Tramadol for dogs is an opioid painkiller drug used to treat pets who’ve gone through surgery, suffer from osteoarthritis, or experience symptoms of pain associated with other conditions. It’s one of the few painkillers that is prescribed to both humans and dogs for treatment.
It works by inhibiting reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, causing a feeling of euphoria as it reduces pain–similar to the way morphine works.
Tramadol is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance, and there is potential for abuse among humans. Veterinarians watch for signs that pet owners may be misusing their pets’ medication and report incidents accordingly.
If your veterinarian prescribes tramadol for use in your dog, follow their instructions carefully. An overdose can be life-threatening, and suddenly stopping use of this drug can result in serious withdrawal symptoms.
Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of tramadol for dogs.
Uses Of Tramadol For Dogs
Tramadol is used to treat mild to moderate pain symptoms in dogs, and it may be combined with other opioids to treat more severe pain. Vet’s commonly prescribe it after surgery and invasive medical procedures.
Vets sometimes prescribe the drug to treat other conditions that cause acute pain, such as injuries. Tramadol can also be prescribed for conditions that cause chronic pain, such as cancer or osteoarthritis.
With chronic use, it may take several weeks for the drug’s positive effects to become apparent, and dogs may eventually build up a tolerance to it. For that reason, veterinarians may prescribe other painkillers in addition to tramadol.
Dosage Of Tramadol For Dogs
The usual dosage of tramadol to treat pain in dogs is 0.45 to 1.8 mg per pound of body weight given every 8 to 12 hours. For treating cancer, this dosage may be given every 6 hours.
Tramadol comes in 50 mg tablets that you should NOT crush before administering. Your veterinarian will be able to help you determine how to measure the proper dosage. You should give your dog plenty of water with the tablets, and you can also give the tablets with or without food.
It is important to follow dosage instructions closely, as overdose can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms include drowsiness, shallow breathing, weakness, fainting, or coma. You should contact an emergency vet if you suspect an overdose has occurred.
You should also not suddenly discontinue use of tramadol, as your pet may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, or breathing problems.
Side Effects Of Tramadol For Dogs
Dogs may experience some side effects when taking tramadol. The most common of these is sedation. Other side effects may be more serious, and you should discuss alternative forms of treatment with your veterinarian if they concern you.
If you see side effects in your dog, report them to your veterinarian, as they may wish to alter the dosage or use a different medication.
Here are some of the side effects that may appear with tramadol use in dogs:
Make sure your veterinarian is aware of any other medical conditions your dog has, as these may be worsened by tramadol. Also, tell your veterinarian about any other medications your dog may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal or holistic treatments, as these can interact poorly with tramadol.
As with almost any medication, there’s a risk of allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog, including sneezing, coughing, swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.
Has your vet prescribed tramadol for your dog? Did it help treat their pain symptoms? Then let us know in the comments below!