Professor Dylan Clements (BSc BVSc PhD DSAS(Orth) DipECVS SFHEA FRCVS)

Professor of Small Animal Orthopaedics, Head of Small Animal Surgery


Dylan graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1997, having also gained an intercalated degree at the University of Edinburgh in 1995. Initially he worked at the PDSA in Liverpool for three years before completing a surgical residency and registrar post in Small Animal Orthopaedics at the University of Glasgow. In 2004 Dylan became the first veterinary surgeon in the UK to pass the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics) and European College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Small Animal Surgery in the same year, and only the third holder of both qualifications. Dylan returned to the University of Liverpool in 2004 where he was awarded a PhD for studies into the molecular genetics of canine osteoarthritis. In 2007 Dylan returned to the R(D)SVS as a senior lecturer in Small Animal Surgery, where he is involved in the clinical service, teaching and research into the genetic basis and functional aspects of canine diseases. In 2020 Dylan was awarded a Personal Chair of Small Animal Orthopaedics.

Dylan is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and EBVS® European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery. He leads the orthopaedic surgical service providing cutting-edge specialist surgical care for small animals, such as total hip replacement, arthroscopy and fluoroscopic-guided minimally invasive fracture stabilisation. He leads the tuition of small animal surgical theory and practice to veterinary undergraduate and postgraduate students. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a mentor of other staff on the Edinburgh Teaching Award. He has been appointed as an external examiner for the veterinary undergraduate curriculum and PhD student examinations at multiple other institutions both in the UK and abroad. Dylan examined for the RCVS Diploma in small animal surgery for a 3-year term, and was chief examiner in 2012. Dylan has authored two book chapters in the definitive surgical text used world-wide for specialist small animal surgical training, and edited one of the most popular books used by practitioners to guide fracture repair in the UK. He has published numerous novel surgical techniques for treating diseases in dogs and cats and their outcomes. He has been regularly invited to speak on my research and clinical work both nationally and internationally over the past 15 years.

Dylans research has focused around clinical veterinary medicine, primarily canine and feline health. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts to date, primarily supervised 4 MSc students, 3 PhD students, secondary-supervised 3 PhD students, primary supervised 5 surgical residents, co-supervised 16 surgical residents, primary superivsed over 70 undergraduate (BVM&S) research component projects and obtained over £1.2m competitive grant funding for his work from research councils, charities and industry.

Dylan has received awards from the Petlan Charitable Trust, British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the R(D)SVS for his clinical research. His research is broadly separated into two themes. His principal research programme aims to define the environmental and genetic factors which underpin healthy aging. Most notably in this area, he lead the Dogslife project, which is the first large-scale observational longitudinal cohort study of canine health. This highly innovative study has already identified genetic and environmental risks for canine diseases and is growing into a globally leading veterinary resource. His second research theme is a program which aims to improve clinical phenotyping of disease states and enhance clinical interventions. Most notably in this area he has have characterised the transcriptomic changes associated with early and late-stage, naturally-occurring osteoarthritis in companion animals; developed, validated and applied quantitative sensory testing methods for disease phenotyping in companion animals; and characterised the skeletal and kinetic of avian gait to improve the phenotypic selection of birds for limb health.



  • 1995 Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh
  • 1997 Bachelor of Veterinary Science University of Liverpool
  • 2007 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Liverpool

Professional Qualifications

  • 2020 Personal Chair of Small Animal Orthopaedics
  • 2019 Edinburgh Teaching Award, Level 3 (SFHEA)
  • 2016 Edinburgh Teaching Award, Level 2 (FHEA)
  • 2004 Diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics) (DSAS(Orth))
  • 2004 Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (Small Animal) (DipECVS)
  • 2001 Certificate in Small Animal Surgery (CertSAS)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Member of the R(D)SVS Career Support Committee (2015 - 2019)
  • Member of the Veterinary Clinical Research Committee (2016 - present)
  • Member of the Veterinary Ethical Review Committee (2017 – present)
  • Member of the University Responsible Metrics Group (2018 – present)
  • Member of the Hospital for Small Animals Senior Management Group (2019 – present)
  • Member of Research Computing Strategy Group (2019 – present)
  • Chair of Clinical Scholar Progress Committee (2007 – present)  - 2-3 postgraduate students per annum
  • Thesis Committee Chair for 4 PhD students (2015 – present)
  • Thesis Committee Expert for 1 PhD student (2015 - 2018)

Clinical Expertise and Specialisation

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Clinical Research
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching

Undergraduate teaching


  • Integrated Clinical course: Cat and Dog Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) / Musculoskeletal / Joint diseases (8 lectures PA, 2007 – present)
  • Integrated Clinical course : Cat and Dog Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) / Musculoskeletal / Joint diseases (6 practical’s (12 hours) per annum, 2007 – present)
  • Clinical Foundation Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) (1 lecture per annum, 2007 – 2017)
  • Clinical Foundation Course (BVM&S / 3rd Year) (2 practical’s (4 hours), 2007 – present)
  • Small Animal Orthopaedics (Final year rotation, selective, 18-26 weeks per annum, 2007 - present)
  • Animal Body 1 (BVM&S / 1st Year) (1 lecture per annum, 2014 - present)
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Lecture Course (BVSc / 3rd year, University of Glasgow) (8 Lectures, 2016)

Postgraduate teaching


  • Non-surgical orthopaedics (MVetSci) (2 units and assessment of online module, 10 hours per module, per annum, 2019 – on)
  • Chronic pain and advanced analgesic principles (MVetSci, 2 online lectures, per annum, 2018 - on)
  • Biosciences (MSc) (1 lecture per annum, 2017 – present)
  • Internal examiner for Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice (Small Animal Surgery), 1-3 students per annum, selecting cases from caseslog for reflection, assessing written reflections (2010 – present).


Surgical Residents:

Primary supervised

  • Karen Perry (2007 – 2010, Dip ECVS 2011),
  • John Ryan (2010 – 2013, Dip ECVS 2015),
  • Elena Addison (2014 – 2017, Dip ECVS 2018),
  • Catherine Davidson (2019 – present),
  • Floryne Buishand (2019 – present)


Secondary supervised

  • Toby Gemmill (2004, Dip ECVS 2005),
  • Steven Clarke, (2004, Dip ECVS 2006)
  • Michael Farrell (2004, Dip ECVS 2007)
  • Tony Ryan (2007, Dip ECVS 2010),
  • Mark Goldhammer (2007 – 2008, Dip ECVS 2011),
  • Ana Marques (2007 – 2008, Dip ECVS 2014)
  • Sam Woods (2008 – 2011, Dip ECVS 2014)
  • Henrique Silva (2009 – 2012)
  • John Ryan (2010 - 2013, Dip ECVS 2015)
  • Smita Das (2011 – 2014, Dip ECVS 2015)
  • Matteo Cantatore (2012 – 2015, Dip ECVS 2016)
  • Nuria Fernandez (2013 – 2016, Dip ECVS 2017)
  • Lissie Henderson (2015 – 2018, Dip ECVS 2020)
  • Jessica McCarthy (2016 – 2019, Dip ECVS 2020)
  • Joanna McCagherty (2017 – 2019)
  • Ian Faux (2019 – present)
  • Sofia Garcia-Pertierra Garcia (2019 – present)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Charlotte Woolley (PhD Student, 2016-present)

Master Students

  • Neil Burton (MRes, 2020-present) 

Past PhD students supervised

  • Carys Pugh (PhD Student, 2011-2015)
  • Craig Johnson (PhD student, 2012-2016)
  • Brendan Duggan (2nd supervisor, PhD student, 2012-2016)
  • Tom Marchant (2nd supervisor, PhD student, 2014-2018)
  • Ekele Ikpegbu (3rd Supervisor, PhD student, 2014-2018)

Research summary

  • Veterinary clinical orthopaedics
  • Veterinary surgical education
  • The epidemiology of health aging in dog populations
  • The genetic basis and functional aspects of osteoarthritis.

Current research interests

Research Groups: The epidemiology, economics and risk assessment group (Prof Mark Bronsvoort) The VitDAL laboratory led by Prof Richard Mellanby The Schoenebeck lab led by Dr Jeff Schoenebeck Institute of Population Health (University of Manchester, Prof Bill Ollier, Dr Lorna Kennedy)

Knowledge exchange

Collaborative research and other projects:

  • Collaborative research project with University of Cambridge, to identify a mutation in the POMC gene as the cause of obesity through increase appetite. We provided 420 DNA samples for the project, and recruited additional phenotypic information on each case.
  • Dogslife is collaborating with the Golden Retreiver Lifetime Study


Consultancy services and commissioned research:

  • University of Manchester (2016 - 2017) – Pre-clinical testing of Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Cartilage Repair in an ovine model
  • University of Aarhus (2018 – present) – Pre-clinical testing of a novel method of epiphysiodesis in an ovine model
  • Research on Quantitative Sensory Tests led to industrial £227k award for refinement of biomarker tools (2009-2011)
  • Research on gene expression in OA cartilage led to a CASE Award (Zoetis) for a PhD studentship on in-vitro models of OA models (2011-2015)
  • Taught on large numbers of local, national and international CPD courses as an invited speaker (2007-present)


Training and continuing professional development (CPD)

I teach on approximately 2-4 professional development courses for veterinary practitioners each year. Examples include;

  • 2007                American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Chicago, USA
  • 2008                European Society of Veterinary Traumatology, Munich, GERMANY
  • 2009                AOVET Principles Course
  • 2010                AOVET Principles Course Leeds      
  • 2012                AOVET Principles Course, Leeds
  • 2014                Southern European Veterinary Congress, Barcelona SPAIN
  • 2017                AOVET Principles Course, Oxford
  • 2019                Taiwanese Conference of Veterinary Surgeons, Taipei, TAIWAN


Events with external (lay) audiences

  • “Dogslife Newsletter”, General Public (e-mail), 2010 – present, monthly newsletter with dog health information and interest articles, 6,000 recipients.
  • “Enhancing Understanding of Epidemiology”, Royal Highland Show, 2011 (Computer simulator to understand epidemiological concepts to general public attending show)
  • “Lets talk about health lecture series – It’s a Dogslife”, University of Edinburgh, 2018 (Lecture)
  • “Bone is Brilliant”, West Linton Primary School, 2018 (Lecture and Practical)
  • “Building Bones”, Easter Bush Outreach Centre, 2019 Led and developed Course

Current project grants

Dogs Trust (2019 - ) Harmonization of canine cohort data
Dogs Trust (2018 - ) Identification of genetic and non-genetic factors associated with canine hip and elbow dysplasia
University of Aarhus (2018 - ) Development of a novel method of epiphysiodesis in sheep
BBSRC Studentship (2016 - ) Investigation into GI disease in the Dogslife Cohort (PhD Studentship)

Past project grants

University of Manchester (2016 - 2017) Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Cartilage Repair
Roslin Foundation (2014 - 2016) Dogslife Website Rebuild
Roslin Institute / BGI (2013 - 2016) The Labradome: improving the canine genome sequence
BBSRC Studentship (2012- 2016) Validation of in vitro models of early osteoarthritis (PhD Case Award with Zoetis)
Kennel Club Charitable Trust (2012 - 2014) “Dogslife”: An Epidemiological Study of Canine Health; continued funding
BBSRC Studentship (2011 - 2015) The Dogslife project (PhD Studentship)
Kennel Club Charitable Trust (2010 - 2012) “Dogslife”: An Epidemiological Study of Canine Health
BBSRC (2010 - 2013) Genome wide investigation of Hip Dysplasia in Labrador Retrievers
Industry Partner (2009 - 2011) Refinement of biomarker tools for quantitative behavioural assessment of sensory sensitivity
Petsavers Charitable Trust (2009 - 2010) Evaluation of Population Genetic Structure in UK Dogs
Petsavers Charitable Trust (2008 - 2014) Novel method of canine mobility assessment
RCVS Trust (2008 - 2012) The Transcriptomic Basis of Feline Osteoarthritis
PetPlan Charitable Trust (2008 - 2010) Development of 3d animations to enhance student learning and client understanding
The Roslin Institute (2008 - 2010) Breed risk for the development of Babesiosis and Parvovirus in South Africa
Genisis Faraday (2008 - 2009) Quantification of inbreeding in purebred dogs in the UK
BVOA (2008 - 2009) The Immunogenic basis of canine cranial cruciate disease
Petsavers Charitable Trust (2005-2007) PetPlan Charitable Trust (2005-2007)
AO (2003) AO Fellowship
JoanJoshua Memorial Prize (1996) Student project - Animal Health Trust, investigating Malassezia pachydermatidis infection of dogs

View all 110 publications on Research Explorer