Global Pain Council

Photograph courtesy of NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine

The Global Pain Council (GPC). Pain management is an important topic in companion animal medicine and there exists a wide variation in pain assessment, pain management, and their consistent implementation. The result is often a gap between pain incidence and adequate treatment. Eliminating this "pain incidence – pain treatment gap" will be the focus of the GPC. While access to pain treatment modalities may vary from country to country, the ability to diagnosis pain should not and the two would be benefitted through educational efforts that encompass all members of the veterinary healthcare team.

GPC Phase II activities focus on various pain assessment and management educational activities. GPC educational partners are:




Global Pain Council Updates: Continuing Education.

Important links:

Global Pain Guidelines 

Member Associations endorsing the GPC's Guidelines for the Recognition, Assessment and Management of Pain (November 2016)


Join the WSAVA in our campaign against the scheduling of Ketamine

  Ketamine Campaign


List of Associations supporting the WSAVA campaign against Ketamine Scheduling

read more

GPC Vision


An empowered, motivated, and globally unified veterinary profession that effectively recognizes and minimizes pain prevalence and impact.


GPC Mission


To raise global awareness and provide a call to action based upon the understanding that all animals are sentient and can therefore feel pain and suffer from it. Through identification of regionally specific resources for targeted education on recognizing and treating pain, the Global Pain Council strives to elevate the level of confidence and competence in applying pain treatments.


GPC Objectives


  • Generate a document that compels the reader to consistently evaluate each and every one of their patients for the presence of pain, regardless of the initiating reason for veterinary consultation.
  • Provide the reader with direction on how to identify both acute and chronic pain in their canine and feline patients, through physical examination, description/pictures, and owner questioning.
  • Overview and summarize the various treatment modalities available for pain management – to include surgical, pharmaceutical, integrative, complementary , and supportive care modalities
  • Generate tenets of care while dispelling common pain treatment myths
  • Support the above with an extensive and easily accessible reference list for additional reading to be available on-line, as a hard copy, or both
  • To engage veterinarians worldwide, through education, to recognize, anticipate, alleviate and terminate pain in cats and dogs
  • To liaise and develop a collaborative network with like-minded colleagues and associations to more broadly accomplish our shared educational goals


GPC Action Plan

The GPC objectives will be accomplished in three Phases, with Phase I dedicated to the Pain Treatise development and global inventory of products and attitudes. Phase II will be focused on developing a prioritized program of pain assessment and management CE while popularizing and broadly disseminating the Pain Treatise. Phase III will look to update the Treatise where needed, refine and further implement the CE plans, and expand into owner education.

The Global Pain Counsel is currently focused on Phase I activities, overseeing the collation of pain assessment and management information into a Global Pain treatise. Concurrent to this effort will be an inventory of the pain management needs in various regions around the globe and this, together with the Global Pain Treatise, will be used to design continuing education (CE) programs relevant in content and language to the intended recipients. This CE will be provided in a variety of venues, including regional CE events, the WSAVA Congress, WSAVA member association CE events, and online CPD concurrent with efforts to popularize the Global Pain Treatise.


GPC members

  • Karol Mathews DVM, DVSc, DACVECC - Canada, Chair
  • Peter Kronen DVM, DECVA - Switzerland
  • Duncan Lascelles BSc, BVSc, PhD, DSAS, DECVS, DACVS - USA
  • Sheilah Robertson BVM, PhD, DACVA, DECVAA - USA
  • Andrea Nolan MVB, DVA, PhD, DECVA, DECVPT - Scotland
  • Paulo Steagall MV, MS, PhD, DACVA – Canada and Brazil
  • Bonnie Wright DVM, DACVA - USA
  • Kazuto Yamashita DVM, MVM, PhD, DJCVS – Japan
  • Walt Ingwersen DVM, DVSc, DACVIM -WSAVA Honorary Secretary, WSAVA Executive Board liaison


To date, the GPC has

  • Gathered information and provided assistance to Ukraine VMA to assist in efforts to retain ketamine use by veterinarians
  • Development of a template and format for a Gobal pain treatise
  • Discussed individual responsibilities and areas of contribution based on the individual expertise of the member, for a practical, user-friendly guide to management of pain which occurs in many different circumstances.
  • Began work on a global survey to assess regional issues and product availability
  • Surveyed animal health companies as to their products, including global licensing
  • Held two Council meetings, the first in conjunction with the ACVA, VECCS and IVAPM in Nashville, Tennesee, USA September 2011 and the second as part of the WSAVA 2012 Birmingham World Congress in April 2012.
  • Established contact and commitment to work together with a variety of veterinary association similarly engaged in furthering veterinary pain assessment and management.
  • Members
  • News
  • Resources
  • Activity Reports