Prof. Holger A. Volk is currently a distinguished figure in the field of veterinary medicine, holding the position of Professor of Small Animal Diseases and serving as the Head of the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover. In addition to his current roles, he also holds the esteemed position of Honorary Professor of Veterinary Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Royal Veterinary College, London, and is an Affiliate Professor of Veterinary Neurology at the University of Copenhagen.

Holger graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover in 2001 and pursued his PhD in Neuropharmacology, focusing on the fundamental mechanisms of drug-resistant epilepsy. His journey in academia and clinical practice led him to undertake specialized training in Neurology and Neurosurgery through an internship and residency at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). During his tenure at the RVC, he excelled not only academically but also demonstrated strong leadership skills, progressing from lecturer to head of service, clinical director of the Small Animal Referral clinic, and ultimately, the head of the Department of Clinical Science and Services.

Internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work, Holger is renowned for his contributions to the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 Medical Scent Detection Dogs, neuropathic pain, Chiari-like malformation/syringomyelia, and epilepsy. His leadership extends to his role as the past president of the European College of Veterinary Neurology and as the treasurer of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation.

Throughout his career, Holger has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including several Jim Bee educator excellent in teaching awards, the Gerhard-Domagk-Award, the Bourgelat Award from BSAVA, the International Canine Health Award from the Kennel Club, and the RCVS International Award. Additionally, he has chaired the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force, which recently published seven consensus statements for canine and feline epilepsy. Holger has also co-chaired the ACVIM consensus statement on the medical treatment of epilepsy.

With a prolific publication record, including multiple books, book chapters, over 180 articles, and more than 120 conference abstracts, Holger is a respected figure in the international veterinary community. His active participation in numerous conferences further solidifies his impact on the global stage, making him a frequent and influential presence in the field.

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Exotics or NTCAs: What should you call the ‘weird’ pets?

You may have heard us mention these types of animals on Veterinary Ramblings before: they include hedgehogs, sugar gliders, and many other small furry friends – often called ‘exotic’.

But why do we call them exotic? Is this term really accurate? And what does it mean for owners of these animals?

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