University of Tennessee: Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Course

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28 hours

Quick Overview

This course is designed to help veterinarians and vet techs identify the pathologies that will benefit from effective pain management practices. It provides an in-depth discussion of the neurobiology of acute and chronic pain.

This course is available for purchase at


Presented by: Steven M. Fox, MS, DVM, MBA, PhD and Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CVA, CCRP, CPE, DAAPM

Canine I reviews the regulatory issues involved in this field of practice from the perspective of physical therapists and veterinarians. The response of tissues to disuse and remobilization will be covered and clinically applied to the science of veterinary rehabilitation. An overview of basic comparative anatomy will be reviewed, as well as commonly seen orthopedic and neurological conditions and commonly used therapeutic interventions. Collaboration between the veterinary and physical therapy professions will be emphasized to enhance the learning experience. How to get started in the field and protocol development will be reviewed.

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Additional Information

Learning Objectives

After completion of this program, participants will understand the basic neurobiology of pain in companion animals, and be able to apply the information in the selection of treatment modalities.  Participants will receive instruction in pain assessment and identifying animal behaviors that are consistent with pain.  Participants should also be able to discuss common conditions causing neuropathic, visceral, or cancer-caused pain and application to clinical patients.

Additional Recommended Courses



The Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program consists of 14 modules (25 hours) presented by Dr. Fox and an additional module (3 hours) presented by Dr. Robin Downing entitled "Pain Assessment & Management Techniques."

Available for purchase from


Companion Animal Pain Management - (25 hours) -
presented by Steven M. Fox, MS, DVM, MBA, PhD

Module 1: Osteoarthritis & Pain (2.75 hours)

  1. Introduction
  2. Joint Pain
  3. Osteoarthritis & Inflammation
  4. Neuronal Events in Joint Inflammation
  5. Spinal Neurons
  6. Activation of Sensory Neurons
  7. Osteoarthritis & Joint Mechanics
  8. Osteoarthritis Treatments
  9. Managing Osteoarthritis

Module 2: Multimodal Management of Canine Osteoarthritis (2.25 hours)

  1. Analgesia
  2. Weight Control and Diet
  3. Chondroprotectant
  4. NSAIDs
  5. Adjuncts
  6. Physical Rehabilitation
  7. Case Studies

Module 3: NSAIDs (2.75 hours)

  1. Introduction to NSAIDs
  2. Current NSAIDs
  3. COX-1 & COX-2 Receptors
  4. NSAID Half-life
  5. Objective Assessment of NSAIDs
  6. Safety & Adverse Effects
  7. Gastrointestinal Adverse Effects
  8. Asprin
  9. GI Protectors, Washout Periods, & Drug Interactions
  10. Frequently Asked Questions

Module 4: Pain Management in the Cat (3.0 hours)

  1. Economics of Feline Pain Management
  2. Challenges of Treatment Pain in Cats
  3. Opioids in Cats
  4. Tramadol
  5. Other Analgesics
  6. Degenerative Joint Disease
  7. Diagnosing Degenerative Joint Disease
  8. Treatment Options & Guidelines
  9. Feline Chondroprotectants
  10. Outcome Measures & Pain Management

Module 5: Neurobiology of Pain - Part 1 (1.5 hours)

  1. The Pain pathway
  2. The Gate Theory
  3. Preemptive Analgesia
  4. Types of Pain

Module 6: Neurobiology of Pain - Part 2 (1.75 hours)

  1. Neurotransmitters
  2. Opioids
  3. Tricyclics & Anticonvulsants
  4. NMDA-Antagonists
  5. Tramadol
  6. Neuropathic Pain
  7. Bisphosphonates & Adjucts

Module 7: Cancer (.75 hour)

  1. Cancer Pain Classification
  2. Behaviors Suggesting Pain
  3. Pain Management of the Cancer Patient

Module 8: Opioids & Alpha-2 Agonists (2.0 hours)

  1. Controlled Substances
  2. Opioid Receptors
  3. Opioid Classification & Delivery
  4. Common Opioids
  5. Alpha-2 Agonists
  6. Dexmedetomadine
  7. Alpha-2 Summary

Module 9: Local Anesthetic Blocks (1.75 hours)

  1. Local Anesthetics & Techniques
  2. Epidural - Part 1
  3. Epidural - Part 2
  4. Forelimb Blocks
  5. Intercostal & Dental Blocks
  6. Soaker Catheters & Retrobulbar Eye Blocks

Module 10: Pain Assessment (1.5 hours)

  1. Pain Processing & Variability
  2. Anticipating Pain
  3. Characteristics Associated with Pain
  4. Pain Scales

Module 11: Animal Health Technicians in Pain Management (1.25 hours)

  1. Importance of an Animal Health Technician
  2. Developing a Pain Management Plan
  3. Client Communications

Module 12: Tricyclics & Anticonvulsants (1.0 hour)

  1. Mechanisms of Action for Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
  2. Tramadol
  3. Evidence for Pharmacological Treatment of Neuropathic Pain
  4. Anticonvulsants

Module 13: Nutraceuticals and Stem Cells (2.25 hours)

  1. Cartilage Structure & Function
  2. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
  3. Nutraceuticals & Supplements
  4. Destructive Players in Osteoarthritis
  5. Evidence for Nutraceuticals
  6. Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables
  7. Complementary Therapies
  8. Stem Cells

Module 14: Pain States (.5 hour)

  1. Adaptive & Maladaptive Pain
  2. Visceral Pain

Pain Assessment & Management Techniques (3.0 hours) presented by Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CVA, CCRP, CPE, DAAPM

Pain Assessment Techniques:

  1. Introduction
  2. Nature of Pain
  3. Patient Pain Assessment - Part 1
  4. Patient Pain Assessment - Part 2

Pain Management Strategies:

  1. Why is Pain Important?
  2. Barriers to Treating Pain
  3. Two Categories of Pain - Adaptive & Maladaptive
  4. Preventing Maladaptive Pain
  5. Pain Management Pyramid- breaking the Pain Cycle Pharmacologically
  6. Pain Management Pyramid - Breaking the Pain Cycle Non-Pharmacologically
  7. Therapeutic Laser & Pain
Additional Info

The Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program
falls under "The University of Tennessee
College of Outreach and Continuing Education" and is
administered by Northeast Seminars.

This course is offered by

You will be directed to this site to purchase and take the course


RACE Program Approval

Program Number:  120-11892
Number of Hours of CE:
  • Veterinarians:  28 hours
  • Veterinary Technicians:  28 hours
Platform Online