Introduction to Tramadol for Dogs
Tramadol is a painkiller medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It affects not only the mu-opioid receptors, but also serotonin and norepinephrine receptors. Its low affinity for the opioid receptor makes tramadol have a more benign side effect profile than some other commonly used painkillers, and is generally well-tolerated in patients. Since tramadol has a unique binding profile, it is used to treat some types of pain, such as neuropathic pain, which may not always respond to other pain medications.
Tramadol’s Use in Veterinary Medicine
Tramadol is widely used in veterinary medicine, especially for treating pain in dogs. It is often used to treat pain resulting from conditions like cancer, arthritis, and post-surgical inflammation in dogs. It has mild anti-anxiety properties, making it useful for reducing the skittishness that pain can often produce in animals. Tramadol for dogs is often safer than using other pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Tylenol, since it does not cause damage to the stomach or liver of canines. Tramadol for dogs comes in both liquid, pill, powder, and ampule form. Often the medication must be mixed into food to be given to dogs, since it has an unpleasant taste.
Side Effects of Tramadol for Dogs
Like any medication, side effects can occur when administering dogs tramadol. The side effects that are usually seen include constipation, upset stomach or indigestion, and a lowered heart rate. If the animal has taken too much tramadol, he or she will exhibit small pupils, confusion, and seizures, and would require immediate veterinary attention. Use caution when administering tramadol to dogs with liver or kidney problems, since tramadol is metabolized and excreted by these organs. Tramadol should not be given to dogs that are taking SSRIs, tricyclics, or MAOIs due to the risk of seizure. Dogs taking deprenyl for Cushing’s syndrome should also avoid tramadol, as well as other narcotic drugs.
Tramadol Dosage for Dogs
Tramadol is usually administered to dogs at doses of 1 to 4 mg/kg orally, every 8 to 12 hours