Tramadol is a narcotic-like medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Veterinarians commonly prescribe it for dogs for chronic conditions such as arthritis and cancer. In addition it is used for injuries and post-surgery pain. Tramadol for dogs is often recommended by veterinarians as an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Tramadol is often prescribed by veterinarians in tablet form and can be given to your dog on an empty or full stomach. Dosages and instructions provided to you by the veterinarian should be strictly adhered to at all times and is in the best interest of your dog’s health.
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Other Pain Medications vs. Tramadol for Dogs
It has been known that a variety of other pain medications can be habit forming due to its ability to reduce pain and create euphoric feelings. In addition some may even cause hallucinations, sedation and respiratory depression. Tramadol is a weak opiate compared to other pain medications. It is known to provide effective pain relief in dogs without the risk of addiction.
Rare Side Effects
Tramadol is considered to be effective and safe. These side effects are rare. However, they can result from providing too high of a dosage. If your dog experiences any of these side effects at any time while taking tramadol, contact the veterinarian immediately:
- Upset stomach
- Decreased heart rate
- Pupil constriction
- Mental alterations
- Bizarre behavior
Possible Interactions with Other Medications
Dogs that have Cushing’s Syndrome may be on a prescribed medication called Deprenyl. If your dog takes Deprenyl it should not be taken in combination with tramadol. In addition, tramadol is not compatible with medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. On the other hand tramadol is compatible with chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and other pain nutriceuticals.
Dosage of Tramadol for Dogs
The recommended dose by veterinarians is 1-5 mg per kg weight of your dog. The highest amount of dosages per day should never exceed four. Many times the veterinarian will advise you to give your dog one to two doses per day before gradually increasing to a total of four doses. Since tramadol does not combine well with specific medications, it is best to discuss your dog’s medical history and provide a list of all of the medications your dog already takes on a daily basis.
Can Humans Share their Own Prescription of Tramadol with their Dog?
No. Pet parents should never share their own human prescription of tramadol with their dog. While it may seem like a great way to save money and the medication is practically the same, the dosage is not. You can end up giving your dog an overdose and causing serious side effects to appear. Always get your dog his own prescription of tramadol provided by a veterinarian.
Before prescribing tramadol for your dog, the veterinarian will carefully examine your dog’s health history, conduct a physical exam and testing to determine if tramadol is suitable for his needs. The veterinarian will be keeping certain precautions in mind and may ask you a variety of questions that will help paint a clear picture regarding your dog’s health.
The precautions include determining if your dog is hypersensitive to opioids, if your dog is prone to seizures, if your dog is taking any medications such as respiratory depressant drug, the age of your dog, the health of your dog’s kidneys and liver. In addition, the veterinarian will also be observing you and what your say regarding your dog’s need for tramadol. Unfortunately there have been pet parents who use the medication that is supposed to be for their dog’s needs for themselves.
The veterinarian is always good to look at the big picture and consider the precautions whether you appear to be trustworthy or not.
Pet parents who observe their dog exhibiting signs of pain should contact the veterinarian immediately.
Once you speak to the veterinarian regarding your dog’s symptoms, you can also discuss if tramadol for dogs is best suited for your dog’s situation. It is wise to keep notes of your dog’s changes in behavior and list the signs he is expressing. This will help the veterinarian pinpoint where the pain is located. In addition, do your best to remember your dog’s daily activities and what he did right before the signs of pain appeared. Carefully transport your dog to the veterinarian. One of the best ways is to put your dog in his crate comfortably with soft blankets. This will lessen the risk of causing more pain or causing further injury to your dog.