Continual professional development

Current events and services

Zoo professionals - Lameness webinar - 2020

I also very recently hosted a webinar on Lameness, predisposing factors and its management, which was attended by over 300 professionals from all over the world (vets, vet nurses, technicians, keepers and physiotherapists). We were able to raise £250 for the Komodo Survival Program

(a research and conservation

organisation in Indonesia),

who have been a great help

in my research.

Title: Lameness and rehabilitation: Are we setting off on the

right foot?



Musculoskeletal issues of varying aetiology are a common form of

pathology in zoo species, and standard protocols are used to treat

this in zoos. Some interventions are purely pharmaceutical and

surgical. Is this enough, and if rehabilitation techniques are used,

can those from humans and domestic species be applied safely

and effectively to exotic species? Further, are our standard

approaches to zoo animal management and keeping causing

some musculoskeletal pathology?

This talk will cover the management of musculoskeletal and

neurological health in daily husbandry routines, as well as

rehabilitative approaches for lameness and associated pathology.

Additionally, and using evidence from zoos and from the literature,

it outlines how rehabilitation/physiotherapy modalities could be altered to better fit the management of an exotic species, and how traditional approaches may be to the animal’s detriment.



  • What management changes can be made to maintain health and recovery, in addition to (?) current practices, and how might they predispose animals to MSK pathology (examples of current enclosures for evaluation)?

  • How current rehabilitation might be altered for use with exotic species (examples from the literature)?

Annual BVZS conference - 2020

Annual Reptile and Amphibians working group (BIAZA) conference - date TBC

I have been kindly invited to speak at the next RAWG  symposium to present my research into Komodo dragon gait, and lameness. RAWG is an event for leading zoo professionals throughout Britain. 

I have been kindly asked to speak at the next ABWAK symposium, this is an annual event attended by zoo professionals from Britain and Ireland, and showcases new techniques and information for exotic animal keepers.

Annual ABWAK conference - date TBC

'Grateful to Matthew Shackleton for conducting a knowledgeable series of webinars on veterinary physiotherapy. It was a completely new concept for me to learn and explore.


About the webinars:

1. Being a student of MSc zoo conservation biology, this series helped me understand the various factors that need to be considered while designing an enclosure to avoid lameness and Gait in the captive animals, particularly the heavy-bodied ones.

2. The slides used in the presentation were neat and detailed reflecting the speaker's passion for the subject. He explained every bullet point and example thoroughly (explains why the webinars were fully booked) giving us a deeper insight into veterinary physiotherapy.

3. I wish this subject was a part of our Zoo Conservation unit (opportunity for collaborations Matthew! ) as it covers a major topic about how proper and ethical animal management plays an important role in their overall well being.

I encourage people to attend this webinar if he conducts the same again (I will surely share the link). Matthew Shackleton is a trained professional and also works with the Komodo Survival Program. If you wish to make a donation towards the KSP, then please find the link at the end of this post.


My favorite piece- "Behavioural and environmental interventions".'

- Gargi. R - Conservation researcher

Attendee testimonials

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Upton, Chester, CH2 1HE

United Kingdom


Tel:  07534412517