Tramadol Hydrochloride for Dogs

Tramadol hydrochloride available under the brand name Ultram is an oral medication that provides effective pain relief in pets. This medication is an opiate drug that stimulates specific receptors in the dog’s brain. Although there are different opiate drugs that have analgesic properties, most drugs stimulate multiple receptors in the brain. While some receptors cause euphoria and respiratory depression when they’re stimulated, others cause hallucinations, dysphoria and analgesia.

Tramadol hydrochloride is preferred when compared to other drugs because it provides adequate pain relief and euphoria without stimulating the other receptors.

The Uses of Tramadol Hydrochloride

This medication is prescribed to pets that suffer from chronic conditions that cause a lot of pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cannot be administered for a long period of time because they cause certain side effects like liver problems or kidney disorders. Tramadol Hydrochloride is safer than most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and it’s thus prescribed to dogs suffering from arthritis, degenerative bone disorders and conditions like hip dysplasia.

What Tramadol Hydrochloride Contains

This medication is not formulated for use in pets. However, it’s well tolerated by most dogs when it’s administered in the right manner. The drug is available in tablet form and some of the ingredients that are present in it include hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate and polyethylene glycol. Since the medication is a prescription drug, you need to administer it with care.

Dosage and Administration of Tramadol Hydrochloride

As a general guideline, your pet should be given 1mg of the drug per pound of body weight twice a day. The vet may ask you to administer the tablets 3 times a day, but the dosage will change accordingly. You must make sure that you give your pet the medication on time for prompt pain relief. If your dog experiences any side effects after the medication is administered, discuss the symptoms with the vet in order to safeguard your dog’s life.

Few Side Effects of Tramadol Hydrochloride Include:

  • Myocardial depression
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hyper motility 
  • Drug interactions

Precautions You Must Keep in Mind

Since Tramadol Hydrochloride interacts with several drugs and causes other side effects, you must tell the vet about all other medicines you’re giving your dog. Drugs that interact with Tramadol Hydrochloride include Quinidine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, carbamazepine and anti-depressant medications.

If your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction to this medication, you must seek prompt vet care. Some signs of an allergic reaction include swelling of the face and lips, shortness of breath, the presence of hives on the skin, itchiness and nausea.

Pain Relief for Pets

Although medications like Tramadol Hydrochloride benefit pets that are suffering from severe pain, these medications shouldn’t be solely relied upon. You must look for alternate ways to bring relief to your pet. Holistic treatments, acupuncture and massage are other ways to help your dog cope with the pain. You must also keep your dog in a comfortable environment and give him a therapeutic bed to sleep in.

Follow up vet checks are essential as your vet will be able to determine your dog’s response to medications and other treatment options.