As an avid animal lover, nothing is more disconcerting than knowing that your dog is in pain. For instance, if your pooch has always been affectionate and suddenly becomes irritable and distant, they may be in pain. Alternatively, a once-independent pooch who suddenly becomes super clingy could be ill. Pooch pain may be chronic, acute, or postoperative. A trip to the veterinarian would determine the cause, and Tramadol for dogs may be prescribed.
If this is Fido’s first Tramadol prescription, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. However, understanding what it entails, will help. Here’s the A-Z on Tramadol for dogs…
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a potent medication dispensed by veterinarians to relieve pain in dogs. Various brands include Tramacet, Ultracet, Ultram, Tramal, and Conzip.
It’s also prescribed to humans and is classified as an atypical opioid. Opioids change the sensation and transmission of pain in its users by reducing pain messages sent to the brain.
It was classified as a schedule IV controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2014.
Tramadol works similar to morphine, by latching on to your dog’s opioid receptors in the spinal chord and brain. It restricts the re-absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in your fur kid’s brain. This, in turn, promotes the release of these feel-good chemicals in your dog’s brain, promoting feelings of bliss.
Tramadol capsules usually comprise 50mg of Tramadol Hydrochloride. It also comes in:
- solution for IV injections
- epidural solution
Only licensed veterinarians may prescribe this, and each prescription has to be documented.
Remember to always follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully. “Is Tramadol addictive?” you may be wondering. Well, it most certainly is, and using it for longer than recommended may cause addiction.
Tramadol for Dogs Dosage
Tramadol should be used on a one milligram per pound rate and is increased according to your dog’s weight.
For mild to moderate pain in dogs; your regular dose would be 0.45-1.8mg/lb. of your Fido’s weight. Administer this orally every 8-12 hours.
For chronic pain in dogs with cancer, use the same dosage, but administer the medication every six hours instead.
These dosages may, however, differ, depending on a veterinarian’s prescription, which may be tailored to your dog’s unique condition. For example, the veterinarian may take your dog’s pre-existing issues, liver, and weight into consideration.
Keep an Eye on the Dosage
Tramadol for dogs may leave your pooch a bit parched, so be sure to leave plenty of fresh water. If you decide to halt usage, do so gradually, as stopping your Tramadol dosage suddenly may lead to adverse withdrawal symptoms. These may include:
- respiratory issues
- a runny tummy
You should always discuss solutions on how to ease up on the medication gradually with a veterinarian.
If you’ve forgotten to administer the dosage and it’s not close to the time for the next dosage, do so immediately.
If it’s almost time for the next dose, only administer the one dose.
What is Tramadol Used for?
Tramadol for dogs can be utilized for mild, moderate, or chronic pain relief. It’s also used as an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
This may be ideal if your pooch is recovering from surgery. It may also be prescribed for dogs who are coughing, have nervous tension or spinal diseases.
Tramadol is often prescribed as a painkiller for dogs who’ve been injured, or for those with cancer, and arthritis.
Dogs may also benefit here if they have non-operable inter-vertebral issues. According to Dr. J Sarker, an anesthetist in Illinois at the Veterinary Specialty Center, pain relief may only occur within several weeks.
Is Tramadol Your Only Option for Your Hurting Pup?
Tramadol for dogs can help your dog in pain, but are there other options for making him feel better?
Vets Preferred Advanced Joint Support
Vets Preferred Advanced Joint Support is another outlet when you’re considering pain relief resources for your loving friend.
With the help of glucosamine & chondroitin, your dog can maintain healthy joints and/or have more mobility, making some of the pain go away.
Honest Paws CBD
CBD is a popular option in the holistic wellness space when it comes to all kinds of needs.
Many pet parents give their dogs CBD to help with occasional discomfort or occasional stiffness, whether from daily exercise or normal aging. CBD can also promote relaxation in dogs, assist the immune system, and promote long-term health. CBD is also a safe option for dogs since it’s all-natural and derived from plants.
We highly recommend Honest Paws CBD Oil. They’re certified with The National Animal Supplement Council, have over 1,000 reviews across their products, and their CBD is made in the USA from organic hemp farms in Colorado.
Side Effects Associated with Tramadol for Dogs
Side effects of Tramadol noted by the AKC include:
- appetite loss
More serious side effects, according to Safety Medical, include problems with:
- a declining heart rate.
There are instances where Tramadol use is prohibited.
Never give Tramadol to a pregnant or lactating dog, or to a dog on allergy or cold medication. Also, dogs experiencing drowsiness due to anxiety or seizure medication may become extra drowsy.
Did you know that your pooch could have a seizure or other side effects if Tramadol is used concurrently with other medications?
According to PetMed Express, you should also practice caution, and notify your veterinarian if your dog uses MAO inhibitors such as Mitaban or Anipryl, tick and flea collars, or antidepressants. Types to be on the lookout include clomipramine, fluoxetine, amitriptyline, and acepromazine.
Tramadol side effects may also occur when used in conjunction with herbal products, muscle relaxants, additional pain medication, and blood thinning medications comprising warfarin such as Coumadin.
Caution should also be practiced if your pooch is using Lanoxin comprising digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure. Tramadol may also interact negatively with Nizoral, an anti-fungal antibiotic that heals fungal infections.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), you should practice caution if your dog has kidney disease, a history of seizures, or is using serotonin reuptake restrictors such as sertraline or fluoxetine.
NOTE: Tramadol for dogs, if used for prolonged periods, may also lead to addiction.
Did you know that a tiny Tramadol overdose could lead to pale gums or anemia, general weakness, and bad stomach ulcers?
Top Symptoms of a Tramadol Overdose
- Drowsiness. Ingesting too much Tramadol may sedate your dog. This occurs as a result of a decreased heart rate, which can make your pooch slow down considerably. Always be on the lookout for a loss of consciousness or unresponsiveness.
- Tiny pupils. Your dog’s pupils could also easily reflect an overdose. Pupils will usually constrict here, and your Fido may be panting excessively. Telltale signs of an overdose are pupils that have shrunk to dots.
- Compulsive. If your dog is acting compulsively and has a swift change in behavior, they may have ingested too much Tramadol. This behavior could include:
- obsessive tail chasing
- shadow chasing
- the hoarding of toys or household objects
- food fixation
Your pooch may also show signs of stomach pain, black stools, and have blood-tinged vomit. Be on the lookout for alterations in urination, collapse, and excessive thirst. If your fur kid has ingested larger amounts, you can expect renal failure, halitosis, neurological issues such as tremors, and liver failure.
Sadly, a Tramadol overdose may sometimes result in death. Do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian soonest if you suspect an overdose, as prompt treatment could be lifesaving.
Tramadol for Dogs: Give Your Furbaby the Best Care
As an ardent dog lover, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your pooch pain-free, happy, and playful. The onus is on you to work with the veterinarian to ensure that your pooch receives the right dosage and treatment, in the event of an overdose.