Tramadol is a pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol requires a prescription from your veterinarian, and is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance.
For: Cats and Dogs
Relieves various causes of pain, including post-surgery pain
Used to treat chronic pain
Can be used with or as an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
How it works: Tramadol’s exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it’s similar to morphine. Like morphine, Tramadol binds to and blocks receptors in the brain (opioid receptors) that are important for transmitting the sensation of pain throughout the body.
Tell your veterinarian if you give any medicines to your pet, as there are some potential adverse interactions.
Brand Name Ultram
Generic Name Tramadol
What is the most important information I should know about tramadol: Seizures have occurred in humans taking tramadol. You should not give your pet tramadol if the pet has a history of seizures. Give tramadol exactly as it was prescribed for your pet. For pain relief, the usual dose in dogs is 0.45-1.8mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth every 8-12 hours. For treating chronic cancer pain in dogs, the usual dose is 0.45-1.8mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth every 6 hours. The usual dose for cats for chronic pain is 1.8mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth twice a day. Do not give in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your veterinarian. Seek emergency veterinary medical attention if you think you have given your pet too much of this medicine. A tramadol overdose can be fatal. Tramadol overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, extreme weakness, fainting, or coma. Do not stop giving tramadol suddenly. Symptoms of sudden withdrawal may include anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, and breathing problems. Talk to your veterinarian about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping this medication.
What is tramadol: Tramadol is a pain reliever. It is used in dogs and cats to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this guide.
What should I discuss with my veterinarian before giving tramadol: Do not give tramadol if you are giving your pet any of the following drugs; a narcotic pain medicine, sedatives or tranquilizers (such as Valium), or medicine for anxiety. Seizures have occurred in humans taking tramadol. Your pet's risk of seizure may be higher if your pet has any of these conditions; a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder, a metabolic disorder, or if your pet is being given an antidepressant, muscle relaxer, or medicine for nausea and vomiting. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is allergic to any medications, or if your pet has kidney disease, liver disease, or a stomach disorder. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is pregnant or lactating.
How should tramadol be given: Give tramadol exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Do not give it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your veterinarian. Allow plenty of water for your pet to drink. Tramadol can be given with or without food. Do not crush the tramadol tablet. Do not stop giving tramadol suddenly. Symptoms of sudden withdrawal may include anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, and breathing problems. Talk to your veterinarian about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping this medication. Store tramadol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss giving a dose: Give the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and give the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not give extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose my pet: Seek emergency veterinary medical attention if you think you have given your pet too much medicine. An overdose of tramadol can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, extreme weakness, fainting, or coma.
What should I avoid while giving tramadol: Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, or anxiety can add to drowsiness caused by tramadol. Tell your veterinarian if you give any of these medicines to your pet.
What are the possible side effects of tramadol: Get emergency veterinary medical help if your pet develops these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using tramadol and call your veterinarian at once if your pet has any of these serious side effects: seizure; a red, blistering, peeling skin rash; or shallow breathing. Less serious side effects may include: drowsiness, and weakness; vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite; blurred vision; insomnia.
What other drugs will affect tramadol: Your pet may be more likely to have a seizure if you give tramadol while giving certain other medications. Tell your veterinarian if you are also giving your pet or using any of the following medications: an MAO inhibitor such as selegiline (Anipryl), Mitaban, or a Preventic Collar; an antidepressant such as amitriptyline, clomipramine (Clomicalm), fluoxetine (Prozac, Reconcile), or acepromazine. Also tell your veterinarian if your pet is being given warfarin (Coumadin); digoxin (Lanoxin); ketoconazole (Nizoral); or drugs that can cause drowsiness such as other pain medications, muscle relaxants, and herbal products. This list is not complete and there may be other medications that can interact with tramadol. Tell your veterinarian about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you give your pet. This includes vitamins, minerals and herbal products.
Where can I get more information: Your pharmacist can provide more information about tramadol.
Call your veterinarian for medical advice about any side effects to your pet. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tramadol is a prescription pain reliever used in dogs and cats to treat moderate to severe pain.
Tramadol is not FDA approved for use in veterinary medicine; however, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to prescribe this product for dogs and cats. It is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance.
Give Tramadol exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Do not give it in larger doses or give for longer than recommended by your veterinarian.
Allow plenty of water for your pet to drink.
Tip: Do not stop giving Tramadol suddenly.
Dogs: (pain relief)
The usual dose is 0.45-1.8mg per pound of pet’s body weight every 8-12 hours
Dogs: (chronic cancer pain)
The usual dose is 0.45-1.8mg per pound of pet’s body weight every 6 hours
Cats: (chronic pain relief)
The usual dose is 1.8mg per pound of pet’s body weight twice a day
Storage: Should be stored at room temperature.
Our Magoo was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma. He was prescribed tramadol for pain...and it seems to help him, especially at night and with the recent the heat waves we have been having- as he has the problem breathing. And I give it to him on a somewhat regular basis, the lower price through PetMeds was a great help. As you can imagine the tests, etc have been adding up...and the money saved ordering on line has offered us some relief.
My dog, Pebbles, needed surgery to remove part of a tumor causing an infected left rear paw. The tramadol allowed her to start walking on the paw within a few days of the surgery without pain.
This medication has helped our little sheltie deal with the pain of arthritis. She is 12 1/2yrs old and has had arthritis for a few years. She is sleeping less during the day and is more active.
Tramadol product review: One of the biggest growing areas in veterinary medicine in recent years has been the increased awareness and treatment of both acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats. Even many veterinary state practice acts now consider pain management a routine component of most surgical procedures in dogs and cast. As with many conditions in veterinary medicine, many of the drugs we often use for chronic pain are actually based on their use in human medicine for similar conditions. That is how we started using tramadol for helping relieve acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats. While many of the other commonly prescribed pain medications of the nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug class are quite expensive, tramadol is one of the most economic drugs on the market, and it truly has been a godsend to many veterinarians in helping manage both acute and chronic pain for a variety of medical conditions from chronic arthritis and spinal problems, to acute issues like post operative pain management and even acute pancreatitis, urinary inflammation and other acute painful conditions in our dogs and cats. This drug is also typically very safe to use when giving other medications or supplements for pain such as the nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs, cortisone and nutritional joint supplements. The only occasional side effects I have seen are some wobbliness/sedation seen in some sensitive pets, occasional constipation or digestive upset, and it should not be used in those pets with current or historical liver inflammation issues. However most vets, including myself, have found this prescription drug quite effective for pain management either as a primary drug or add on. The single size of 50 mg nonscored tablets can be an occasional problem when dosing smaller animals, but with the development of compounding tablets into liquids, this obstacle can often be overcome. I give tramadol an overall rating of a 5 with an ease of use a 5 as well.
how the medication helped
My vet diagnosed my dog as having Osteoarthritis
in all of his joints. He was limping severly and was clearly in pain and crabby. They suggested I put him on Tramadol combined with some other things (like fish oil) on a twice daily basis. He is so much more comfortable. Not as crabby (especially in the morning after sleeping, he was stiff and sore, now not as much). He still has a slight limp but it was nothing compared to what it was. Tramadol really works well for him.
Tramadol is safe to use in conjunction with any of the NSAIDs prescribed for use in dogs for arthritis. It is also safe to use with steroids making it a good addition to the treatment of many painful conditions. However, recent studies indicate that Tramadol is not always effective as a pain reliever in dogs, so please consult your veterinarian first.
This information sheet is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian. Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies.