Tramadol for Dogs
Tramadol, an effective opiate painkiller, is one of the few drugs prescribed to humans and dogs. Though its intended use is to treat injury-related pain, dog owners frequently abuse the drug for its fast-acting effects. Because tramadol is only available through prescription, abusers are known to abuse their dogs to receive it, increasing the number of abuse cases across the country.
In addition, as with any painkiller or medication, tramadol can pose health risks to dogs if used in unprescribed doses. To ensure their safety, it is important to understand the potential risks when administering medicine to your pet and how to properly use tramadol for dogs.
- Nonsurgical intervertebral disc disease
- Canine degenerative myelopathy, or extensive spinal cord disease
- Other injury-related aches and pains
Tramadol is one of the few human drugs safe to prescribe to dogs under guided supervision. The drug binds to brain receptors to respond to pain. Unlike anti-inflammatory drugs, tramadol does not treat the source of the pain and is typically used in conjunction with other drugs or antibiotics.
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The scandal has become more prominent in recent years. Veterinarians and police officials have become more vigilant about these occurrences, taking the necessary precautions to make tramadol more difficult to receive. Some veterinary offices no longer carry the drug onsite and only provide the drug through absolute need and prescription.
As with any drug, tramadol can also produce a number of side effects with dogs. Veterinarians urge dog owners to only give their pet what is prescribed. An excess of tramadol can lead to liver damage, overdose and death. Dogs are also prone to withdrawal symptoms if the medicine is removed too abruptly. Veterinarians encourage gradually tapering dogs off of tramadol as a safety precaution.
Tramadol use has also been attributed to seizures in dogs and humans. If your dog experiences a seizure or any other serious side effect, contact your veterinarian immediately. Other common side effects of tramadol include:
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision
- Slowed heart rate
- Trouble breathing