Cat Pain Relief with Torbutrol (Butorphanol Tartrate)

Torbutrol, as well as Torbugesic, are a highly effective analgesic for veterinary use. Butorphanol tartrate is the active ingredient in both of these brand name drugs, and it has been shown to be useful in cat pain relief for a variety of conditions and symptoms.

Overview of Butorphanol Tartrate

Butorphanol tartrate is an opiate agonist drug and belongs to the same class of medicines as morphine. It provides relatively short periods of complete or near-complete pain control in cats. However, butorphanol tartrate is considered to be a controlled drug for its addictive properties, and is only available through prescription by a veterinarian who is licensed with the DEA. If your veterinarian is not properly licensed, ask for a recommendation of another who is.

Using Torbutrol to Address Your Pet’s Pain

Because of its dramatic but short-lived effects, Torbutrol is most effective at addressing issues of acute pain. It should not be used for chronic conditions. If your pet has experienced an injury, is recovering from surgery or has some other severe pain from an isolated source, speak with your veterinarian about the possibility of managing that pain with Torbutrol.

Butorphanol tartrate is available for dosage in tablet form, as an injection or as a nasal spray. Your cat’s condition and pain will help to determine the exact form that will be best. Typically, however, this drug is administered via injection. It takes approximately 20 minutes to take effect and then provides 6 to 8 hours of pain relief.

Cats tend to be picky about the taste of oral medicines. Butorphanol is flavorless and should present no problems if your veterinarian prescribes it in tablet form.

Dosages of Torbutrol for Cat Pain Relief

The dosing of Torbutrol is very particularly associated with your cat’s size, age and condition. Never administer the drug to your pet without first consulting your veterinarian. In most cases it will be necessary to supply your pet with the drug between 2 and 6 times each day over the course of the treatment.

It is important to continue the treatment program through its completion. Your veterinarian will likely taper the dose of Torbutrol over the course of the treatment. Due to its addictive properties and significant pain relief, ceasing the regimen immediately may cause withdrawal symptoms in cats.

Side Effects of Torbutrol for Cats

The side effects of Torbutrol are mild, especially in comparison with other narcotic pain relievers. The injection form of the drug may cause the following adverse effects:

  • Temporary confusion
  • Sedation
  • Dilation of the eyes
  • Changes of behavior (either more affectionate or more aggressive, typically)

A small percentage of cats are allergic to Torbutrol. These cats may experience rashes, swelling and vomiting as a response to the drug. In this case, consult with your veterinarian immediately and cease the treatment program.

Torbutrol is an excellent pain reliever for a wide variety of conditions in cats. If your pet has experienced a traumatic injury, speak with your veterinarian about using Torbutrol to improve his quality of life during the recovery and rehabilitation period.