Tramadol for Dogs: Dosage, Uses & Side Effects
Wondering whether it is safe to use tramadol for dogs? Learn about its uses, how it works, side effects, and other relevant information about the medication.
What is Tramadol for Dogs?
Like most of the other opioids, tramadol is also used to treat pain. The experts recommend using the medication to treat acute and chronic pain of mild to severe intensity. It can help your dog to endure pain.
A dog can recover from surgery or other pain conditions such as pain associated with osteoarthritis by taking tramadol with other medications.
Apart from pain relief, other tramadol uses for dogs include management of anxiety, coughing, and canine degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease in the dog’s spinal cord.
What is Tramadol used for in dogs?
A veterinarian may prescribe tramadol for dogs in the case of pain due to:
- Post-operative pain
- Non-surgical intervertebral disc disease
- General pain from some injury or other conditions
What does Tramadol do for dogs?
Tramadol works similarly in dogs, as in humans. It goes into the brain and changes how the brain perceives pain. It never treats the underlying cause of the pain, and it does not have anti-inflammatory properties like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The medication alters how a dog’s brain and body perceive pain, giving them relief from the discomfort. Consequently, they are useful in conjunction with NSAIDs such as Rimadyl or additional pain management medication for chronic conditions.
Tramadol dose for dogs
Tramadol requires a prescription when used for dogs. It is a schedule-4 controlled substance only available when a veterinarian prescribes it to your dog. Remember that the tramadol dosage for dogs significantly differs from that of the human tramadol dosages.
People often prefer Tramadol 50 mg for dogs as daily dosages. However, owners should never attempt to set the dosing regimen of tramadol for their dogs without a veterinarian’s help.
Veterinarians calculate tramadol dosages for dogs based upon their weight, general health condition, medical conditions, and several other factors. For instance, the dosage for chronic pain conditions will differ from those prescribed for acute pain.
Side effects of Tramadol for dogs
Like other medications, tramadol has side effects for dogs. Generally, most dogs tolerate tramadol well, as long as the owner properly follows the dosage instructions. However, you should be aware of a few common adverse reactions of tramadol for dogs:
- Loss of appetite
These tramadol side effects are rare in severity, but you should play it safe and call a veterinarian if your dog has any of these effects.
How long does it take for Tramadol to work on my dog?
Tramadol is a fast-acting medication whose effects usually take place quickly. For acute pain conditions, the drug starts working within 1 to 2 hours, and the improvement in the symptoms occur immediately after that.
However, dogs with chronic pain may take one to two weeks to respond well to tramadol. Chronic pain conditions in dogs show full effects after a few weeks of proper dose administration.
What conditions in dogs contraindicate Tramadol use?
Most drugs have contraindications, drug interactions, and safety restrictions in general. While using tramadol for dogs is relatively safe, there are a few exceptions.
You should ask a veterinarian before giving tramadol to a dog who:
- Takes monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) used to treat pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease and canine cognitive dysfunction
- Takes selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as sertraline, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and paroxetine
- Is pregnant or breastfeeding their baby
- Has a history of recent seizures
- Has liver or kidney disease