Tramadol is a popular pain relief medication, for both humans and pets. It is taken orally by both humans and pets. Most people who use this drug for their pets based on prescriptions from various reputable vets have found it to be very effective on pains. Instead of working on the affected area like Rimadyl and other pain relief alternatives, Tramadol changes how the pain is felt by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin, and binding to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain.
It can be taken by dogs who have had surgery to the reduce pain. It is also prescribed by vets sometimes for treating dogs who have moderate, or severe pain. Despite having immense success in treating pains in both humans and pets, Tramadol has some side effects which can be very severe sometimes.
Side Effects of Tramadol for Pets
Tramadol is widely considered as an efficient and safe pain relieving medication for pets. It is most unlikely to cause any dangerous reactions if used correctly in healthy pets. In some cases, the side effects only occur at the initial stages when the medication is given and eventually stops occurring with repeated use. Additionally, pets particularly dogs may experience some side effects at their young or old age. They may also experience severe side effects if they have an underlying health condition such as kidney or liver problems.
Some common side effects your pet (dog) could experience as a result of Tramadol treatment include nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, constricted pupils, stomach upset, constipation, slower heart rate, drowsiness, panting and anxiety. Other less common side effects of Tramadol include diarrhea, itching, racing heart rate, rashes, seizures, blurred vision, fainting and dizziness. Most pets may indicate an allergic reaction as a result of Tramadol use particularly when there are multiple marked symptoms present.
Most of these side effects are as a result of the action of the medication on the central nervous system. In some others cases (for example constipation), the symptoms are common when the medication is used in the long-term.
If a pet suffers from any serious reactions to Tramadol such as allergy symptoms or breathing difficulties the owner should contact a vet doctor right away. Try to look out for rashes, hives, itching and a racing heart rate in the pet as these are the common signs of an allergy.
Recommended Dosage for Pets
The recommended dosage for pets (particularly dogs) is 0.5 mg/lb to 1.8 mg/lb. To be taken orally every 8 to 12 hours daily. Note that this dosage can vary depending on what condition the pet is being treated for. This dosage can also be adjusted by the vet depending on how the dog reacts to the medication.
When There is an Overdose
It is wise if a pet owner is familiar with the symptoms of Tramadol overdose, as they can become life-threatening quickly. The first sign of an overdose is depressed respiration, which results in the pet breathing heavier, or having difficulties breathing. As time goes by, breathing will become less frequent, and the chest movement will decrease. There may be pauses of ten seconds between each breath.
Depressed respiration is usually followed by signs of sleepiness, which may progress to a comatose state. In serious cases, cardiac arrest and even death can occur. Other signs of Tramadol overdose include drowsiness, an inability to walk, excess salivation, loss of consciousness, seizures and vomiting.
It is important to seek emergency veterinary care quickly in cases of Tramadol overdose.