher per capita infection than other countries. Sarcoids seem to be a growing concern in the United States, as well.

Knottenbelt is particularly astute on subjects related to dermatology of the horse's foot; he also has a keen interest in laminitis and worked with World Horse Welfare and Dodson and Horrell on their Laminitis Road Show series to educate horse owners on how to recognize and prevent laminitis.

A video of Knottenbelt's lecture on the equine foot (and what can go wrong) from that series can be viewed on The Hoof Blog.

Photo courtesy of the University of Liverpool.

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