The pain of arthritis (osteoarthritis or "OA") adversely impacts the lives of dogs and cats as well as the activities we can share in with them. Pets that "slow down" typically don't enjoy things like they used to ... they may lose interest in running on the beach, playing fetch, hiking, or even just enjoying a leisurely walk with us! Heck, they may no longer be able to jump onto the bed or comfortably make their way upstairs with us when we turn in for the evening.

But there is hope for these animals ... beyond a prescription of "pain pills!"

None of us have to simply settle or accept that the pet in our care should be slowing down due to painful arthritis, and we're here to teach you how you can better help dogs and cats enjoy their best quality of life ... with less pain!

VetVine's #YourPetsBestLife Series is here to inspire you to keep hope alive! Throughout this series you will learn from renowned veterinary experts about all that we can and should be doing to help our four-legged BFFs not just live with pain but thrive and enjoy a quality of life with their human counterparts.

The series includes 5 sessions (plus an additional 6th session for veterinary professionals only). The Summit has been recorded and is available for viewing On Demand. 

Session 1:  Arthritis in Dogs and Cats: Awareness and Early Recognition 


  • Marie Bartling, DVM, cVMA, IVCA, CCRT, CVPP
  • Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB


In this first session, you will learn all about:

- The obvious and not so obvious signs of pain including postures and behaviors
- When to intervene and with what? How to best approach each individual, and components of an exam and thorough evaluation
- Behavior as an indicator of arthritis pain in dogs and cats: cats are not small dogs and each species can demonstrate different signs

Session 2:  Optimizing Diagnostics for Maximizing Care and Outcomes of Animals with OA


  • Jennifer Johnson, VMD, CVPP
  • Marie Bartling, DVM, cVMA, IVCA, CCRT, CVPP
  • Rebecca Windsor, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology / Neurosurgery)
  • Dominque Sawyere, BVSc, MS, DACVS-SA


The focus of this second session is on the importance of performing diagnostics and discussion includes:

- The critical importance of diagnostics

- Tools to assess and measure pain in dogs and cats

- Tips for optimizing radiographs - improving efficiency and making the process low stress for all

- Differentiating orthopedic from neurologic conditions and when a neurologist can be helpful

- Surgeons to the rescue - their role in diagnostics and when / how surgical intervention can be curative for the pain of OA

Session 3:  Pain Management Strategies - Where to start and how to approach the pain of OA


  • James Gaynor, DVM, MS, DACVAA, DAIPM, CVA, CVPP

This session delves deeper into creating an understanding about maladaptive pain, its impact on an animal's quality of life, and how we can manage it through the use of:

- Medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs); amantadine, gabapentin

- What veterinarians can and should be incorporating in their practices for addressing maladaptive pain

- Supplements and an evidence-based approach to their use - when, why, and how to use them in combination

- Advanced OA management including joint injections for cartilage protection and stem cell therapy

Session 4:  OA Treatment Strategies - Physical medicine, rehab, and other integrative modalities. What can we do and how can owners afford it all?


  • Marie Bartling, DVM, cVMA, IVCA, CCRT, CVPP
  • Lindsey Fry, DVM, cVMA, CCRP, CVPP, Resident ACVSMR
  • Leilani Alvarez, DVM, DACVSMR, cVMA, CCRT
  • Wendy Hauser, DVM

This session delves into the wide array of options available to help pets with osteoarthritis and how to incorporate them into a treatment plan. Discussion includes:

- Conditions best treated with physical medicine including acupuncture, shockwave therapy, rehabilitation exercises, laser therapy, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy

- How to help dogs and cats that cannot take NSAIDs - alternative therapies to consider including supplements and low dose Naltrexone

- How can owners afford all of this care? 

Session 5:  More OA Treatment Strategies and What the Future Holds



  • Matthew Brunke, DVM, DACVSMR, CCRP, CVPP, CVA
  • Lindsey Fry, DVM, cVMA,CCRP, CVPP, Resident ACVSMR
  • Marie Bartling, DVM, cVMA, IVCA, CCRT, CVPP
  • Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB

This session continues the conversation on innovative treatment approaches to managing pain in dogs and cats and how we can alter the course of the disease.  Discussion includes:

- Novel drug therapies

- Use of lasers in the veterinary office and what owners can do at home

- Injectable joint therapies

- Other novel drug treatments

Session 6:  
For Veterinary Professionals only:

Osteoarthritis - The Economics and Strategies for Leveraging Your Team 



  • Marie Bartling, DVM, cVMA, IVCA, CCRT, CVPP                   
  • Lindsey Fry, DVM, cVMA, CCRP, CVPP, Resident ACVSMR
  • Wendy Hauser, DVM

Managing osteoarthritis in dogs and cats requires a team effort as well as a multimodal approach to diagnosis and to treatment. This segment will serve to provide veterinary caregivers with insights on how to convey value in the services you provide and improve client acceptance of your recommendations. Discussion includes:

- Diagnostics and the value they provide to your clients, patients, and the practice

- How to leverage the veterinary team to talk about arthritis with clients

- The benefits to learning new skills and providing advanced care for your patients 

- What all of this advanced care should cost and how to help clients afford it all

- Strategies to improve client acceptance and adherence to your diagnostic and treatment recommendations



Veterinarian / Veterinary Technician (6 sessions) = $169
Non-Veterinarian (5 sessions) = $39

 *Registration is FREE for VetVine Premium Membership subscribers!


This Program is approved for 9 hours of CE credit for veterinarians and veterinary technicians by AAVSB RACE, NY State, and the NJVMA.