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Tramadol For Dogs

May 29th, 2018
Tramadol For Dogs

How and When to Use Tramadol to Treat Your Pet?

Your furry friend might have sustained an injury when she was rough-housing at the dog daycare. Or, maybe she got hurt by an aggressive pooch when she went out with her dog-walking friends. It is not unusual for such things to happen, but at the end of the day, your pooch will be in pain. And, as her owner, you should do everything in your power to make this pain vanish.

One of the most recommended pain medications for dogs is tramadol. This drug not only helps to alleviate the pain but also eliminates discomfort. It’s particularly beneficial to dogs who’re just recovering from surgeries. On that note, it’s not obvious that pain medications designed for humans will work well for pets as well. Tramadol is one such medication which should be prescribed by a professional vet and administered with caution. If your pooch has been prescribed tramadol, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is merely an example of atypical opioid. Opioids are types of drugs that target the central nervous system so as to relieve pain. The good thing about tramadol is that it can be used to alleviate both moderate and chronic pain. It functions in almost the same way as morphine since it also impedes the sections of the brain involved in detecting pain. More specifically, tramadol boosts serotonin levels; hence gives the patient a bit of relief.

Back in 2014, tramadol was categorized as a schedule IV drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). What this means is that you can only get your hands on this medication if you have a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. What’s more, your dog’s vet has to maintain records of every single prescription that they make for.

How does Tramadol Treat Dog’s Pain?

Given that tramadol is not like any other opioid drug, it does not have the same risks associated with this kind of drugs. It means that it’s completely safe to administer to dogs. Some of the most common conditions that require veterinarians to prescribe tramadol to dogs include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer
  • Post-operative pain
  • Chronic pain disorders

As mentioned earlier, tramadol is good for treating both moderate and severe forms of pain. However, if it’s administered to dogs for extensive periods, these pets start becoming tolerant. This mostly happens to mutts experiencing pain due to progressive diseases. For this reason, tramadol is not the most effective pain medication when used on its own.

Does Tramadol Cause Any Side Effects in Dogs?

Yes, tramadol can lead to unpleasant outcomes in your pooch. The most cited side effect is sedation, but this affects dogs that are kept on this medication for a long time. Other potential side effects include tremors, anxiety, constipation and appetite loss.

Considering just how severe some of these side effects can be, pet owners are advised to keep a close eye on their dogs. Usually, tramadol gets metabolized before it passes through the liver and kidneys. It’s therefore important that you monitor how your pooch reacts to these medications, particularly how his organs function.

How to Avoid Tramadol Side Effects?

There is no one specific way to prevent the side effects of tramadol. But, there are a few precautions that you can take. For starters, you should always keep a detailed record of your dog’s medical background. The veterinarian will need to be informed about current conditions and medications that your pooch is allergic to.

Dog on Training

Keeping tabs on your dog’s health makes it easy to trace his history of past illnesses or surgeries that could determine his response to tramadol. Once your pet has been prescribed tramadol, you should follow the dosage to the letter.

Also, you should not discontinue tramadol administration too abruptly. If the symptoms reappear yet you discontinued use, he might not have enough ability to recover completely. On the same note, you need not give him tramadol overdose as it could be detrimental to his health. If the medication does not seem to be working, pay another visit to your veterinarian and raise this concern.

How Much Tramadol Should My Dog Take?

There’s a reason why tramadol is given on prescription basis. Put simply; no dog owner should play veterinarian and try to administer it blindly. This task is best left to a professional veterinarian, capable of giving the exact dosage that will help your pooch.

Nonetheless, it helps to know the different aspects that vets take into account when prescribing tramadol to dogs. As explained in the American Kennel Club website, vets consider an animals’ weight, medical history, their liver functioning and the root cause of pain.

But beyond these factors, vets also examine the specific level of pain that your dog is experiencing so they know the amount of tramadol dosage to prescribe. Different studies have been conducted to examine at the procession of this medication once it’s absorbed in the body, and it’s been discovered that each dog’s metabolism differs. It means that the easiest way to find out if the dosage administered to your dog is appropriate is by monitoring his response to tramadol. If there’ll be rapid changes in your dog’s behavior, raise these concerns to your veterinarian immediately.

Alternative Treatment to Tramadol

Just because the veterinarian prescribed tramadol does not necessarily imply that you have to stick to that. You can go for other tried-and-true treatment methods such as acupuncture and massage. Since tramadol is mainly administered to relieve pain, therapies such as acupuncture can also work efficiently.

Wrap Up

Tramadol is a sort of opioid used to reduce pain in dogs. However, it should not be administered in excess amounts as it can lead to unpleasant effects such as vomiting, constipation, and anxiety. Ideally, you should always consult a certified veterinarian, who can recommend the specific tramadol dosage for your pooch. This will depend on a couple of factors such as weight, medical history, pre-existing and current medical conditions. For instance, if your dog once suffered from kidney or liver disease, then tramadol is not the best medication. Thankfully, there are other treatment options such as acupuncture and massage.