Tramadol is a medication veterinarians commonly dispense to manage pain in dogs. Physicians also frequently prescribe tramadol for human aches and pains, and it is one of the few human painkillers that is safe to give to dogs under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Scientifically speaking, tramadol is a member of the opioid family, which means it alters the transmission and perception of pain in humans and animals. In addition, tramadol inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the dog’s brain, which increases the level of these chemicals in the bloodstream, and creates that feeling of euphoria and well-being that human patients sometimes experience.
Tramadol for dogs is an opioid painkiller drug used to treat pets who’ve gone through surgery, suffer from osteoarthritis, or have pain symptoms from other conditions. It’s one of the few painkillers that’s prescribed to both humans and dogs for treatment. The drug 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. Vets watch for signs that pet parents 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 deadly, and suddenly stopping use of this drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Always follow your vet’s guidance for giving your dog medication, including tramadol. Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of tramadol for dogs.
Uses/benefits of Tramadol For Dogs
Like most opioids, tramadol is used to treat pain. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using tramadol to treat “acute and chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity,” which could mean anything from helping your dog recover from surgery or as a way to help manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis when taken with other medications.
Your veterinarian might prescribe tramadol if your dog has any of the following causes of pain:
- Nonsurgical intervertebral disc disease
- Post-operative pain
- General pain from an injury or another condition
Other uses includes treating:
- Canine degenerative myelopathy (progressive disease of the spinal cord)
Tramadol for dogs side effects
Tramadol can have serious side effects. Luckily, most dogs tolerate it well as long as you follow the dosage closely.
Here are some side effects to look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- Slow or fast heart rate
- Difficulties breathing
- Tramadol is contraindicated in animals with a history of hypersensitivity to opioids.
- Tramadol has been shown to lower the seizure threshold in humans. It should be used with caution in animals with seizure disorders or with other drugs that may also lower the seizure threshold.
- Tramadol should be used with caution with other CNS or respiratory depressant drugs.
- Tramadol should be used with caution or at a lower dosage in older animals, debilitated animals, and animals with decreased liver or kidney function.
- Physical dependence is not as likely as with other opioid medications, nevertheless, animals that have been receiving tramadol on a chronic basis should be withdrawn gradually.
- Diversion of this drug for human use can occur. Veterinarians may need to be cognizant of “drug seeking” client behavior.
Prices of Tramadol For Dogs
$0.35- $1.30/ tablet.