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Soft Tissue Surgery

Will Robinson

BVetMed MSc BSAVA PGCertSAS DipECVS MRCVS

Head of Soft Tissue Surgery

European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Will graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2010 and since then has worked in multiple small animal hospitals across the UK. He undertook a rotating internship at the Willows in 2012 before going to Bristol Veterinary School to complete his three year residency in small animal surgery and a clinical masters degree (MSc). During this time he also completed his BSAVA post graduate certificate in surgery. Will successfully passed the European diploma exam to become a European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery in 2020. Will’s research interests include minimally invasive surgical techniques and he is interested in all aspects of surgery and particularly enjoys fracture management and thoracic emergency surgery.

In his spare time Will enjoys exploring the countryside with his family and two crazy Cocker Spaniels, Olive and Rocket.

Chris Shales

MA VetMB CertSAS DipECVS FRCVS

Clinical Director

European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Chris graduated from Cambridge Veterinary School in 2000 having gained a degree in Zoology in addition to qualifying as a Veterinary Surgeon. Chris then spent two hugely enjoyable years working in general practice in Suffolk before returning to Cambridge as a Resident in Small Animal Surgery.

Following completion of his residency in 2005, Chris worked as a Clinical Surgeon in the Soft Tissue Department of Cambridge University before moving to take up a post as Clinical Fellow in the Small Animal Surgery Department at Bristol University. He has been at Willows since 2009 and as such has been at the core of the team’s commitment to the pursuit of clinical excellence via a multi-disciplinary approach to Soft Tissue Surgery.

During his time at Willows Chris has been the Director of the Surgical Residency Training Programme and the Head of the Soft Tissue Surgery service. More recently Chris has become the Clinical Director at Willows and looks forward to sharing his passion for our core values though this role.

Chris is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and an RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery. Chris has served as a member of the written examination sub-committee for the European College, the scientific programme committee for the BSAVA Congress. as an examiner for the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery and has been a committee member of the Association of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgeons. Chris is currently on the programme committee for the annual scientific meeting of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS).

Chris has published numerous scientific peer reviewed papers, written several textbook chapters and is an experienced lecturer to Vets at both local, national and international level.

Chris is particularly interested in upper airway surgery, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), portosystemic shunts, and surgical oncology. He is also a member of the interventional radiography group at Willows.

Chris is a keen rugby fan, landscape gardener, walker and mountain biker. Recent restrictions on his free time have led him to dust off his running shoes and explore the world of HIIT workouts – with mixed success! Chris and his family share their house with Hattie, a fantastic Labrador who was successfully treated at Willows for a liver shunt!

Dr Stephen Baines

MA VetMB PhD CertVR CertSAS DipECVS DipClinOnc MRCVS

Head of Oncology

RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Oncology

Stephen qualified from Cambridge University. He held an internship position at North Carolina State University and then spent a year in general practice before taking up a Residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Liverpool, where he gained the RCVS Certificates in Veterinary Radiology and Small Animal Surgery. This was followed by a PhD in Canine Tumour Biology at the University of Cambridge followed by a period as Lecturer in Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery. Stephen then moved to the Royal Veterinary College, as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery and Head of Surgery. He also completed a Master of Science degree in Comparative Clinical Oncology at the University of Birmingham.

Stephen is currently Head of Oncology at Willows. He is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and is an RCVS Specialist in both Small Animal Surgery and Veterinary Oncology. He is the only active Specialist Surgeon in the country to hold Specialist Status in these two disciplines. Stephen represents the referral clinicians in the Linnaeus group on the Clinical Board.

Stephen is a committee member of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Veterinary Society for Surgical Oncology, and the Association of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgeons, and has also been Chairman of Examiners for the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery and a member of the BSAVA Scientific Committee. Stephen is also a member of the editorial board of The Veterinary Record and is Editor in Chief of In Practice. Stephen is a non-Executive Director of the British Veterinary Association

Stephen has published over 85 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and has given over 150 presentations at regional, national and international meetings. He has written over 30 continuing education articles and a dozen book chapters. He is the editor of the BSAVA Manual of Surgical Principles. Stephen is a regular lecturer at national and international meetings. He has received clinical research prizes from the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the Royal Veterinary College.

Stephen’s clinical interests include all aspects of clinical oncology, reconstructive surgery, and minimally invasive surgery, particularly thoracoscopy. His clinical research interests involve tumour cell biology, biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and therapy and novel therapeutic agents for treating cancer in small animals, and this research has been supported by BSAVA Petsavers, the PetPlan Charitable Trust and RCVS Trust.

Stephen and his family own five Domestic shorthair cats and a Springer spaniel. When not at work, Stephen is a keen triathlete, and has participated in events from sprint distance to full ironman distance. He has also represented Team GB at the International Triathlon Union World Championships in Aquathlon and Long Distance Triathlon.

Erika Villedieu

DVM DipECVS MRCVS

EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Internship Programme Director

Erika graduated from the University of Toulouse in France in 2014. After moving to the UK, she worked in general practice for two years and completed a small animal rotating Internship at the Royal Veterinary College and a surgical Internship at a Specialist referral hospital in Surrey, focusing on soft tissue surgery and surgical oncology.

Erika joined Willows as a Resident in Small Animal Surgery in July 2018, completed her residency in July 2021 and became a European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery in February 2022.  She is currently involved in research projects on pharyngeal mucoceles and sialadenosis, and had interests in minimally invasive procedures and wound management.
In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, running, and walking.

Kine Elmenhorst

BVMedSci BVM BVS PGCert Veterinary Medicine and Surgery MRCVS

Clinican in Small Animal Surgery

Kine graduated from the University of Nottingham Veterinary School in 2015 with a strong interest in small animal surgery. Since graduating, Kine has spent a few years in General Practice and completed both a rotating internship at Dick White Referrals and a surgical internship at Fitzpatrick Referrals before joining Willows surgical team in July ’20 as a Resident in Small Animal Surgery.

Outside of work Kine loves travelling, and when that is not possible, she take great pleasure in spending time outdoors on long walks.

Luis Moreira

DVM, GpCertSAS, MRCVS

ECVS Resident in Small Animal Surgery

Luis graduated from the University of Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Portugal in 2011. He then spent seven years working in Portugal and Ireland as a general practitioner. In 2019, Luis first joined the Willows team as a rotating internship, followed by a surgical internship at Highcroft Veterinary Referrals.

In 2020, Luis obtained the general practitioner certificate in small animal surgery and he is currently working towards a European Diploma in Veterinary Surgery. He is particularly interested in soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery. Luis is currently working on various research projects, including cruciate ligament surgery, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and antebrachial deformities

Luis has two cats, Misha and Yoda, and enjoys swimming, trail walking and outdoor exercise.

Hollie Horton

BVSc MRCVS

ECVS Resident in Small Animal Surgery

Hollie graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2017 and moved to South Wales where she spent a few years in general practice developing her love of small animal surgery. In 2020, Hollie first joined the Willows team as a rotating intern, which was then followed by a surgical internship at Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics and Neurology Hospital. She rejoined Willows in July 2022 and is currently working towards a European Diploma in Veterinary Surgery.

Hollie has a rescue dog from her first job with whom she loves walking and exploring the countryside with. She also enjoys swimming and skiing.

Dr Eugenio Gaudio

DVM PhD MRCVS

ECVS Resident in Small Animal Surgery

Eugenio graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Padova, Italy, in 2016. Soon after graduation, he underwent a three-year clinically oriented PhD program in Veterinary Science focusing on postoperative pain assessment, working alongside the University of Padova’s anaesthesia and surgical team. 

Being very keen on clinical research and a great wildlife enthusiast, Eugenio spent seven months at the University of Stellenbosch, RSA, and three months at Dubai Falcon Hospital, UAE, carrying out clinical work and research projects on wildlife chemical immobilisation. 

In 2020, Eugenio moved to Doha, Qatar, where he undertook a role in small animal practice. He then moved to the UK in 2021, where he worked as a general practitioner for a few months before joining Willows Referrals in 2022 as a rotating intern. In 2023, Eugenio worked as a surgical intern at Fitzpatrick Referrals and commenced his ECVS Surgical Residency training.  

As a result of his endeavours, Eugenio has published several papers in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented his research at various conferences. 

In his spare time Eugenio enjoys playing the violin, doing physical activity, and spending time in the outdoors. 

Matija Mesko

DVM MRCVS

Surgical Intern

Matija graduated from the University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2016, during his time in university he developed an interest in surgery and volunteered at Department for Surgery University of Zagreb for two years alongside busy student life.

After graduating, Matija continued to work in a surgical role at the University before moving to the UK in 2018 to work in a busy first opinion practice in Rugby.

Wanting to gain more experience in Emergency and Critical Care, Matija successfully completed the Vets Now Cutting Edge Programme in 2020 and worked as an ECC veterinarian in Swindon before starting his path towards gaining his ECVS Diploma, completing internships at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists and London Vet Specialists. Matija is also currently working towards a postgraduate certificate in Surgery with Harper Adams University and writing two scientific papers.

Matija enjoys all aspects of surgery from minimally invasive soft tissue surgery to complex fracture repair. In his spare time he likes to take care of his bonsai trees and aquarium, watching football and spending time outdoors on walks.