Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?

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Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?If your dog is in severe pain, and it’s expected to be long term, you may be wondering if you can give them a drug like Tramadol. This is a prescription medicine used for treating pain that occurs 24/7 and is expected to last a long time.

If your dog has been diagnosed with a specific condition, or they are at that time in their life where they are in constant pain, the best course of action is to take them to the vet. The veterinarian can decide which drugs will work the best for your dog’s particular situation.

That way you are not treating your dog with a strong prescription drug that has a high chance of getting the dosage incorrect, and is not tested on canines. Of course, you don’t want to make your dog’s condition any worse. It’s best not to take dosage instructions from random internet forums. Instead have them properly treated by a professional.

Can I Give My Dog Tramadol? Answer: Not Recommended

This is not a drug that you would want to give your dog.

There are better treatment options available tailored especially for them. If you were to buy Tramadol for your pet, you would need a prescription from the vet. If you happen to have some on hand from your own prescription, you shouldn’t give it to your dog. There is simply too much room for error here.

Human Medication and Dogs

There’s no good way to adjust the dosage to magically make human medication good for a dog. The physiology of the bodies are different, and adjusting for size and weight is not enough. This pain treatment is effective in dogs, but is best used by prescription only so that you can have the peace of mind that your dog is feeling better. Since they won’t be able to tell you if a drug like Tramadol is working or not, you want to be very sure of the type and amount of drug you’re giving them.

Long Term Pain Treatment

When your dog has a condition that can’t be treated, like arthritis, or other chronic pain, you’ll need to come up with a system of how to treat the pain without making them more sick, or causing side effects that are even worse than the original condition. Giving your dog medication, say Tramadol, without informing your vet is not smart.

You also have to keep in mind drug interactions if they are already taking something else for a different problem. As the owner your job is pretty straightforward. You simply take care of the little things on your own, and if your dog needs extra care, you enlist the help of the vet. Don’t take matters into your own hands.

Consulting with Your Vet

The reason it’s so important to be in direct consultation with your vet is because they will be the ones that can properly assess what’s wrong with your dog, how dire it is, and whether they can cure the problem or not. Managing pain in dogs is one specialty of veterinarians.

They’ve likely seen hundreds if not thousands of dogs reach their final stages of life. They know how to handle the needs of dogs in pain. They see dogs who need medication just to keep going on a daily basis.

This means that they have tons of experience in addition to all of the studying they’ve done over the years. They’re also required to keep up on the latest findings in the veterinary field, so you know you’re getting the best advice from the right source.

Getting the Best Advice

There are plenty of places on the internet that will give you canine dosages for Tramadol, but you have to consider that this may not be the best source for getting caring for your beloved pet. K9 advice, in general, is all over the map online.

Let’s face it, sometimes even misguided vets are providing bad information or poor care. Often people are providing advice based on one dog and they don’t bother to tell you the breed or the weight of the dog, or how they are coming up with the dosage calculations.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia November 4, 2014

My mixed breed dog has lupus and arthritis. Tramadol (50mg) should be given as per weight, just like giving children medication. You can break it up. I give her 15mg; 1/2 a tablet because she is 33 kilos. Never give a dog or cat any meds unless they are weighed first.

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Shar October 26, 2014

My Maltese-mix was run over by a car in October. I took him to the emergency room. He ended up having a broken pelvic bone on the left side. It has to heal naturally while he’s confined to a cage for 4-5 weeks to restrict movement. The vet prescribed him 50mg Tramadol tablets for pain. He is to take (half) 1/2 a tablet every 8 hours. He weighs 18 pounds. It’s been 3 days now and he seems to be fine and the meds are helping with his pain. He’s alert, not sleepy.

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Kathy October 16, 2014

Update on my comment of 8/24/14 – My lab took a turn for the worse and stopped eating. My vet said there was nothing else they could do for him. Then on 8/26/14 he passed away. With his condition of the large cancerous mass, I’m sure this is what caused him to pass. Anyway, I still don’t think I would choose Tramadol for any other of my pets. Wish everyone else the best in their decisions. It may work good for you.

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Kathy August 24, 2014

My 90 pound 8-year old Lab was diagnosed with severe arthritis and a large mass in his lung that the vet felt was cancerous. They only give him a life expectancy of 2-3 months. Tramadol was prescribed and I started giving it to him. After several days, my dog was getting worse. He couldn’t hardly get up and was very week.

I stopped the medication and gave him Aleve. He is almost back to normal. My vet says Aleve is not recommended for dogs, but due to my dog’s condition, if it was helping him, I could continue to do so. It’s been a month now and I only give him Aleve when I feel he is in a lot of pain. I would never give my dog Tramadol again! It may work for other dogs, but not mine.

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Tiffany November 24, 2014

I’m responding to Kathy’s comment regarding Aleve not because I enjoy picking fights or making people feel bad but more so, because I don’t want to see other people end up feeling bad, due to the loss of a pet, because they ended up on this site, read Kathy’s dangerous comments (regarding her reckless actions) on Aleve and decided they’d also try administering it to their dogs.

Aleve is, honestly, absolutely terrible for dogs so if a dog owner is not comfortable giving their dog Tramadol, that’s fine, but basically any other medication (with prior advice from your vet, of course) would be a better choice than Aleve. There is a decent chance of allergic reaction but more so, it has an extremely long half-life in dogs and this ends up causing severe reactions, leading often to deadly, gastrointestinal problems. There are also quite a few reliable clinical studies showing solid evidence in regard to its direct correlation with causing, and exacerbating, various types of canine cancers.

So when your vet says something isn’t good for your pet, you have two choices: Listen to them and recall that you chose them because you respected and had faith in their abilities or go find a vet you will listen to. Why bother going otherwise? I’d bet that you wouldn’t give your child a medication if your doctor said it was dangerous so why do people always think they know better when it comes to their pets? Vets go to school longer than Pediatricians (actually, longer than heart surgeons, usually) for many reasons, one being this: people can talk, kids can talk, pets can’t. So Kathy, while I don’t doubt you loved your dog very much, and while I’m truly sorry for your loss, you really made an incredibly irresponsible, uneducated and reckless move by administering a medication to your dog that, aside from even your vet stating that it was a poor choice, you, obviously, somehow, decided that since it works for you, it just must be okay for your dog, too.

You talked yourself in to believing that heck, since your dog is dying from cancer anyhow, what’s the harm in giving it something that you think will work better than the medication prescribed by your vet. After all, it’s not like your vet clinic carries (or could order or write you a prescription for) something other than the Tramadol, right? Right (I hope my sarcasm is noted there).

Because I work for a vet clinic I can tell you that we can write pretty much any pain medication a dog would need…and one dying from cancer will undoubtedly need a strong one – one that’s much stronger than an OTC such as Aleve. You’re not a vet, you took your dogs response to the Aleve as a positive experience without having the wherewithal to even begin properly diagnosing its reactions to it and I’m sorry but that’s negligent and foolhardy. On top of that, you feel it necessary to post to a website what you did, not realizing the dangerous repercussions that could have for other people’s dogs.

All in all, the fact that you post here about how Tramadol for dogs is no good but Aleve sure worked great, is mind blowing and if it wasn’t such a serious subject, obscenely laughable.

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Pam August 16, 2014

Our rescue mix was prescribed Tramadol and an antidepressant. We administered over the course of several weeks ans stopped it due to lethargy. This is disturbing. You rely on your vet to help you make an informed decision. Wow!

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