Dr. Sheilah A Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), CVA, MRCVS

Courtesy Lecturer, Maddie’s® Certificate in Shelter Medicine

Dr. Robertson received her veterinary training at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. After graduation she worked in mixed animal practice. Following this she spent a year as a surgery intern followed by training in anesthesia and a PhD at the University of Bristol. She has been a faculty member at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Canada, the University of Florida and Michigan State University. She spent two years as an Assistant Director in the Animal Welfare Division at the American Veterinary Medical Association. In 2014 she received her Maddie’s® Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine from the University of Florida.

Her research interests include assessment of pain in cats, dogs and horses, the use of opioids in cats and the development of anesthetic protocols for pediatric patients and large scale spay and neuter clinics. She was a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s Task Force to advance Spay-Neuter and is a member of the American Association or Feline Practitioners (AAFP) welfare committee and was a member of the Feline Nursing guidelines committee and is currently co-chairing the feline anesthesia guidelines taskforce. She also co-authored the AAFP/American Animal Hospital Association Pain Management Guidelines for cats and dogs in 2015.

In 2017 she became the Senior Medical Director for Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, a network of over 100 veterinarians who specialize in end of life care and in-home euthanasia.


  • Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine, University of Florida, 2014
  • Diplomate, American College of Animal Welfare, 2012
  • Diplomate, The European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 1997
  • Diplomate, The American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists, 1989
  • Ph.D, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bristol, 1985
  • BVMS (with honours), University of Glasgow, 1980


  • The STAR award, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (Co-Winner with Dr. Polly Taylor), 2010
  • Douglas Houghton Scholar in Animal Welfare, 2004
  • Superior Accomplishment Award (division level), University of Florida
  • Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, Michigan State University, 1998.
  • Merck Agvet Award for Creativity in Teaching (Co-Winner with anesthesia faculty, Michigan University), 1993
  • Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Health prize, 1981

Selected Publications:

  • Bennett SL, Weng H, Walker SL, Placer M, Litster AL. Comparison of SAFER(TM) behavior assessment results in dogs at intake and after a 3-day acclimation period. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2015;18(2):153-168.
  • AVMA Model Animal Welfare Curriculum Planning Group, Lord LK, Millman ST, Carbone L, Cook N, Fisher A, McKeegan D, Morton D, Pajor E, Peralta JM, Robertson SA, Siegford J; Stakeholder Representatives, Egrie PG, Mashima TY, Turner PV. A model curriculum for the study of animal welfare in colleges and schools of veterinary medicine. JAVMA 2017; 250(6): 632-640
  • Kelsey KL, Kubicek LN, Bacon NJ, Robertson SA. (2017) neuromuscular blockade and inspiratory breath hold during stereotactic body radiation therapy for treatment of heart base tumors in four dogs. JAVMA 2017; 250(2): 199-204
  • Bornkamp JL, Robertson S, Isaza N, Harrison K, DiGangi BA, Pablo L. Effects of anesthetic induction with a benzodiazepine plus ketamine hydrochloride or propofol on hypothermia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Am J Vet Res 2016; 77(4):351-357
  • Hampshire V and Robertson S. Using the facial grimace scale to evaluate rabbit wellness in post-procedural monitoring. Lab Animal (NY) 2015; 44(7):59-60
  • Elfenbein JR, Robertson SA, MacKay RJ, KuKanich B, Sanchez LC. Systemic and anti-nociceptive effects of prolonged lidocaine, ketamine, and butorphanol infusions alone and in combination in healthy horses. BMC Veterinary Research, 2014; 10 (Suppl 1):S6
  • Koh RB, Isaza N, Xie H, Cooke K, Robertson SA. Effects of maropitant, acepromazine, and electroacupuncture on vomiting associated with administration of morphine in dogs. JAVMA 2014; 224(7):820-9
  • Robertson SA. Assessment of acute pain in cats. TVP 2014; 4(1):33-36