What are the Different Uses of Tramadol&Reg; for Dogs?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Using Tramadol® for dogs can help relieve moderate or severe pain caused by the inflammation of tissues and joints. It is commonly used for dogs that have been diagnosed with arthritis or osteoarthritis, and can help reduce the swelling that causes pain. In some cases, it can also be prescribed for the relief of other types of chronic pain.

Most pain medications that are prescribed for the management of arthritis pain in pets are in a class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs can have serious side effects in some animals, however, and Tramadol® can be used in those that have had a reaction to the different types of NSAIDs. Rather than acting on the production of the chemicals that cause the inflammation, Tramadol® for dogs acts on the pain receptors of the brain. The medication dulls these receptors, relieving pain while not interfering with the processes that cause the swelling. It is an option for dogs diagnosed with various types of arthritis.


Tramadol® for dogs can be a safer alternative for pets that have already had a reaction to NSAIDs. In dogs that have not had such a negative reaction to NSAIDs, Tramadol® can also be given in conjunction with other types of pain medication in order to manage conditions not alleviated by one type of medication alone. It works on the brain while other types of pain relievers work on the source of the pain, which can be a powerful combination.

In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe Tramadol® for dogs when there is an instance of prolonged, acute pain as a result of surgery or an injury. When given after surgery, it can be administered for several weeks as the dog recovers. The medication is available in tablet form, and a veterinarian will generally prescribe a dose appropriate for the size of the dog and the condition it is being administered for.

Depending on the type of cancer a dog is diagnosed with, Tramadol can also be prescribed in order to help manage pain. This varies with the type of cancer and the stage. When Tramadol for dogs is given for this reason, it is generally in conjunction with other forms of treatment. While it is generally works fast to relieve pain, most veterinarians will require the prescription to be given several times throughout the day in order to maintain an effective amount.


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Post 7

I would never force feed my dog medication. I buy cheap ham from Tesco or Aldi (thin slices), wrap the tablets in these and feed. My dog wolfs them down. Other ideas are to use a small bit of butter or cheese.

Post 6

@giddeon: We mix a spoonful of wet food with our dogs dry food and meds, which have been dissolved in a small amount of water (10 year Pug with arthritis.) She is so happy about the wet food she doesn't

know she is taking her meds. Good luck.

Post 5

My dog was attacked by a much larger dog, (the owner, of course, left before anyone could get her info, par for the course for an irresponsible dog owner who lets their dog attack other dogs).

I had to take my baby to the emergency vet, since this happened on a Saturday. He suffered from a broken shoulder blade, puncture wounds and massive tissue damage. He did die at the scene but was revived. He is on both Rimadyl and Tramadol for his pain and swelling. I give him cut up hot dogs, putting the non-chewable pills in a small piece, then he eats it without knowing he has taken his pills. (he is also on antibiotics as well)


baby is very important to me, as he is my service dog. I am stuck paying the bill for a stupid girl who lets her dog loose (my dog was on his leash) but he is worth everything to me. Would you believe, that with all the pain he is suffering, he still tries to take care of me?

So for those who don't want to shove a pill down their dog's throat, try putting the pill in their favorite treat, or small piece of hot dog ( one they will gulp down instead of chew) Best of luck!

Post 4

My husband just started taking Tramadol for pain. I didn't realize that animals could take it, too!

He cracked a rib at work, and the Tramadol has been helping him cope with the pain. He has been on it for a couple of weeks now, and he's down to taking it every few days as he improves.

I suppose that if a dog is injured, you might just have to go by your vet's dosing schedule. It could be hard to tell whether or not a dog is in pain, so giving it Tramadol every few hours would probably be a good idea.

If my dog ever needs pain medication, I'm going to ask my vet about

Tramadol, because my dog can't take steroids. She was on steroids for a week after having an allergic reaction to a bee sting, and I believe that the medication caused her to become incontinent! She hasn't been able to control her bladder since, so we avoid steroids now.
Post 3

Tramadol for dogs is so helpful when a dog has cancer. It helped my friend's dog stay comfortable until the end.

It is already so hard for a pet owner to live with the knowledge that her pet has an incurable disease. Anything that can impart a little comfort in the dog's last days is appreciated.

Post 2

@giddion – I give my dog Rimadyl, but it is an NSAID. Talk to your vet and make sure your dog can take this, because some dogs are sensitive to NSAIDs.

It is chewable, and my dog scarfs it down. I give her one in the morning and one in the evening.

Tramadol was one of the drugs I had considered, but once I found out it didn't come in chewable form, I gave that up right away. However, since your dog is having such good results with it, you might want to stick with it and find another way to give it to her.

I used to wrap my dog's antibiotics in a piece of cheese. It would stick to the pill, and she would eat it before realizing that I had hidden the pill in it.

Post 1

My vet told me about Tramadol medication for dogs. I had brought my ten-year-old Doberman to her office because she had been having joint pain and stiffness, and the vet said that because of her age, she had arthritis.

She gave me some Tramadol, and it worked. My dog started moving around like she used to within a week.

However, I don't like the fact that the medicine isn't chewable. I hate shoving this pill down her throat twice a day. Is there another type of non-steroidal arthritis medication that works well?

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