Program Overview

This program is designed to help veterinarians and veterinary technicians 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 program embraces the multimodal treatment of pain management and provides an evidence-based approach to treatment options. It focuses on the neurobiology of pain mechanisms so as to understand the basis for mechanism-based treatments. 

Further, this course embraces the team approach to pain management, recognizing the valuable roles of the veterinarian, veterinary technician, and owner in managing each case. In particular, veterinary technicians play a major role in managing these patients of their lifetime, and interact with veterinarians and owners to be certain that patients are receiving optimal treatment and that owners are informed and educated about the treatment options for their pets and receive appropriate follow-up care.

Treatment compliance and appropriate care of patients are most effective when clients receive appropriate education and regular communication. Veterinary technicians will be confidently equipped to perform these functions upon successful completion of this course.

Participants, once fully enrolled in the program, have one year to complete.

5% Enrollment Discount Through VetMedTeam:

VetMedTeam offers members who enroll in the University of Tennessee's Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program through the VetMedTeam shopping cart a 5% discount off either the individual or the clinical enrollment options. More information regarding the discount is located in the pricing section of this page.

Visit the program's website at Pain Certificate Program but come back to VetMedTeam to enroll to take advantage of the discount. Information about the full program is also listed below.

VetMedTeam provides members interested in learning more about the University of Tennessee's Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program may be interested in a free overview course offering which provides the first 5 units of Module One. To learn more about the free course or to enroll in it use this link Free Course.



Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 28 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.


RACE Provider

The RACE provider is Northeast Seminars, Inc. and the certificate of completion will be provided by NES.


Program Content

The Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program consists of 14 modules (25 hours) presented by Dr. Fox and an addition module (3 hours) presented by Dr. Robin Downing.

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)


2. Weight Control and Diet

3. Chondroprotectant


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


Course Focus and 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.


Enrollment Process

Upon submission of the initial enrollment via VetmedTeam, the participant will be sent an email with the information needed to complete the final step in the enrollment process. The email will contain a code and a link to the University of Tennessee's form which will collect the data needed to create the participant's profile and provide access. The code provided by VetMedTeam will be needed during this final step.



Price: $935.75

Two enrollment options are available:

Individual subscription (one participant) @ $985.00

Clinical subscription - 5 enrollments @ $1,995.00

The enrollment discount through VetMedTeam is 5% off the regular price. Individual subscription is $935.75 and clinical is $1,895.25.

To enroll as an individual at $935.75, please use the register button on this page.

To enroll under the clinicial option at $1,895.00 for 5 team members, please use this link Clinical Enrollment.

Upon completion of the enrollment transaction an email will be sent containing a code and a link to the University of Tennessee's form which will collect the data needed to create the student's profile and provide access. The code provided by VetMedTeam will be needed during this final step. No additonal funds will be required after submitting payment via VetMedTeam.



VetMedTeam 2014