Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?

Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?If your dog is in severe pain, and it’s expected to be long term, you may be looking into Tramadol which is also known as Ultram. This is a powerful prescription medicine used for treating chronic round-the-clock pain. It’s used for humans and sometimes pet dogs but is not FDA approved for canines.

The use of this opioid pain reliever is not to be taken lightly. Your dog first needs to be properly diagnosed to find the underlying source of their constant pain. Truly, the best course of action is to take your four-legged friend to a veterinarian.

In any case, do not attempt home treatment yourself with something as potent and potentially dangerous as Tramadol. A good vet will methodically decide which drugs will work the best for your dog’s particular situation. Tramadol may help them but it could also cause much harm. Be very cautious regarding this drug.

Can I Give My Dog Tramadol? Answer: Only as prescribed by a vet

This is definitely not a medication that you should give to your dog on your own.

Besides, there may be better treatment options available for pain which are designed especially for dogs. No doubt, you’ll need a prescription from a vet if you don’t have Tramadol lying around. That’s a good thing and if you do happen to have some on hand, from a previous script, you should not provide it to your beloved dog.

It’s simply not worth the risk. Never loose sight that Tramadol is a powerful narcotic which can create physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms among other problems.

Other Tramadol Side Effects

It’s true that this pain treatment is effective for many dogs. But, obviously, your canine won’t be able to tell you if Tramadol is working or not. Instead they may exhibit symptoms which could be cause for concern. Some negative side effects of Tramadol use are upset stomach, panting, constipation, reduced heart rate, lethargy, dizziness, constriction of the pupils and undesirable behavioral changes.

More serious is the possibility of your dog experiencing a seizure. Their livers or kidneys could suffer permanent damage as well. This isn’t meant to scare dog owners but make them aware that a vet’s guidance is warranted when this medication is involved.

Proper Dosing Problem

There are plenty of places on the internet that will give you canine dosages for Tramadol. Seriously consider that this may not be the best source for your pet. Advice, in general, is all over the map online. Often people are providing their opinions based on just one dog. They don’t even bother to tell you the breed or weight of the pouch they’re referring to. Coming up with a correct Tramadol dose is truly critical and should be verified with a qualified veterinarian.

Pain Treatment Plan

Does your dog have a condition that can’t be effectively treated, like arthritis, or other chronic pain? You need a system for treating the pain without making them more sick. Some side effects are even worse than the original condition. Giving your dog medication, such as Tramadol, without informing your vet could set you up for such a highly unfortunate scenario.

Don’t take matters into your own hands but instead research things such as acupuncture, Rimadyl and Prednisone for your dog’s sake. Then you’ll be able to make the most of a vet’s consultation.

Importance of Vet Consultation

Your vet is the only one that can properly assess what’s wrong with your dog, how dire it is, and whether they can cure the problem or not. At the very least, they’ll be able to treat the pain and manage it which will improve your dog’s life. In fact, managing canine pain is one specialty of veterinarians. They know how to handle the needs of suffering dogs and often see pets that require meds just to keep going on a daily basis.

Conclusion on Tramadol

Yes, you can administer it but only with a prescription and instructions from your vet. Tramadol has been proven effective but it’s not approved by the FDA for use in dogs. Proper caution cannot be overstated here. Please consult with your veterinarian before providing this drug as they may recommend a few safer and more effective alternatives.

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{ 7 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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Rita February 28, 2015

My pet weighed 33 pounds and had 2 herniated discs in center of his spine. The vet took an x-ray. The dosage was 50mg Tramadol 2 to 3 times a day. My dog came down with diarrhea after given Gabapentin 100mg. He had blood coming out of his mouth had to be euthanized. The vet did not refer a specialist and in my opinion was negligent. Our dog could still be living!

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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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