Fentanyl (Duragesic) for Dogs

Fentanyl is a product that can be used in pain management in canines. Fentanyl is used in the form of patches which will release medication on a regular basis. The Fentanyl patches are only recommended if the pain is unbearable and other pain management drugs don’t work, as Fentanyl is a strong narcotic drug.

Fentanyl for Dogs

Fentanyl is a strong narcotic drug that belongs to the class of opiates and has been approved for use in canines. The Fentanyl patches are recommended only for intensive pain, prior or after major surgeries.

The Fentanyl patches are stronger than morphine, which is another common opiate used in pain management. For this reason, the patches are only available through prescription.

The active ingredients of Fentanyl will attach to nerve receptors and numb these, so the dog will no longer feel pain. Ideally, the Fentanyl patches should be applied before the pain becomes too intensive, as if the pain is strong it is more difficult to manage and reduce it.

Fentanyl Effectiveness

Fentanyl has been proven particularly effective in strong pain management in canines. The patch starts being effective 6 to 12 hours after being applied. A patch of Fentanyl will be effective for up to 4 days. The patch will release substances periodically, so that the dog’s pain is under control.

If the patch is removed, this may be still effective for another 24 hours. 

Fentanyl Patch Toxicity 

The Fentanyl patches are extremely toxic for canines and shouldn’t be ingested. You should monitor your pet to prevent him from eating the patch. The patch may be covered with a bandage or the dog may also wear a lamp shade collar, so that he won’t be able to eat the Fentanyl patches.

If your pet has ingested a Fentanyl patch, you need to rush to the vet and the dog will need to have the patch removed from the stomach.

If your dog tends to eat a lot of foreign objects and he has had several other toxicity incidents, the Fentanyl patches may not be recommended, as these can be fatal if the dog is not brought to the vet immediately.

Fentanyl Patches and Addiction

The opiates are known to cause addition both in dogs and humans. Fentanyl is an opiate, so it will have an addictive effect. The dog may develop an addiction to the patches if these are used for several weeks. The addiction can be manageable in dogs.

Fentanyl Side Effects

In addition to the possible addictive effect the Fentanyl patches may have on dogs, there are a few other side effects such as:

If the dog displays worrying symptoms, the vet should be consulted.

The Fentanyl patches can only be obtained through prescription and the vet may ask you to return all patches (both used and unused) after the treatment is discontinued, so make sure to keep these patches even after use.