The senior pet pain toolkit


They don't stay puppies and kittens forever. Better management of pets' pain as they age allows the veterinary team to reinforce the human-animal bond and act as the trusted partner to pet parents. (With an educational grant by Bayer)

Click the preview image to download a PDF version of this toolkit. Your clients may wish that their pets would stay puppies and kittens forever. But of course, the unfortunate reality is that pets as pets age, their pain often increases. Which is why your team must continue to function as an important, trusted partner for pet parents whose older dogs and cats require love, attention and careful management of the painful conditions that crop up with age.

Pain control in senior pets is a rapidly developing field, and there's much to keep up on. That's where we come in. We've collected the most up-to-date information from experts in the field, the best communication tools to sure up your recommendations, and the latest client education tips to help get older pets the care they need.

Here are the tools:

Clinical updates

> Canine hip dysplasia and the secondary arthritis it causes can be a tricky treatment to navigate. Here's an in-depth look at what to do when your patient's hips swing like Marilyn Monroe.

> How to manage acute on top of chronic pain in your patients, with advice from Dr. Michael Petty.

> All those grumpy cats over the years? Maybe they were just in pain. Here are 6 tips for managing senior cats' pain.

> The faces of chronic pain in the clinic-a photo story by Dr. Robin Downing

> Myofascial pain: Working out the knots


Communication + client education tools

> Client handouts for handling pet pain and death

> Tips for dog and cat owners: Recognizing signs of pain in pets


Practice protocols

> Team handout: Clinic accommodations for feline 'oldsters'

> Every patient deserves a plan. Are you checking in with patients on a regular basis? Here's why you should be.

> 2 tools to manage patient pain (Not what you think!)



> Pet owners on nutrition, preventive health and pain

> Painful realities: Data on pain management protocols



Find more tools below ....

Clinical updates

> Pain management is everyone's job, but not everyone has the same role. Here's a look at what each member of the team can start working on-today-to help control pets' pain.

> Craving structure for your clinic's pain strategy? Here's a giant pyramid.

> All those grumpy cats over the years? Maybe they were just in pain. Here's a clinical update on pain management solutions for cats. Plus, here are the 5 drugs you should have in your cat pain toolbox.

> So, yes, the profession has progressed light years when it comes to managing pets' pain, but do you know about all your options? Check out the new frontier.

> A Great Dane in great pain (warning: happy ending).


Communication + client education tools

> Video: Why fear can be such a pain in cats.

> You are your patient's advocate. Here are 4 keys to communicate clearly about pain in pets.

Video: Identifying pain-hints from the obscure (cats) to the sad (dogs).

> Client handout: The enigmatic ways pets show-and hide-pain.

> Client handout: Exercise is crucial to pain-free cats.

3 reasons cat owners say "No" to dental procedures, and a client handout detailing the 5 signs of dental pain in pets.

> When "It hurts" meets "How much does it cost?"


Practice protocols

> Hey!! Keeping track of pain control is not a pain.

> Pain management hacks for the whole team.

> Refill, sure … but do you reassess?

Articles and tips

Laser therapy: Less pain, more gain

> Pain management: The positive effects on your practice and patients

Help pets heal

Ask the expert: Pain in the heart

Identify your role in pets' pain management

Take action: Lock in client compliance

Your pain prevention tools

Audio clips

Listen as Drs. Ilona Rodan and Michael Petty discuss how to recognize pain in cats and how to succeed in the business of pain management.

Anxiety amplifies pain in cats

Pain prevention in practice is a state of mind

Outcome measures for pets in pain

Misconceptions about pet pain

Assessing cats' pain at home

Sample conversation tree

Use this sample script to help pet owners understand their pet's pain. 

How to discuss chronic pain management

The dvm360 social media marketing kit for pain prevention

Use these pre-written Facebook posts and tweets to help clients understand how to identify and stay on top of painful conditions in pets. (That's right. It's social media outreach made easy!)


These videos touch on pain issues for both cats and dogs, offering practical tips and ideas to pass on to clients who are dealing with pets in pain.

What can cat owners do to help their cats with chronic pain?

Controlling OA pain in dogs

Long-term pain control in cats

Team handout

Use the tips and ideas in this handout to ease the pain and strain of a veterinary visit for a pet.

7 steps to make your practice comfortable for pets in pain

More pain prevention tools ...

Articles and tips

Opioids: The good, the bad, and the future

How to ease cat pain. Bonus: It pays.

Your practice's pain protocol

The pain's in the purr

Image quiz

Make sure you and your team know how to recognize subtle signs of acute, postoperative pain in cats.

Identifying postoperative pain in cats


Healing pet pain is a team effort. Watch these videos for tips and techniques that both clinicians and technicians can use.

Electing appropriate pain control

Four oral regional nerve blocks

Veterinary technician's role in pain management

Ready-to-use handouts

Take advantage of these handouts to reinforce your message about pain prevention to your clients and your team.

What you need to know about your pet's pain 

Osteoarthritis in your senior cat: Do you know the signs? 

Signs that indicate pain in pets

Take the next step

Use these four strategies to make a plan for pain prevention and successfully implement it.

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