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Tramadol for Dogs: Side Effects, Dosage

Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever that can be used to reduce moderate to severe pain and requires a prescription from a veterinarian. The effects of this pain reliever resemble opiates - namely morphine. There are a number of different benefits of this medication for dogs, including relieving acute or chronic pain, and the ability to use it in conjunction with other medications. Talk with your veterinarian to make sure that the benefits of pain relief outweigh the side effects for your dog’s particular situation.

Tramadol dosage for dogs

Depending on your location, determining a dosage of tramadol for dogs is an exercise in futility as this medication is classified as a controlled substance in many states. As with people, if the dog has a history of seizures it is important to let your vet know this, and they will likely tell you about alternatives. Be mindful about where you store the medication so that you can protect your dog from the risk of accidental overdose.

While the dosage amounts vary from dog to dog, the tramadol dosage for dogs can be put into effect by using the dog’s weight as the determinant. The usual range is .5 - 1.8mg per pound. This amount, whatever it may be for your pet, will fluctuate with the dog’s weight, but you should always consult and defer the decision to a trained professional regarding medication - in this case the veterinarian. Once there is a prescription for the amount and duration, it is important to follow the directions and provide feedback on the progress and nuances. Do not attempt to adjust the medication without professional help, as a tramadol overdose can be deadly.

Tramadol side effects in dogs

There are also a number of tramadol side effects (dogs) that you can watch out for, so that you can make sure that your pet is not in any additional pain. Common mild symptoms include: drowsiness, upset stomach, constipation, blurred vision, and difficulties sleeping. While these are not usually too dangerous, if you notice the symptoms increasing or persisting, talk to your vet. There are some dogs that experience more severe tramadol side effects and these require emergency medical attention from a vet: convulsions, peeling rash, difficulties breathing, or slowing of the heart rate. With persistent monitoring and regular visits to the veterinarian, you will decrease the side effects and find the correct dosage of tramadol for dogs that will help relieve the pain that your pet is experiencing.

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Please correct your information. Tramadol is not a narcotic. It is prescription but it is not a controlled substance like morphine.

You are right, tramadol is not a narcotic.

However, long-term use or abuse of tramadol can lead to addiction and physical dependency.

Tramadol is not a federally controlled substance but some states have classified it as a Schedule IV controlled substance under state law.

According to the compounding pharmacies we contacted Tramadol is now considered a controlled substance and many refused to ship the prescription to us. We found only one pharmacy that's 1400 miles away who would compound and ship Tramadol to us.

I have a Springer Spaniel who is now, at the age of 13, suffering with arthritis in her back legs. Our vet has prescribed Tramadol capsules 50mg 1 x twice a day if necessary together with 10mg Metacam once a day and the Tramadol seems to help her pain. My vet herself suggested I try online to purchase the Tramadol had has given me a signed prescription, however, like yourselves, after completing the forms, I cant find anyone that will ship to me from the US. Ive not yet come across the pharmacy that will, even though 1400 miles away, and would appreciate you letting me have their details as a last resort. Thanks.

Drs. Foster & Smith sell tramadol (see their website) so long as you have a script, the price is very reasonable too.

As of 8/18/14, Tramadol (Ultram) is a schedule !V controlled substance (

Tramadol us now a controlled substance in Florida. Have to count and monitor just like other controlled meds.

Will tramadol cause irritability in dogs?

I am aware of one dog that died after being put onto tramadol for osteoarthritis. Tramadol is not an effective analgesic for osteoarthritis in people and 80% of patients prescribed tramadol with/without paracetamol take themselves off treatment because of the unacceptable side-effects (See Cochrane Library Systematic Review) . Tramadol is much more short acting in dogs than it is in humans, there is hardly any evidence to show that it works in dogs- and its safety profile in this species is not known. We should not be using drugs until there is enough evidence that they work and are safe.

I give tramadol to my dog for back pain and it works great. She can be in severe pain shaking but 20 mine after her tramadol she is back playing and wagging her tail.

I just got a rx for it for my dog and was told by the vet it is a controlled substance and I had to sign for it.

If you have trouble getting tramadol for your pet, many times the vet can send the prescription to a human pharmacy and they'll fill it. (If the vet is authorized to prescribe tramadol.) This has been very helpful for us.

My dog who is 12 years old...weighs 70 pounds was determined to have arthritis. I was giving him a couple of aspirin a day per vet. It seemed to help somewhat, but I noticed he was struggling more often getting up with his hind legs. The vet thought maybe an inflammatory would help, but my dog was prescribed Tramadol as an interim since she said he would need to be off aspirin for 7 days before starting the inflammatory drug. I started giving him the Tamadol on a Wednesday night, by Saturday, I thought my dog was going to die. He wasn't as interested in food, his lameness became worse, his breathing was more labored and he essentially wouldn't move from a spot. I cried all day...I lied down with him and prayed...that's how bad he got from this medication. I took him off it Saturday night and began giving him 2 aspirins at a time instead of one. I saw improvements immediately on Sunday. The last couple of days he's been walking around like a puppy again. Yesterday he even jumped up on the couch. I also changed his diet to a much smaller kibble mixed with wet food to help with his digestion since he is older and has a tough time with regular sized dog food bites. I know for humans they say not to crush or chew Tramadol. All I can say is stay as far away from this drug as possible. While he was on this drug...he also yelped when I tried to help him up...he never yelped before being on this drug.


My elderly Bichon Frise has a bad back leg and has been taking Deramaxx (NSAID). A new vet said to add the Tramadol (25 mg every 8-12 hrs) for additional pain. Today is Friday, Aug. 1. I gave her one dose Wed and Thurs morninings. By last night, she had no apetite and she is very lethargic, but she is not running a fever. She normally eats anything that doesnt eat her first! Like you, I was crying like a baby last night until a friend calmed me down.

She has been acting the same way today, so I thought maybe it's the Tramadol.

Thank you for your story. No more Tramadol for MY dog!!!

Thank you! I hope she make

Cathy - thank you for the info. Our 5 yr old Chocolate Lab was put on Tramadol and 2 days later, he is having difficulty getting up from a lay down position, and had trouble walking - none of which were occurring before Tramadol. I stopped the pill 24 hours ago and he is improving and more alert. This med scares me

What is the shelf life of tramadol? My dog has intermittent back issues. She's hasn't had an issue in about a year. Would it still be just as strong now?

My 9 year old Black Lab has very bad arthritis in his hips. He was spending all his time laying around and had to be forced to even get up to go out to the bathroom. My vet gave me 100 mg twice a day for him (he's 100 lbs) and he's like a puppy again. We do have 3.75 mg of Meloxicam 1 time a day AS NEEDED but not daily. With the Tramadol, he's eating well, playing so has lost a few pounds, seems happy..... the only side effect we've noticed is about once a week he wanders the house at night and wants company so I've started with his 2nd dose several hours before bedtime.

My Boxer is 9 yrs old. She no longer has an ACL in her knee, spinal stenosis, arthritis and vertebrae are fusing together. She has been taking the tramadol 50 mg for a year now and no problems. It keeps her pain free and 120 tabs from vet is less than $25. None of the meds our pets take or that we take are good for us but what is the alternative for each???

Thanks for the info. My 9 year old female boxer has started taking Tramadol for her arthritis pain. She started yesterday evening. She seems to be okay, has started eating. I am hopeful with this medicine, she will continue to be pain free!

Tramadol is a human drug. I take it as i need it for pain in my tailbone. I broke it several years ago. I give my 10 year old 112 lb St. Bernard 150 mg in the evening about an hr before his bedtime. Helps him rest and be pain free from daily activities. My Louie has bone cancer. Not sure how long i get to keep him but as long as he seems pain free and happy im gonna.

My vet told me that some dogs don't tolerate Tramadol well. After a ru-in with a car, my dog was prescribed 100 to 150 mg of Tramadol every 8 hours and he was a basket case. Wouldn't eat or drink, could barely stand or walk. On 50 mg. twice a day he was much better. A bit dazed when the drug first kicked-in, but eating, drinking and walking around, and much more alert.

I pry that this drug works. My dog has to go in and have major leg surgery done (9-15-14 ). The problem is she will not take pills or liquid medicine!!! The vet and I have tried everything, its the only time she will attack and bite is if I try to pill her. So are vet prescribed Tramadol that's in a gel pen, you rub it in their ear. Just wondering if anyone else has used this gel pen before?

I put my dogs tramadol in a slice of cheese and he eats it right up

My 2 yr old dobie just had a major surgery on his urinary track and my vet gave him Tramadol 50 mg. About 6 hrs after first dose he had a seizure. About 2 hrs after 2 dose he had uncontrollable seizure's. He has now been back in the hospital for 2 days with an unknown outcome.

The same exact thing had happened to my pug. I have taken him off the Tramadol; but now they want to run test with a neurologist. Have you had any improvment?

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