Using a Pain Patch for Dogs

A pain patch can be frequently used to control strong pain in dogs. Fentanyl is the most common pain patch used and this patch has stronger effects than morphine. The pain patches are only recommended if the dog is in great pain, after a surgery or due to a severe medical condition (i.e. cancer) or an accident.

Pain Patches

The pain adhesive patches used in dogs contain Fentanyl, which is a powerful narcotic from the group of opiates. The compound can be safely used in dogs, but the pain patches are only available through medical prescription, as the effects of Fenatnyl are much stronger than the effects of morphine, which is already a strong narcotic.

The pain patches work by continuously releasing the drug into the dog’s system. The drug will be activated by the dog’s body heat and will penetrate the skin, enter the blood flow, providing continuous pain relief. Oral pain medication or injectable opiates will only provide temporary pain relief.

A pain patch can be effective for up to 4 days in dogs, depending on the size of the dog. However, when first applied, the patch may take up to 12 hours to become active, as the drug has to enter the dog’s blood flow. Meanwhile, an oral pain medication should be administered to control the dog’s condition.

How to Use Pain Patches

The patches should be applied on the skin of the dog and the patch should never be cut or destroyed in any way. Ideally, the patch should be placed on an area where there is no fur. You may shave a small portion of your dog’s back.

Never remove the patch before recommended or apply several patches at once.

If your dog has access to the patch and may chew on it or swallow it, you should apply an elastic bandage over the patch, use bitter repellant or a lamp shade collar that will not allow the dog to have access to the pain patch. If the dog ingests the pain patch, this can cause poisoning. If the dog ingests a pain patch he should get Naloxone or Buprenorphine immediately. Never leave the unused patches within the reach of the dog, as he may accidentally ingest them.

The pain patches shouldn’t be kept in warm areas or near heaters, as they may become ineffective.

Side Effects of Pain Patches

Using pain patches may have several side effects in dogs including:

  • Lethargy or agitation depending on each dog in part
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased temperature
  • Shaking, due to low temperature
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion

Pain Patch Addiction

Dogs can become addicted to different types of medication. The pain patches using Fentanyl can cause addition in canines, as Fentanyl is an opiate. For this reason, the patch should only be used as a short term solution, until the dog’s condition becomes stabilized and the dog can get a milder pain drug.