Side Effects of Tramadol in Dogs: Know What You're Getting Into

It's important to note the negative side effects of Tramadol in dogs.

side effects of tramadol in dogsEspecially with long term use, side effects of Tramadol in dogs can be devastating. While it can be heartbreaking to witness your dog having chronic pain, realize that there are many, better ways to treat it. Diseases like cancer, osteoarthritis and dysplasia result in chronic pain and symptoms that tend to worsen with age. Treating pain can be challenging because of all the factors involved. Veterinarians typically result to prescribing drugs and most times the drug they prescribe is Tramadol. It’s important to know what the side effects of Tramadol in dogs are and what other options you may have so you can make the best decision for Fido.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a pain medication in the opioid family and one of the few that is widely used for both humans and dogs. Pain management using Tramadol can be short or long-term depending on the situation. For instance, Tramadol may be used for pain management following a surgery. Tramadol may also be used long-term to manage pain associated with degenerative and chronic diseases such as cancer or arthritis.

Tramadol is a controlled substance that must be prescribed and acquired through your veterinarian. It’s important to know that prescriptions for humans and dogs are NOT interchangeable. Furthermore, dosages are determined specifically for each individual dog. Factors that are considered when determining the proper dosage include, but are not limited to, age, weight, severity of pain and previously known side effects.

Side effects of Tramadol in dogs

Side effects of Tramadol in dogs can be serious. And overdosing can cause death. Symptoms of an overdose to be aware of include vomiting, seizures or loss of consciousness. Long-term side effects of Tramadol are less-obvious and harder to diagnose but can include poor digestion, anxiety and chronic fatigue.

Specific reasons for these side effects depend on your dog’s overall health and their ability to metabolize the medication. For instance, Tramadol is known to be hard on the liver and kidneys, and if your dog has liver or kidney disease then the use of Tramadol may be contraindicated.  

As-if the negative side effects alone weren’t bad enough, Tramadol also does not treat the cause of the pain.

Tramadol is commonly prescribed to mitigate inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis. And so, it is also commonly mistaken thinking that it is an anti-inflammatory medication. However, it does not treat the inflammation and instead works in a different way.

Opioids like Tramadol work by manipulating how your dog perceives pain by increasing the levels of serotonin in their bloodstream. The pain is still there, but the sensation itself is blocked by the medication. The underlying cause of the pain is never addressed and your dog may suffer from its especially long-term negative side effects.

Pain Management Alternatives

The great thing about many alternative options to Tramadol is that they don’t also come with a host of negative and harmful side effects for your dog. Options for pain management range from acupuncture and herbal remedies to diet and exercise. Acupuncture treatments can be effective, however they are costly and also do not address underlying causes. Herbal remedies may also be helpful, however they are oftentimes not as effective as is necessary to truly diminish the pain.

Prevention: The Best Alternative

Dietary changes, on the other hand, can be extremely effective and seek to treat underlying causes. Chronic pain is often caused by inflammation. Therefore, treating the inflammation itself as the cause can be an effective course-of-action for solving the mystery of pain.

If your dog has osteoarthritis, dysplasia or cancer, then they are a great candidate for a diet that includes anti-inflammatory agents such as turmeric and CBD oil. Including these two ingredients regularly in your dog’s diet can make a huge difference in your dog’s wellbeing.

Turmeric is a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory widely used in “alternative” medical practices such as Ayurveda. CBD oil for dogs is also now a widely accepted alternative to pharmaceuticals and studies consistently show it reduces inflammation.

Pain management is an inevitable fact that many owners will face in the life of their dog. Prevention is the best medicine and fortunately there are simple ways to help prevent your best friend from suffering. Relieve your dog’s pain now with Relief Treats and reduce inflammation with the highest quality hemp oil, ZenSpray.


Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained or made available through the ColoradoDog website is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice or veterinary advice.

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