Download pdf from Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2015) 17, 251–272: 2015 American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practioners (AAFP) Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Rationale: The robust advances in pain management for companion animals underlie the decision of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) to expand on the information provided in the 2007 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines. The 2015 Guidelines summarize and offer a discriminating review of much of this new knowledge. Relevance: Pain management is central to veterinary practice, alleviating pain, improving patient outcomes, and enhancing both quality of life and the veterinarian–client–patient relationship. These Guidelines support veterinarians in incorporating pain management into practice, improving patient care. Approaches: The management of pain requires a continuum of care that includes anticipation, early intervention, and evaluation of response on an individual patient basis. A team-oriented approach, including the owner, is essential for maximizing the recognition, prevention and treatment of pain in animals. Evidence base: The Guidelines include both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities to manage pain; they are evidence-based insofar as possible and otherwise represent a consensus of expert opinion. Behavioral changes are currently the principal indicator of pain and its course of improvement or progression, and the basis for recently validated pain scores. Post-surgical pain is eminently predictable but a strong body of evidence exists supporting strategies to mitigate adaptive as well as maladaptive forms. Chronic pain is dominated by degenerative joint disease (DJD), which is one of the most significant and under-diagnosed diseases of cats and dogs. DJD is ubiquitous, found in pets of all ages, and inevitably progresses over time; evidence-based strategies for management are established in dogs, and emerging in cats.