Ronan Mullins Awarded Professor Peter Holt Award for Clinical Research

Ronan Mullins, Assistant Professor in Small Animal Surgery and European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery has been awarded the Professor Peter Holt Award for Clinical Research by the Association of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgeons (AVSTS). Ronan received the award for the best written abstract submitted to a meeting of the AVSTS, BSAVA or ECVS during the previous 12 months for his paper Effect of prophylactic treatment with levetiracetam on the incidence of postattenuation seizures in dogs undergoing surgical management of single congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts.  The Peter Holt award was set up in recognition of the illustrious career of Professor Peter Holt following on from his retirement.  The winner of the award is decided by the Committee of the AVSTS and is then invited to the Spring meeting to present their abstract and to accept the award.  Congratulations to Ronan on receiving this prestigious award! 

Ronan graduated from UCD in 2011 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree.  He completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, UK in October 2012. He then went on to complete a combined four-year Doctorate of Veterinary Medical Specialization and residency in small animal surgery at UCD, completing this in May 2018 and becoming a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons in February 2019. He is currently Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine. His doctoral thesis investigated the possible protective effect of prophylactic treatment with levetiracetam against development of post-attenuation seizures in dogs undergoing single congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunt attenuation and prognostic factors for short-term survival.  

Ronan enjoys all aspects of soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery but is particularly interested in portosystemic shunts and upper airway surgery in dogs and cats. His research here at UCD involves (1) investigation into the cause of and risk factors for post-attenuation seizures in dogs undergoing surgical closure of congenital portosystemic shunts, (2) investigation into the possible protective effects of drugs used to try to prevent these seizures (levetiracetam), (3) investigation of prognostic factors for survival following development of these seizures and (4) investigation into the medium to long term outcomes of dogs that experience post-attenuation neurologic signs and survive to 30 days. The findings of this research will help optimise preoperative medical management of dogs undergoing portosystemic shunt attenuation, identify dogs that may have a more favourable prognosis following development of post-attenuation seizures (Mullins et al, in press, Vet Surg), and identify risk factors for development of these seizures, which could help reduce their occurrence in the future. Other aspects of Ronan's research involve canine epiglottic retroversion (Mullins et al, in press, Vet Surg), use of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene for feline hip luxation, and urinary tract infections associated with indwelling urinary catheters in dogs.

For more on Ronan's research see:

Last year Ronan won the prestigious European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS) Resident Award for Best Small Animal Soft Tissue Presentation for his presentation Intraoperative and major postoperative complications and survival of dogs undergoing surgical management of epiglottic retroversion: 50 dogs (2003–2017). He will present in July 2019 an abstract at the ECVS 28th Annual Scientific Meeting, Budapest, Hungary entitled: Prognostic factors for short-term survival of dogs undergoing surgical attenuation of single congenital extrahepatic portosystemic shunts that develop seizures within the first 7 days postoperatively: 93 dogs (2005-2018).