Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Brain Health and Behaviour, CPCS (Research Programme)

Clinical Groups: Small Animal Neurology

Research Centres: Clinical Investigation Centre, Imaging Suite

I am an Associate Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery, I am invovled in teaching, clinical research and clinical work, which contribute to further advance of our clinical service, scientific output and reputation of the Royal Veterinary College

Dr. Elsa Beltran received her veterinary degree from the University Cardenal Herrera Ceu, Valencia, Spain, in 2002, following which she spent two years in general practice before undertaking an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at University of Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Beltran completed a neurology internship in 2006 followed by a residency in neurology and neurosurgery at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, United Kingdom. Dr Beltran obtained the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2011 and afterwards she spent 4 years as Senior Clinician at the same institution. In 2014, Dr Beltran joined the Royal Veterinary College, University of London where she is currently working as Associate Professor in Neurology-Neurosurgery. She is interested in all aspects of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery, but has a particular interest understanding neurological sequels in dogs after traumatic brain injury, all aspects of neuro-ophthalmology, neuroimaging and neurosurgery. Dr Beltran has a passion for learning on Veterinary Education and she just obtained the postgraduate Diploma in this field.

I am interested in all aspects of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery, but has a particular interest understanding neurological sequels in dogs after traumatic brain injury, the advantages of the use of advanced imaging in traumatic brain injury, all aspects of neuro-ophthalmology, neuroimaging and neurosurgery. I have also  passion for learning on Veterinary Education and I am currently working on achieving a Diploma in this field.

J.S Oraze, E.Beltran, S. Thornton, M. Gumpenberger, R. Weller, M. Biggi. Neurologic and computed tomography findings in sea turtles with history of traumatic injury. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 50(2), 2019 

S. Martin, S. Shivapour, E. Beltran. Supracollicular fluid accumulation type 3 with concurrent hydrocephalus in a five-month-old crossbreed dog. Veterinary Record Case Reports May 2019, 7 (2) e000800

Wyatt S, De Risio L, Driver C, José-López R, Pivetta M, E.Beltran Neurological signs and MRI findings in 12 dogs with multiple myeloma. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2019 May. 

Milodowski EJ, Amengual-Batle P, Beltran E, Gutierrez-Quintana R, De Decker S. Clinical findings and outcome of dogs with unilateral masticatory muscle atrophy. J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Mar;33(2):735-742. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

A Tauro, E Beltran, GB Cherubini, AT Coelho, A Wessmann, CJ Driver, CJ Rusbridge, Metronidazole-induced neurotoxicity in 26 dogs. Australian Veterinary Journal, (November 2018)

Shea A, Hatch A, De Risio L, Beltran E. Association between clinically probable REM sleep behavior disorder and tetanus in dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Nov;32(6):2029-2036

S. Martin, R. Drees, B. Szladovits, E. Beltran. Medical and/or surgical management of 23 cats with intracranial empyema/abscessation (2018) JFMS

A.Crawford , R. Drees, E. Beltran. MRI and clinical resolution of a suspected intracranial toxoplasma granuloma with medical treatment in a domestic short hair cat. Veterinary Record Case Reports 5: e000480. doi: 10.1136/vetreccr-2017-000480

Taylor-Brown FE, Lamb CR, Martineau H, Muir C, Beltran E. Imaging Diagnosis-Imaging And Histopathologic Characteristics Of A Vertebral Hamartoma In A Cat. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2018 Mar;59(2):E12-E16

L.Sánchez, E.Beltran, Stefani, L. T. Guo, A. Shea, G. . Shelton, L. De Risio, L. M. Burmeister.Clinical and genetic characterisation of dystrophin-deficient muscular dystrophy in a family of Miniature Poodle dogs. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 23;13(2):e0193372

R. Tetas, C. Freeman, R.Dennis, C. Harley, E.Beltran.Clinical And Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features Of Idiopathic Oculomotor Neuropathy In 14 Dogs Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2017 May; 58(3): 334-343

Crawford AH, Stoll AL, Sanchez-Masian , Shea , Michaels J, Fraser AR7, Beltran EClinicopathologic Features and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in 24 Cats With Histopathologically Confirmed Neurologic Feline Infectious Peritonitis. J Vet Intern Med. 2017 Sep; 31(5): 1477-1486

N. Hamzianpour, R Lam, R Tetas, E Beltran. Clinical signs, imaging findings, and outcome in twelve cats with internal ophthalmoparesis/ophthalmoplegia. Vet Ophthalmol. 2017 Dec 28

D. Whittaker, R. Drees, E.Beltran. MRI and clinical characteristics of suspected cerebrovascular accident in nine cats. J Feline Med Surg. 2017 Aug 

O. Forman, R Hitti, L Pettitt, C Jenkins, D. O’Brien, G.D. Shelton, L. De Risio, R. Gutierrez Quintana, E. Beltran, C. Mellersh. An inversion disrupting FAM134B is associated with sensory neuropathy in the Border Collie dog breed. G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS 2016

A.H Crawford, E. Beltran, R. Lam, P.J Kenny. Convergence-retraction nystagmus associated with dorsal midbrain lesions in three dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine  2016

De Decker S, Gomes SA, Packer RM, Kenny PJ, Beltran E, Parzefall B, Fenn J, Nair D, Nye G, Volk HA. Evaluation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Guidelines for differentiation between thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusions and intervertebral disk protrusions in dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2016 jul 4. doi: 10.1111/vru.12394.

A. Shea, L. De Risio, H. Carruthers, A. Ekiri, E. Beltran. Clinical features and disease progression of L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in 27 Staffordshire bull terriers. Vet Rec. 2016 Nov 26; 179(21): 545

Platt S., Freeman C., Beltran E.Canine Head Trauma: An update. In Practice 2016;38:3-8

Beltran E.,Shelton G.D., Guo L.T., Dennis R., Sanchez-Masian D., Robinson D., De Risio L. Dystrophin deficient muscular dystrophy in a Norfolk Terrier. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 2015 May;56(5):351-354

Beltran E,Grundon R, Stewart J, Biggi M, Holloway A, Freeman C. Imaging Diagnosis - Unilateral Trigeminal Neuritis Mimicking Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor In A Horse. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound, 2015 

Gomes SA, Volk HA, Packer RMA, Kenny PJ, Beltran E, De Decker S. Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusions and intervertebral disk protrusions 2015

Pivetta M., Beltran E.,Stewart J., Dennis R. (2014) MRI findings of diffuse polioencephalopathy secondary to ethylene glycol intoxication in a dog. Vet Rec Case Rep 2014;2: e000045 doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2014-000045

Theobald A., Dennis R., Beltran E.(2014) Imaging diagnosis - Spontaneous subperiosteal vertebral hemorrhage in a greyhound. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound, 2014 Jul;55 (4):420-423.

Shea A., Johnson P., Pivetta M., Beltran E.(2014) Congenital meningoencephalocoele in a rabbit. Vet Rec Case Rep 2014; 2:1 e000052 doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2014-000052

Beltran E.,Platt S.R., McConnell J.F., Dennis R., Keys D.A., De Risio L. (2014) Prognostic value of early magnetic resonance imaging in dogs after traumatic brain injury: 50 cases. J Vet Intern Med. 2014 Jul;28(4)

Bennaim M., Pivetta M., Puig J., Beltran E.(2014) Acute onset of blindness secondary to a splenosystemic shunt in an adult cat. Vet Rec Case Rep 2014;2:e000105 doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2014-000105

Orioles M., Beltran E.,Stewart J., Boufana B., Holloway A. (2014) Cerebral coenurosis in a cat. Vet Rec Case Rep 2014;2:e000124 doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2014-000124

Martinez L, Beltran E,Rasotto R, Berlato D, Holloway A. (2014) Nasal cryptococcoma causing severe meningitis in a dog in the UK. Vet Rec Case Rep doi:10.1136/ vetreccr-2014-000151

Beltran E.,Matiasek K., De Risio L., de Stefani A., Feliu-Pascual A.L., Matiasek L.A. (2013) Expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in Benign Canine Rostrotentorial Meningiomas Is Not Correlated to the Extent of Peritumoral Edema. Vet Pathol. 2013 Nov;50(6):1109-15

Donalson D., Matas M., Holloway A., Beltran E.,Barnett K. (2013) Contralateral optic neuropathy and retinopathy associated with visual and afferent pupillomotor dysfunction following enucleation in six cats. Vet Ophthalmol. 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/vop.12104

Beltran, E.,Dennis, R., Doyle, V., de Stefani, A., Holloway, A., De Risio, L. (2012). Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features of canine compressive cervical myelopathy with suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 53(2), 101–107

Beltran E.,Dennis R., Foote A., De Risio L., Matiasek L., (2012) Imaging diagnosis: Pituitary apoplexy in a cat. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. 2012 Jul-Aug;53(4):417-9

Forman O.P., De Risio L., Stewart J., Mellersh C.S., Beltran E.(2012). Genome-wide mRNA sequencing of a single canine cerebellar cortical degeneration case leads to the identification of a disease associated SPTBN2 mutation. BMC Genetics 2012, 13:55 doi:10.1186/1471-2156-13-55

Johnson P., Beltran E., Dennis R., Taeymans O. (2012). Magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of suspected vertebral instability associated with fracture or subluxation in eleven dogs. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound 2012 Sep-Oct;53(5):552-9

Hirschvogel K., Jurina K., Steinberg T.A., Matiasek L.A., Matiasek K., Beltran E., Fischer A. (2012) Clinical Course of Acute Canine Polyradiculoneuritis Following Treatment with Human IV Immunoglobulin. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2012 Sep-Oct;48(5):299-309

De Decker S., De Risio L., Lowrie M., Mauler D., Beltran E., Giedja A., Kenny P.J., Gielen I., Garosi L., Volk H. (2012) Cervical vertebral stenosis associated with a vertebral arch anomaly in the Basset Hound. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Nov-Dec;26(6):1374-82

Beltran, E., de Stefani, A., Stewart, J., de Risio, L., Johnson, V. (2010). Disseminated mast cell tumor infiltrating the sphenoid bone and causing blindness in a dog. Veterinary ophthalmology, 13(3), 184–189

De Risio, L., Beltran, E., de Stefani, A., Holloway, A., Matiasek, K. (2010). Neurological dysfunction and caudal fossa overcrowding in a young cheetah with hypovitaminosis A. Veterinary Record, 167(14), 534–536






I have been teaching veterinary neurology for the past eleven years at different international intuitions. The understanding of the wider curriculum allows me to know the zone of proximal development of the students, so I can work better as a facilitator of learning. I can stimulate and challenge them by being intellectuality critical, and by creating clinical scenarios (real neurological patients) where they have to act as veterinary surgeons. Being a veterinary surgeon in clinical practice demands constant new problem solving as each patient, for many circumstances, may be different. This requires a good knowledge of the basics, practical skills, experience and also being a team worker.

The neurology curriculum works better as spiral curriculum where the interest in neurology can be created and stimulated. For instance, the neuroanatomy pathways and the neurological signs are revisited on many occasions through out the 3rd, 4th and 5th year (BVetMed) but increasing in the level of difficulty and adding the clinical point of knowing them. I review the same neurological pathways with the students during their rotation so they can start applying these concepts in their role as veterinary surgeons. I try to have a constructive alignment on my teaching methods during their rotation in the neurology unit. The students initially learned the neuroanatomy and the basics of the neurological examination (individual techniques), then move on to assist with real clinical cases (the students follow the consults and see patients that are in the hospital) and finally they start taking full responsibility on the cases involving taking the history (speaking to the owner, communication skills), performing a physical and neurological examination in the patient, neurolocalising and decision making under supervision. Many of the students I teach during their clinical rotation at the QMH find the rotation extremely interesting and they feel that they have gained practical and clinical experience which makes them better prepared to deal with neurological cases as future veterinary surgeons. Moreover, the neurology rotation also offers the opportunity to learn about life in its broader context as a veterinary surgeon, including how to respond to successes and disappointments in real clinical cases. It is also important that the undergraduate students realize that there is not always “black and white” in real life as veterinary surgeons and that every patient needs to be treated to his or her needs. The clinical veterinary practice has changed dramatically over the past years, becoming more complex and challenging. To sum up, we should continue to prepare our students for their future role as veterinary surgeons providing the best education programme with the best teaching/learning and assessing methods. Since August 2016 I have taken on the responsibilities as NOSS Strand Leader for the BVetMed Year 3 and I am very committed to continue to improve student achievements and create learners

I became a Clinician in Neurology after finishing my residency in 2009. I worked in two different multidisciplinary hospitals and also locum in other two. This has allowed me to work in three different countries, learning from a wide variety of experts and from different clinical situations at leading specialist hospitals.
I joined the Royal Veterinary College in October 2014 as Lecturer and became a clinical academic (70% on clinics and 30% on clinical research). I am passionate about developing and delivering the curricula needed to impart the knowledge and skills required by our undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as instilling a high standard of ethics to the future generations of veterinary surgeons. 
The Neurology Unit at the RVC is widely recognized as an international center of clinical excellence with high levels of professional endorsement and strong demand for our services. This is possible due to the people that form the team and the great multidisciplinary teamwork that supports it. Since February 2017 I have taken on the responsibilities as a SA2 Rotation leader and I am very committed to continue to enhance student learning, student motivation and understanding the different way of learning in our students to maximize their time in the Neurology rotation. In June 2017, I became a Senior Lecturer at the RVC.

  • Epilepsy in companion animals

    Researchers and clinicians at the RVC have devoted more than a decade of work to improving our understanding of epilepsy in dogs, as well as cats.  Ongoing RVC epilepsy research is improving the characterisation of this chronic disorder and its comorbidities, develops technology to aid its long-term management for vets and owners, and identifies fresh new ways to manage this age-old disorder.

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