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Champion of Veterinary Dentistry to receive the 2018 WSAVA Scientific Achievement Award

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  • Champion of Veterinary Dentistry to receive the 2018 WSAVA Scientific Achievement Award

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    Emeritus Professor Colin Harvey (pictured) is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of his work to highlight the importance of veterinary oral and dental conditions in companion animals and in developing tools to support the incorporation of dental procedures and dental preventive strategy into daily veterinary practice. The Award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Singapore.

    Colin Harvey graduated from the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences before completing an internship and surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He was trained in dental procedures by faculty of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Until his retirement in 2013, he was Professor of Surgery and Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 33 years. As a Boarded Specialist in both Surgery (ACVS, 1972) and Dentistry (Charter Diplomate of AVDC, 1988), he introduced a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures into clinical, teaching and research activities. This led to improvements in the major oral surgery reconstructive techniques necessary for cancer patients, as well as in the management of oral trauma and congenital and acquired oro-nasal defects. On his retirement, the Penn Vet Dental and Oral Surgery Operatory was named in his honor.

    His interest in the relationship between oral health and systemic health in companion animals led to collaborative work that resulted in confirmation of the epidemiological findings in humans that worsening periodontal disease is associated with distant organ (kidney, liver, heart) pathology. He developed the Penn Canine and Feline Periodontal Scoring spreadsheet, which takes into account the wide variation in the size and shape of teeth in dogs and cats when scoring the severity of periodontal disease; this spreadsheet is now in use by veterinarians around the world.

    As a result of Emeritus Professor Harvey’s passion for veterinary dentistry, he was a founder member of the first veterinary dental organization, the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). He was also a member of the Organizing Committee and first President-Elect of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), later serving as Secretary of AVDC for 14 years. He also organized the group that founded the Veterinary Oral Health Council®, of which he has been Director for 20 years. VOHC is an independent product recognition entity that awards its Seal of Acceptance to products that meet or exceed its standard for retarding accumulation of dental plaque and/or calculus in dogs and cats.

    During WSAVA World Congress, he will give one of a series of lectures presented by 2018 WSAVA Award winners. His lecture is entitled: ‘Periodontal Disease – Systemic and Distant Organ Associations in Dogs and Cats; Facts or Conjecture’.

    Commenting on the Award, Professor Gad Baneth, Chair of the WSAVA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, commented: “Professor Harvey has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of veterinary oral health and has influenced both the science and practice of veterinary dental medicine worldwide."

    Colin Harvey said: “I’m honored to receive this Award and appreciative of the increased attention that dental and oral diseases are now receiving in small animal practice. As a clinician, I enjoy dentistry because it involves meticulous work and uses a variety of equipment and instruments. A good dentist is a sculptor, even when performing ‘simple’ procedures such as surgical extractions.”

    The WSAVA aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers. It currently represents more than 200,000 veterinarians through 104 member associations. Its annual World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.

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