Department: Clinical Sciences and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology

Clinical Groups: Small Animal Neurology

Research Centres: Clinical Investigation Centre

Holger is Head of Department, Clinical Science and Services and Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Royal Veterinary College. He is a recognised RCVS and European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology. His main research interests are canine and feline epilepsy and Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia.

Holger studied veterinary medicine at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany and at the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, France, which was partly funded by the German National Academic Foundation. He graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in June 2001. Following this, he started a German National Academic Foundation funded 3-year PhD programme in veterinary science at the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmacy, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover.

In July 2004, he finished his study about the underlying mechanisms of pharmacoresistant epilepsy and was awarded with a PhD, which was rewarded with the Domagk Prize of the pharmaceutical company Bayer. He then completed an internship and a residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at The Royal Veterinary College in September 2007. In September 2008, he successfully passed the examination for the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology. He was Head of Neurology and Neurosurgery between 2007 and 2014 and lead the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals as Clinical Director from 2012 to 2016. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Bourgelat Award from BSAVA and the International Canine Health Award from the Kennel Club.

Holger is curently Head of Department, Clinical Science and Services  and Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Royal Veterinary College. He is also the Past-President of the European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN)

German CV

Holger’s main research interests are Chiari-like malformation/syringomyelia (CM/SM trust) and canine and feline epilepsy. Follow our epilepsy research on facebook.

Holger collaborates with many colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College Rowena PackerImelda McGonnell, Richard Piercy, Dan Chan, Ludovig Pelligand, Siobhan Abeyesinghe, Charlotte Burn, Dan O'Neill and others at the Royal Veterinary College. Holger also collaborates with many national and international groups in the field of neurosciences and Veterinary Neurology.

To learn more about Holger’s research projects at the Clinical Investigation Centre please visit the QMH Clinical Trials. To listen to Holger’s podcasts click on the link (Podcast1;  Podcast2, Epilepsy beyond seizures).

We have recently developed an Epilepsy App for Pets

Holger chaired and founded the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force, which produced seven consensus statements for canine and feline epilepsy and was co-chair of the ACVIM consensus statement for seizures management.

Post Doc
Rowena Packer

PhD students:
Sandra Sanchis-Mora (co-supervisors Ludovig PelligandSiobhan Abeyesinghe)
Danielle Whittacker (co-supervisors: Imelda McGonnell, Albert Basson)
Tsz Law (co-supervisors: Elizabeth Want, Jon Bowen)
Sofie van Mervenne (co-supervisor: Luc van Ham)

Editorial activities

Section Editor of BMC Veterinary Research, Veterinary Surgery, Teratology Studies


Holger published more than 150 papers in peer reviewed journals. Please click on the link for current publication list (google scholar).


Books or book chapters

Clinical Reasoning in Small Animal Practice

Chapter about pharmacoresistant epilepsy in Canine and Feline Epilepsy

Idiopathic epilepsy in the dog

Chapter: Biochemical and Cytological Examination of Cerebrospinal Fluid




Holger currently teaches on various courses for the Senior Clinical Training Scholars and the Nervous System and Special Senses strand for the BVetMed undergraduate course, Advanced Veterinary Nursing Physiology module, and teaches final year students and Senior/Junior Clinical Training Scholars during their Neurology & Neurosurgery rotation. He has received the Jim Bee Educators Award in 2010 and 2012 for excellence in teaching.

The Neurology/Neurosurgery team provides many CPD courses. Examples of courses available include: Neurological emergencies, Feline Neurology, Epilepsy and Brain Disease/Spinal diseases in the Old and Young. Holger also runs a successfull eCPD course in Neurology.

Holger works in the RVC Small Animal Referral hospital on all aspects of neurology and neurosurgery but his particular interests are canine and feline epilepsy (Tour). For more information on epilepsy and the epilepsy clinic at the QMHA please visit our Small Animal Referral webpage.


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