Prof Silke Salavati (, Dipl.ECVIM-CA, PhD, FHEA, FRCVS)

Personal Chair (Prof.) in Small Animal Gastroenterology,, Dipl.ECVIM-CA, PhD, FHEA, FRCVS, RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine (Gastroenterology)


I have graduated from the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, in 2003 and have since specialised in Small Animal Internal Medicine (EBVS ® European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine, also called Diplomate in ECVIM-CA) with the particular focus on gastroenterology. I have worked in both private and academic referral hospitals in Germany, at the Royal Veterinary College in London. I started as Senior lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh in 2016, and became Head of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service in 2022. I have a particular interest in canine inflammatory bowel disease (now called canine chronic inflammatory enteropathy), how this relates to pain and possible effects on behaviour, but also the use of alternative treatments like probiotics, prebiotics and faecal microbiota transplants. I have published approximately 40 scientific papers in the area, several book chapters and continue to lead and participate in studies "around the dog gut". I am one of the editors of the one "Feline Gastroenterology" book. I am also a member of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society (CGS) and the past-president and webmaster of the European Society of Comparative Gastroenterology (ESCG). I speak at specialist conference as well as CPD events and give webinars regularly. In my spare time, I love to bake sweet treats and bread, and exploring the Scottish country side with her husband. I have a cat called Maisy.


Professional Qualifications completed in 2007 with the topic of "Validation of a 13C octanoic breath test for assessing gastric emptying in dogs in comparison to 99m Tc Radioscintigraphy".

Doctor in Philosophy (PhD), The Royal Veterinary College Investigations into the influence of probiotics in canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Justus Liebig University Giessen Validation of the 13C sodium acetate breath test to assess gastric emptying in dogs in comparison to 99m technetium scintigraphy.

Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - companion animals (DipECVIM-CA) since 2011

RCVS-recognised specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine (Gastroenterology) 

National Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine (Germany).

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) since 2019


I have been teaching since being a post-graduate doctoral student at the JLU university in Giessen, Germany, in 2003 (courses, seminars, single lectures of interesting cases). I have been responsible for the small animal gastroenterology lecture stream at that same university from 2013 to 2015 and give lectures regarding the same topic at the R(D)SVS from 2016 on. In addition, as I spent 50% of my time "on clinics", I teach undergraduates as well as Residents by assessing and working through real clinical cases. In 2019, I gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Clinical Expertise and Specialisation

Since I graduated from vet school in Germany in 2003, I have worked in environments and institutions specialising in small animal internal medicine. During those years, I have acquired clinical expertise through experience of simply "working in the field", but also by completing a rotating internship and being awarded the title of Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine for Companion Animals (DipECVIM-CA). I am also holder of a German national specialisation title for Small Animal Internal Medicine. I have also acquired a PhD in canine gastroenterology/ gastroimmunology, and am one of only 2 people being recognised as a small animal gastroenterology specialist by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).


Responsibilities & affiliations

General administrative tasks and affiliations: 

  • Member of the Veterinary Ethical Review Committee (VERC) at the R(D)SVS since 2020.
  • Member of the ECVIM-CA Education Committee since 2019, Chair of this committee since 2022
  • Member of the ECVIM-CA Exam Committee from 2015 to 2019
  • Programme director for the ECVIM-CA (Internal Medicine) residency at the R(D)SVS since 2016.
  • Radiation area supervisor for I131 treatment of hyperthyroid cats at the R(D)SVS from 2017-2023.
  • President of the European Society of Comparative Gastroenterology (ESCG) 2016/2017 (website; also on facebook at
  • Past-president of the ESCG from 2018 to 2020.
  • Secretary of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine – Companion Animals (ECVIM-CA) 2014 and 2015

Member of the following societies:

  • Comparative gastroenterology society (CGS)

  • ESCG (see above)
  • American Gastroenterology Society (AGA); 2010-2013

  • Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft (DVG) - German veterinary society

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kleintiermedizin der Deutschen Veterinärmedizinischen Gesellschaft (DGK-DVG), Arbeitsgruppe Gastroenterologie - German working group for gastroenterology of the German veterinary society

Editorial tasks:

  • Associate editor for Frontiers in Veterinary Science since 2018
  • Editor for Edra Publishing.

Research summary

I am interested in small animal gastroenterology, especially focusing of mechanisms of disease, clinical assessment and treatment of canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)/ chronic inflammatory enteropathy (CIE).

Current research interests

Research Interests Gastrointestinal motility and how to influence it with specific drugs Immunopathogenesis of chronic inflammatory conditions like CIE in dogs (and cats) and understanding the causes Probiotics and other ways to influence the gastrointestinal “microflora” in dogs and cats with gut disease and other conditions The interaction between environmental or luminal factors and intestinal cells (epithelial cells, immune cells) in chronic enteropathies in small animals The effect of faecal microbiota transplantation on both chronic and acute gut diseases in dogs (and cats). Collaborative Activity Assessing the gastrokinetic effect of mirtazapine in dogs – in collaboration with the JLU Giessen, Germany Assessing the effect of probiotics, antibiotics or diet change on acute and chronic diarrhoea in dogs in a private practice setting – in collaboration with the JLU Giessen, Germany Determining the prevalence of hypomagnesaemia in dogs with chronic intestinal diseases and assessing the potential prognostic relevance – in collaboration with the JLU Giessen, Germany My research in a nutshell I am interested in understanding why dogs (and cats) suffer from chronic diseases associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and weight loss, which is very similar to human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like for example Crohn's disease. As there seem to be many factors involved I am trying to apply new treatment concepts, and investigate potential causes (for example the changes in the "flora" of the gut compared to healthy dogs). I am also keen to understand how to better gage clinical severity or "activity" of these disorders, by applying measures through questionnaires and clinical scores, specifically assessing behaviour and abdominal (tummy) pain. Our group is also keen to find a way of assessing causes of these diseases with regards to the gut immune system, which seems to be malfunctioning in a lot of these cases. This means that we look at a lot of different things in gut biopsies or might even be able to measure immune function "in the petry dish" to later apply this new information to a clinical scenario. Ultimately, all of this should lead to better treatment options in the future, by better understanding of causes of these chronic inflammatory gut conditions.

View all 46 publications on Research Explorer