2022 AAHA Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

Margaret E. Gruen, B. Duncan X. Lascelles, Elizabeth Colleran, Alison Gottlieb, Jennifer Johnson, Peter Lotsikas, Denis Marcellin-Little, Bonnie Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


These updated guidelines present a practical and logical approach to the assessment and management of acute and chronic pain in canine and feline patients. Recognizing pain is fundamental to successful treatment, and diagnostic guides and algorithms are included for assessment of both acute and chronic pain. Particularly for chronic pain, capturing owner evaluation is important, and pain-assessment instruments for pet owners are described. Expert consensus emphasizes proactive, preemptive pain management rather than a reactive, "damage control" approach. The guidelines discuss treatment options centered on preemptive, multimodal analgesic therapies. There is an extensive variety of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapeutic options for the management of acute and chronic pain in cats and dogs. The guidelines include a tiered decision tree that prioritizes the use of the most efficacious therapeutic modalities for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-76
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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