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Neurology team

Sebastien Behr

DVM(Hons) DipECVN MRCVS

Head of Neurology
RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Sebastien graduated from the Veterinary School of Toulouse, France in 2001. In the same year he presented a veterinary thesis on 'Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins in the Dog', which received an award for 'best thesis of the year' from the French Companion Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Medicine Paul Sabatier of Toulouse. The following year he performed an internship at Fregis small animal hospital in Paris, the largest private small animal hospital in France, followed by a three year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery in the same hospital from 2002 to 2005. During his residency he focused his research on cerebrospinal fluid analysis and inflammatory non-infectious diseases of the central nervous system. Sebastien was awarded the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2006 and the following year he was recognised as an RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology.

Sebastien moved to the United Kingdom in 2005 to join a multi-disciplinary referral centre where he worked as a neurologist and neurosurgeon before joining Willows Referral Service as a senior clinician in March 2010 and he is now head of the neurology-neurosurgery service. He has a special interest in idiopathic inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, advanced neuro-imaging, brain and spinal surgery including advanced spinal surgery with the use of 3D printing which has been pioneered in veterinary medicine at Willows with Bill Oxley.

Sebastien is a past associate editor for neurology of the editorial board of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and a past member of both the Education and the Examination Committee of the European College of Veterinary Neurology. Sebastien has published numerous scientific publications and book chapters, he is also a regular speaker at conferences and CPD courses nationally and internationally.

Sebastien has a young family and two cats named Marcello, a domestic short hair, and Valentino, a British Blue.

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Lorna Arrol

MA Vet MB DipECVN MRCVS

RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Lorna graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2005 with degrees in Neuroscience and Veterinary Medicine. After four enjoyable years in general practice, Lorna pursued her love for neurology and performed a three year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Liverpool. During her residency, her research focused on seizures and in particular seizures in the juvenile dog. Lorna was awarded the Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Neurology in 2012.

Lorna worked in two multidisciplinary referral centres in the UK as a neurologist and neurosurgeon before joining Willows Referral Service in September 2015.

Lorna enjoys all aspects of neurology and neurosurgery and in particular, inflammatory diseases of the CNS, epilepsy and spinal surgery.

Lorna has two lovely dogs and enjoys walking them around the beautiful British countryside with her young family.

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Tom Shaw

BVetMed MA MRCVS DipECVN

RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011 and subsequently spent 1 year completing a rotating internship in the USA. He then returned to the UK and worked in general practice for two years before starting a residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at Bristol University in 2014. He finished his residency and was awarded the European Diploma in Veterinary Neurology in 2017 before becoming an RCVS specialist in Veterinary Neurology the following year. After this he stayed at Bristol as a senior clinician until he joined Willows in 2018.

Tom enjoys all areas of Veterinary Neurology but his main area of interest is the application of 3D printing technology to solve difficult problems in spinal surgery. So far he has developed titanium-printed systems for kyphotic spinal malformations, laminoplasty procedures and atlantoaxial instability. He also has an interest in neuro-oncology, Chiari-like malformation/syringomyelia and surgical procedures of the caudal fossa and fourth ventricle, and has published and presented at international conferences in these areas.

Tom lives in Warwickshire and enjoys exploring the area with his family, cycling and running.

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James Elford

BVetMed MRCVS

Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

James graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2008. He spent the next year working in mixed practice in Cheshire, treating both large and small animals, before concluding that his interests were more inclined towards small animal work. In 2010 he moved to a busy small animal practice in Berkshire, where he thoroughly enjoyed his involvement in all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery.

James joined Willows as an Intern in September 2011, spending time working within each of the Specialist disciplines, as well as providing emergency care for the pets of Willows’ primary clinic clients. It was during this time that James developed a fascination for surgical and medical neurology, and he is pursuing this interest further in his role as Willows’ Resident in Neurology. During his Residency, James will be working towards a European Diploma in Veterinary Neurology.

James owns a rather over-enthusiastic German Wire Haired Pointer called Bodi, with whom he can often be found running around the surrounding countryside.

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Cristoforo Ricco

DVM MRCVS

Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

Cristoforo graduated from the University of Parma, Italy in 2008. He went on to complete a four month long externship at Fregis Small Animal Hospital in Paris, the largest private small animal hospital in France. This time allowed him to confirm his interest in Neurology.

Following the externship, Cristoforo moved to the UK where he worked as a small animal veterinary surgeon in a busy primary care practice for 1 and 1/2 years, before completing a one year rotating internship at Southfields Veterinary Specialists (formerly VRCC), a large referral practice in Essex. Following the internship he worked in another busy small animal practice whilst undertaking clinical research in conjunction with the Royal Veterinary College.

Cristoforo then returned to Fregis in 2013 to undertake a three year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery. He returned to the UK to join the Willows Referral Service Neurology team in October 2016.

In his spare time, Cristoforo enjoys dancing and travelling around Europe visiting family and friends.

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Maria Oliviera

DVM MRCVS

Clinician in Veterinary Neurology

Maria earned her veterinary medical degree at the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal in 2006. Following this, she underwent a small animal rotating internship at referral practice Hospital Ars Veterinaria in Barcelona. Here she developed her passion for Neurology. Following her internship, she moved to the UK and spent two years working in several small animal private practices as a permanent and locum vet. Maria pursued her love for neurology and performed a three-year residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Maria then worked in multi-disciplinary referral centres in both Spain and the UK as a neurologist and neurosurgeon before joining Willows Referral Service in May 2018.

Maria has a special interest in idiopathic inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, general neurosurgery and advanced neuro-imaging. In her spare time Maria enjoys spending time with family and friends. She enjoys running outdoors, going to the gym, surfing and snowboarding. Maria also loves to travel abroad especially to exotic beach destinations.

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Cristina Toni

DVM MRCVS

ECVN Resident in Veterinary Neurology

Cristina graduated from the University of Parma (Italy) in 2013, where she developed a deep interest for Neurology. After graduating she worked for 9 months in a busy veterinary centre specialising in Neurology and Neurosurgery in Italy.

In 2014 she moved to the United Kingdom to complete a one-year general rotating internship in a busy referral centre in Merseyside. After two enjoyable years in general practice she joined the Willows team in March 2017 as a rotating intern first and then as a Resident in Neurology and Neurosurgery. Cristina enjoys all aspect of Neurology and Neurosurgery especially intracranial disorders and spinal surgery.

In her spare time Cristina enjoys going for long walks with her dachshund (Tito) and travelling abroad.

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