Dr Paulo Steagall to Receive WSAVA President’s Award for Exceptional Service in Veterinary Medicine

A Brazilian/Canadian veterinarian, Dr Paulo Steagall, who has served on three of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) clinical committees and has played a key role in some of its most important projects, is to receive the prestigious WSAVA President’s Award at its upcoming World Congress.

This occasional award recognizes exceptional service to the WSAVA, with awardees selected by the WSAVA President, currently Dr Ellen van Nierop from Ecuador. WSAVA World Congress takes place in Lisbon, Portugal from 27-29 September 2023.

Dr Steagall served on the WSAVA’s Global Pain Council from its inception in 2011 until 2022 and was one of the key contributors to its first set of Global Pain Management Guidelines. He also contributed significantly to its other continuing education (CE) initiatives, as well as to the new edition of the Global Pain Management Guidelines, launched in October 2022.

As founding Co-chair of the WSAVA’s Therapeutic Guidelines Group (TGG), Dr Steagall has played a leading role in the WSAVA’s campaign to overcome two of the key challenges facing companion animal veterinary healthcare teams globally:

  • The lack of access to appropriate veterinary medicines in many parts of the world
  • The inappropriate use of antimicrobials, which contributes to the selection and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

To further the aims of the TGG, Dr Steagall led the development of the first Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs, which aims to support the availability of drugs required for minimum standards of clinical practice.

Dr Steagall also served as WSAVA member representative for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management for several years and was a member of the WSAVA Global Dental Committee and contributor to the first set of WSAVA Global Dental Guidelines. He remains an advisor to this Committee.

Finally, Dr Steagall contributes to a joint WSAVA and HealthforAnimals Expert Group project called ‘Principles of Wellness’. This Group is working to outline the basic practices that all veterinarians and pet caregivers should follow to optimize feline and canine care.

Outside the WSAVA, Dr Steagall worked for several years as a Professor of Veterinary Anaesthesiology and Pain Management at the Université de Montréal, Canada, leading a research laboratory dedicated to improving standards of pain management in animals. Among other achievements, his laboratory developed and validated the Feline Grimace Scale, a tool that uses changes in facial expressions to assess acute pain in cats.

He is currently Head Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, and part of the Centre for Animal Health and Welfare of the same institution. He has published many original manuscripts, book chapters and the book ‘Feline Anesthesia and Pain Management,’ in addition to speaking internationally and contributing to other global veterinary associations.

Commenting on the award, Dr van Nierop said: “Dr Steagall has made a huge contribution to the WSAVA in serving the Global Pain Council, the Global Dental Committee and the Therapeutics Guidelines Group. He will step down from his role of Co-chair of the TGG during WSAVA 2023 but not before he has introduced the latest edition of the WSAVA Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs, a vital document that is rapidly becoming a key element of the regulatory framework for veterinary medicines in support of our campaign to ensure ready access to veterinary medicines globally.

“Dr Steagall’s enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to sharing his knowledge exemplify the values of WSAVA and he will always be an important and cherished member of the WSAVA family. Thank you, Paulo, for all you have done for the WSAVA and our members.”

Dr Steagall said: “I’m flattered at this amazing recognition from the WSAVA. We have always worked hard together but the journey has also been such fun. I am grateful to have had such great opportunities; to have experienced such great collaborations and to have worked with such fantastic colleagues. I thank them all and, of course, I thank the WSAVA. What a ride!”

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide. WSAVA World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.

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