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In memoriam Dr. James Heavner

Added 23 Jan 2019

Dr. James Edward Heavner, Emeritus Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia, and Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, died on May 18, 2016 at the age of 72.Dr. Heavner was actively involved in the early years of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiology, now the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia, and in 1975 became a Charter Diplomate of the College. He was active in the College, especially serving on the examination committee and participating in the examination process. His voice was one to heed, and he quietly formed and influenced many. Jim’s contributions as outlined below, brought distinction not only to veterinary anesthesia and the ACVAA, but also to the larger world of veterinary medicine. Dr. Heavner was the founding director of the anesthesiology research program at Texas Tech Health Science Center and travelled globally to consult, teach, and lecture on the management of pain and the pharmacology of local anesthetics. For more than 35 years, he published over 157 research articles to advance the medical specialty of pain management, contributed to several textbooks, and helped develop and coordinate an international examination for the credentialing of pain specialists. He was active in many professional organizations and served on the editorial board of several professional journals. The Texas Pain Society named a lectureship for Dr. Heavner in recognition of his contributions.Dr. Heavner graduated from Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Maryland, studied at the University Maryland and Frostburg State Teachers College. Through shared work in 4-H, Jim met Betsey Clark, and they were married in 1967. He obtained a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Georgia. While in Veterinary School, he became active in biomedical research, spending time at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Veterinary Pathology section. He earned a PhD in pharmacology and held a research faculty position at the University of Washington. He enjoyed research positions at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Helsinki Central University (Finland), Virginia Tech University and others. He spent several years at the Food and Drug Administration in the Washington D.C. area as a Branch Chief.The family requests memorial gifts be sent to the ACVAA Foundation (through PayPal at or by check to ACVAA Executive Secretary, 2246 E Main Rd. Apt D, Portsmouth, R.I. 02871), The Texas Pain Foundation ( or Texas Pain Foundation, PO Box 201363, Austin, TX 78720

Opioid-Sparing Pain Therapy in Animals: Working Task Force

Added 16 Jan 2019

The following white paper is the result of a special session at the 5th International Veterinary Pain Short Course on pain, pain mechanisms and novel therapies in veterinary medicine held on August 22-25, 2018 in San Diego, CA. The organizers of the meeting convened a multi-disciplinary panel composed of individuals with an interest in pain physiology, pain pathophysiology and veterinary pain therapeutics in order to prepare a “white paper” of reasonable approaches clinicians can take to reduce the use of opioids in veterinary practice. While these recommendations are referenced to research publications and public and government web sites they are not the product of a formalized review of randomized clinical trials associated with evidence based practice guidelines. Additionally, this document has not undergone a formal peer review process associated with scientific journal publication. As such, the document is meant to provide information and as a resource to help practicing veterinarians navigate opioid shortages and the opioid epidemic.

The American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia did not produce this document, however, several ACVAA Diplomates contributed to its creation. In an effort to expedite the dissemination of this information the ACVAA has agreed to publish the document on its website at Requests for permission to reproduce text or figures should be directed to Dr. William Muir at

Click the link below to download the full white paper as a PDF file.

Opioid Sparing Pain Therapy in Animals Working Task Force Document

In memoriam Dr. Rhea White ( 1941- 2018)

Added 07 Jan 2019

Dr. Rhea White was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941. She attended Michigan State University majoring in pre-veterinary medicine and microbiology (B.S. 1965) and the M.S.U. College of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. 1967). After graduation, from 1967 -1968, she was a post-doctoral trainee in the Department of Anesthesia of the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1968-1971 she was a post-doctoral research fellow and senior resident in Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1971 Dr. White moved to Canada where she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon (1971-1974) and then Associate Professor (1974-1986). In 1986 Dr. White moved to Israel, where she taught at the then fledgling Koret School of Veterinary Medicine of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1986 until her retirement in 2008. The comfort and care of her patients was always Dr. White’s exclusive focus. A surgeon with whom she worked once commented that her demands for perfection drove him “nuts”, but if his mother were critically ill, he would want no one but Dr. White in charge of anesthesia. Dr. White’s dedication to her patients was without equal. Dr. White was laid to rest in New York, September 2018.