Dr Chris Zink is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, a specialty that she helped to establish. She is author and co-editor of the award-winning text, Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the first veterinary textbook on this topic and of numerous other books on canine sports medicine.
As a competitor, she has put over 100 titles on her dogs in agility, obedience, conformation, tracking, hunt tests, nosework, barn hunts and rally.
Dr Zink was named the 2009 Woman Veterinarian of the Year and her books have won many awards and accolades. She teaches canine sports medicine to veterinarians and physical therapists worldwide and consults with clients on canine sports medicine, designing individual rehabilitation and conditioning programs for canine athletes.
I am a specialist in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation with additional certifications in canine rehabilitation, acupuncture and chiropractic. I have won awards for five books and a DVD on canine sports medicine and rehabilitation, including Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the first textbook on the subject. I helped to establish the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation as one of the newest specialities in veterinary medicine and am President-Elect of its Board of Directors. I teach canine sports medicine and rehabilitation to veterinarians, physical therapists and veterinary technicians throughout the world. I have been named Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year by the Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation in 2009 and won the John J. Sherman III Award for Excellence in the Field of Veterinary Rehabilitation in 2015. As a canine sports competitor, I have put over 100 titles on my dogs in agility, obedience, rally, conformation, tracking, hunt tests, barn hunts and nosework. I am currently competing with my Golden Retriever, Hobby, and Norwich Terrier, Helix.
I have been interested in canine sports medicine for 40 years since I first started competing and realised how large the gap was between our knowledge of the orthopaedic needs of pet animals and those of canine athletes. In addition, the field of rehabilitation was completely lacking in veterinary medicine. I have worked hard over those 40 years to develop the field of canine sports medicine and rehabilitation to veterinary medicine.
The field of canine sports medicine is growing along with the increasing number of people who are participating in activities with their dogs, whether those are formal activities involving training and competition, or just people who walk, run, hike or play ball or other games at home with their active dogs.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that an incredible part is to work alongside of my colleague, Noel Fitzpatrick, one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated veterinarians in the field. In the VET Festival, he has designed a unique venue that will combine an abundance of learning opportunities with fun and relaxation - who wouldn’t want that? This is not your average veterinary conference!
In addition to being one of the veterinarians who established the speciality of canine sports medicine, I have a unique perspective from the points of view not only of an actively practising veterinarian but also of a canine sports competitor. In this field, developing a relationship with the competitors is important, and the material that I will present combines these two perspectives in a practical way.