Read This Before Giving Your Dog Tramadol For Pain!

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Are you wondering if Tramadol is safe for reducing your dog’s aches and pains?

You’ll be happy to hear that animals are commonly given this prescription opioid for all sorts of pain.

With that being said, Tramadol should not be given to your dog without a vet’s detailed guidance.

Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?Going it alone is too risky! Some side effects can be quite serious.

Dogs Can Take Tramadol

Though not FDA-approved for canines, vets do frequently prescribe it off label.

Why Dogs Are Given Tramadol

This popular medication is typically used for post-operative or injury-related pain. Tramadol can also make sense for dogs with the following medical conditions:

  • Non surgical intervertebral disc disease
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Anxiety

But, again, Tramadol has potential to harm. After all, it is a narcotic. To minimize risks, you want to at least be sure it’s the right treatment.

The point is this:

While the drug is a possibility, Rimadyl and other pain killers could be better for your dog’s particular situation. Only a veterinarian should decide!

Tramadol is a Good Choice

Many dogs, especially geriatrics, suffer from lingering pain with a major culprit being arthritis.

It’s obviously super frustrating. You want to help!

Despite the caution required, Tramadol has an excellent reputation in world of veterinary medicine.

Not only is it affordable and not addictive, but it tends to be very effective as well.

Tramadol can also be combined with certain NSAIDs as well as joint pain medicines.

Be Familiar With Side Effects

Your dog may exhibit symptoms upon taking Tramadol.

Some negative side effects include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Panting
  • Constipation
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Constriction of the pupils
  • Behavioral changes

More serious is the possibility of a seizure.

Warning: Your dog’s liver or kidneys could suffer permanent damage from Tramadol misuse.

Dosing Tramadol For Your K9

Each and every year thousands of dogs die from pain medications.

Your veterinarian must advise you about a correct Tramadol dose.

The following is for reference only:

Standard Tramadol dosage is 0.5mg to 1.5mg per pound of a dog’s body weight (provided twice daily – with or without food).

Tramadol Compared to NSAIDs

Whether you should give your dog an NSAID (Carprofen) or an opioid like Tramadol is not a decision to take lightly.

It’s important to understand that Tramadol is not an anti-inflammatory. Rather, it is a fast acting serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI).

Get a Vet’s Consultation

You need a professional’s assessment of exactly what’s wrong with your dog.

They’ll address the issue in the most optimal way.

In fact, pain solutions tend to be a specialty. Vets see lots of dogs that require similar meds.

The Bottom Line

Tramadol is generally a good option for dogs suffering with pain.

The drug has an established track record for helping pets.

Of course, Tramadol can also have side effects (some of which may be serious).

Be sure to get a vet’s expert assistance. It could be that an entirely different type of treatment is what your dog needs.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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19 thoughts on “Read This Before Giving Your Dog Tramadol For Pain!”

  1. I have an 11 year old Terrier-mix (around 21 pounds) diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma. He has had dramatic weight loss in just a couple of months. Nausea is a continuous problem, along with not eating very much.

    A vet has prescribed Tramadol, Gabapentin, Ranitidine syrup, Metoclopramide along with a B-12 shot (his B-12 count was very low) and a Cerenia shot. I am worried that this is just too much since he is already having stomach problems.

    After reading about Tramadol, I am concerned as to whether he should even take it. Is it safe for him to be taking so many medications?

    1. I would consider seeing a different vet (different opinion). It seems like a lot for one dog to take!

  2. My German Shepherd is 12 years and is on 100mg of Tramadol – 3 times daily. I think the dose is too much as she is panting quite a lot.

  3. Recently our 13 year old Golden Retriever couldn’t use her hind quarters. She has been on Tramadol for a year or so, off and on. She had ACL surgery, has arthritis and has many allergies.

    She was put on Apoquel for allergies. She looked like she didn’t know us and her hind end was useless. I found on the internet that Tramadol, when given to dogs, can kill. Is it true? Please help!

  4. My lovely 14 year old mixed breed had an x-ray and it turns out she has a tumor on her spleen. She has been prescribed Tramadol. It’s so difficult to tell how much pain she is in.

  5. My 12 pound Pomeranian was still going pretty strong at 15 years. Eventually, I asked the vet for something because he would be restless at night and would bark for a majority of the night. I couldn’t get any sleep. The veterinarian prescribed Tramadol and he immediately went from a pretty strong elderly dog to sleeping almost 24/7.

    He would not eat much but suddenly ate a lot on day 4, so I thought he was coming back to normal. But then he stopped eating again and his face started to swell up. I never gave him anymore than that one quarter of a pill. The dosage should have been 12mg according to the vet. One week later he was dead. The vet claims Tramadol does not cause face swelling but it’s all over the internet that it can.

    I feel that Tramadol killed my dog after only one week and by just taking one quarter of a pill. Be careful! I would not give your dog any Tramadol.

    1. I had the same thing happen. My Lab was on it for 2 weeks and wouldn’t eat. 3 days later he passed away.

      1. Kim thank you for your reply. I am so sorry for your loss. If you want to provide any contact information, let me know. We are trying to reach out to those that have had a similar horrible experience with Tramadol.

        1. Ditto. My 42 pound dog was prescribed 100mg of Tramadol 3 times per day. He died the next evening.

  6. Our Fox Red Lab, Ms. Bailey, is 12 years old and has a cancerous tumor on her hind right leg. She also tore her ACL on her left leg so the vet put her on Tramadol and Rimadyl. The medical college added Gabapentin once the cancer was diagnosed. I’m not a big fan of synthetic drugs so I’m trying to incorporate natural alternatives and lots of prayers. I give her a teaspoon of grated lemon zest 3 times a day, grated turmeric root 2 times a day and Treatibles every 4 hours.

    Since starting this routine, she is no longer lethargic and her energy levels are much higher. I am going to add Cosequin to, hopefully, slowly replace the Rimadyl. My hope is that we can replace all the synthetic drugs with a natural alternatives. I don’t want her in any pain, so it will probably be a gradual process. According to my research, turmeric root can help to kill cancer cells and also prevents their formation and growth.

    1. I’m so sorry! You might want to try CanineActiv too. It’s all natural and relieves pain and inflammation. I know they send free samples to veterinarians.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    Update: My lab took a turn for the worse and stopped eating. My vet said there was nothing else they could do for him. He has passed away. With his condition of the large cancerous mass, I’m sure this is what caused it.

    Anyway, I still don’t think I would choose Tramadol for any other of my pets. I wish everyone else the best in their decisions. It may work good for you.

    1. Aleve is absolutely terrible for dogs. 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 reckless move.

      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.

  10. Our rescue mix was prescribed Tramadol and an antidepressant. After several weeks, we stopped providing the drug due to lethargy.

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