Updated WSAVA Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs Published

24 November 2023


The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has launched the second edition of its Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs. Recently published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice, the document supports companion animal veterinarians in many regions of the world to access vital veterinary medicines by supporting the availability of drugs required for minimum standards of clinical practice.

The new edition contains updates received from WSAVA members and other stakeholders following the launch of the original version in 2020. It includes a number of recently-introduced drugs and the addition of behaviour-modifying therapies. Inhalant anaesthetics and non-dissociative anaesthetics have been moved from the complementary essential medicines list to the core essential medicines list.

The WSAVA Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs was developed by the association’s Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG). The Group leads the WSAVA’s campaign to resolve global inequalities in accessing veterinary medicines. Currently, serious variations exist in the accessibility of even basic medicines around the world. This significantly affects the ability of veterinarians to deliver minimum standards of veterinary practice, which, in turn, compromises animal welfare.

Commenting, Dr Paulo Steagall, Past Co-chair of the Therapeutics Guidelines Group, said: “The WSAVA Essential Medicines List for Cats and Dogs helps veterinarians around the world to provide proper preventive care and to treat the most frequent and important diseases in dogs and cats, while maintaining appropriate animal welfare standards.  It is proving a key tool in the WSAVA’s campaign to improve global drug availability. It is also supporting regulatory decision-making around licensing, registration and approval and assisting with pharmacovigilance.”

He added: “We were delighted to receive many useful suggestions following our call for updates at the start of 2023 and we are proud that the latest edition has been published.  We hope it will continue to support WSAVA members and all companion animal veterinarians in providing an optimal level of care to their patients.”