Tramadol And CBD Oil Interaction In Dogs

Can CBD interact with tramadol, an opioid analgesic? Learn more about the mechanism and type of interaction between CBD and tramadol below. Today, thanks to all the recent studies, many pet parents are seeking pain relief for the pets via cannabidiol with the use of CBD pet treats, tinctures, capsules, transdermal patches, lotions, shampoos, and more! Why Vets Choose Tramadol for Dogs What does Tramadol do for pain in dogs? How Tramadol Works Side Effects of Tramadol for Dogs Concerns about Tramadol for Dogs Alternatives to Tramadol for Dogs Pain treatment is an unfortunate reality many dog owners must face at some point. It's sad, but it's also scary. If your dog i

Does CBD Interact With Tramadol (Ultram)?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & tramadol.

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One of the most common uses of CBD is for managing chronic pain. Currently, the most common prescription painkillers are opioid drugs such as tramadol (Ultram).

Is it safe to take CBD with tramadol? What are the potential risks of taking both together?

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Tramadol (Ultram)?

CBD and tramadol (Ultram) may interact in three different ways — each one has the potential to cause side effects.

Be very cautious when taking CBD with tramadol, and always speak to your doctor before taking both at the same time.

Separating the dose of CBD and tramadol 2 hours apart may reduce the chances of side effects.

1. Agonistic Interaction

Tramadol and opioid analgesics cross the blood-brain barrier to produce their benefits. To cross the blood-brain barrier, drugs like tramadol require the help of P-glycoprotein, which is inhibited by CBD, hence reducing the clearance of the drug from the brain.

CBD also inhibits the enzymes required for metabolism and, consequentially, excretion of tramadol from the body resulting in prolonged presence of the drug in the system.

This increases the time the drug spends in the system, allowing it to have prolonged effects, resulting in an agonistic interaction between CBD and tramadol.

2. Antagonistic Interaction

CBD, in high doses, is known to inhibit the analgesic activities of tramadol or reduce them, making the drug inefficient. The exact mechanism for CBD’s action is not yet known, but it is referred to as an antagonistic interaction between CBD and tramadol.

3. Metabolic Inhibition

Tramadol (Ultram) and CBD require enzymes for their metabolism; they share some of these enzymes, creating competition between the agents. This is referred to as metabolic competition and is one type of interaction between CBD and tramadol.

Other Names for Tramadol

Tramadol is sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for tramadol include:

Similar Medications: CBD & Opiates

Tramadol (Ultram) is classified as an opiate medication. CBD and opiates all share similar risks for interaction and side effects.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:

  • Buprenorphine (Cizdol & Brixadi)
  • Codeine
  • Pethidine (Meperidine & Demerol)
  • Fentanyl (Abstral & Actiq)
  • Hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER & Hycodan)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone (Methadose & Dolophine)
  • Morphine (Kadian & Roxanol)
  • Oxycodone (Percodan, Endodan, Roxiprin, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet & OxyContin)

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Tramadol (Ultram) Together?

CBD interacts with tramadol (Ultram), producing significant clinical symptoms mainly in respiratory depression and coma, which can be fatal if not appropriately treated and managed. Moreover, CBD in high doses inhibits the analgesic effects of tramadol, hence reducing the positive effects of the drug while increasing the negative effects.

Given the risk of severe side-effects along with CBD’s ability to decrease the effects of tramadol, it is not recommended to take CBD and tramadol together.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Tramadol (Ultram)?

CBD initially gained traction for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help alleviate different types of pain in patients [1]. Tramadol (Ultram) and CBD are potent pain-relieving agents; however, the former tends to cause dependence and addiction and requires a prescription. On the other hand, CBD can be used freely without any risk of addiction or habit formation.

Moreover, tramadol and other opioid analgesics have a higher risk of patient overdoses than CBD or even average pain killers. As CBD decreases the risk of fatal overdoses and provides similar benefits as opioid analgesics, it may be a viable alternative for these medications, including tramadol [2].

While anecdotal evidence points to the benefits of CBD over tramadol, further scientific research and evidence are required for CBD to become the standard medical analgesic, replacing opioid analgesics like tramadol.

What Is Tramadol (Ultram)?

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic commonly sold under the brand name Ultram and used to manage moderate to severe pain, bringing relief within an hour of oral ingestion of the pill. Tramadol is commonly prescribed for pain, over other opioid analgesics, because of its reduced ability to produce side effects such as dependence and addiction. Tramadol is addictive, however, and special care should be taken when prescribing this medication to high-risk populations.

Tramadol is metabolized in the liver into desmetramadol, an opioid with a higher affinity for opioid receptors. It helps treat pain disorders such as fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia. The FDA has not approved the use of this medication in treating these pain disorders but rather only for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. The FDA has approved the use of tramadol IV for the management of pain, while the National Health Service (NHS) has approved tramadol as a secondary drug for the treatment of pain disorders.

Tramadol is sold under different brand names such as Ultram, Zytram, Qdolo, Ryzolt, and ConZip, with Ultram being the most readily available and commonly used brand.

The drug becomes effective within an hour of ingesting, but it takes around 2 hours to 4 hours for the medication levels to peak in the body. It belongs to two different classes of medications, namely, opioid analgesics and Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI), with the former being the more commonly known class.

Compared to other opioid painkillers such as morphine and codeine, tramadol is not that effective, but it is still used because it’s less addictive.

Tramadol is metabolized in the liver using demethylation and glucuronidation via the enzymes CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. Its elimination half-life and duration of action is approximately 6 hours, with most of the drug excreted in the urine.

Tramadol interacts with CBD, another potent analgesic agent, to produce majorly significant clinical symptoms and side effects that have the potential to be fatal without appropriate medical attention. CBD has both an agonistic and antagonistic effect on tramadol, depending on its dosage.

Tramadol Specs:

Drug Name Tramadol
Trade Name Ultram, Zytram, Qdolo, Ryzolt, ConZip
Classification Opioid Analgesic
CYP Metabolism Liver (CYP2D6 and CYP3A4)
Interaction with CBD Antagonistic (Decreased effects) of high dose Tramadol Agonistic (Increased Effects)
Risk of Interaction Major

How Does Tramadol (Ultram) Work?

Tramadol (Ultram) is an opioid agonist that targets the noradrenergic system, serotonergic system, and opioid system.

Tramadol affects the following receptors and processes in the body to produce its analgesic effects:

  1. Mu Opioid Receptor or MOR, as an agonist, followed by other opioid receptors such as DOR and KOR. Tramadol has the highest affinity for MOR amongst the three opioid receptors in the body.
  2. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake from the synapses as tramadol is an active inhibitor of these reuptakes, hence belonging to the SNRI class of antidepressants.
  3. M1 and M3 muscarinic receptors in the body, as an antagonist.
  4. Serotonin 2C receptor, as an antagonist.
  5. Alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, also as an antagonist.

The main benefit of tramadol is pain management, and it does so by binding to the MOR using its active metabolite, desmetramadol. This metabolite is formed as a result of the metabolism of the drug in the liver.

Side Effects of Tramadol (Ultram)

Tramadol (Ultram) is an opioid analgesic with a few common side effects associated with its use, such as:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Flatulence
  • Headache
  • Irritation and Agitation
  • Itching
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary retention
  • Vertigo
  • Visual disturbance
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Tramadol also has some rare side effects associated with its use that are also higher in severity:

  • Bradycardia
  • Dyspnoea
  • Epileptiform convulsions
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Attack
  • Hepatitis
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney damage presenting with Proteinuria
  • Liver failure
  • Migraine
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Respiratory depression
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Tinnitus

Tramadol can also produce dependence and addiction, two of the most severe and common side effects of the medication. It is essential to take this medication only when prescribed by a medical professional and follow precautions carefully. The side effects mentioned above can increase in intensity and severity if tramadol is taken with CBD, a potent pain-relieving cannabinoid.

Types of Drug Interactions With CBD

CBD has gained traction recently and has been made widely available for its several benefits. However, it can interact with other medications and drugs, resulting in severe side effects and complications.

The interactions between the drugs and CBD can be of low clinical significance, moderate clinical significance, or major clinical significance. In case of low interactions, CBD can be used alongside the drug, whereas for moderate interactions, the use of CBD with the drug should be avoided unless medically necessary. If CBD has significant interaction with a drug, then the two agents should not be taken together.

Based on the effect of CBD on the medication and its properties, drug interactions with CBD are classified as:

1. Agonistic Interaction

CBD increases the effects or the time the medications spend in the system by inhibiting the clearance of the drug or working synergistically with the drug. Although the net effect is increased effects of the medication, it does not produce positive results but rather unfavorable results.

2. Antagonistic Interaction

CBD inhibits the activity of the drug or hastens the clearance of the drug, decreasing the overall positive effect of the medication, hence, producing an antagonistic interaction.

3. Metabolic Inhibition

CBD competes for the drug for the enzymes that both agents need for their own metabolism.

Key Takeaways: Is CBD Safe to Take With Tramadol (Ultram)?

Tramadol (Ultram) is an opioid analgesic with a weak inhibitory effect on serotonin reuptake and norepinephrine reuptake. It has one-tenth of morphine’s analgesic properties and is often used as a secondary treatment for pain disorders or as a primary treatment of acute and chronic pain.

It is widely used because it’s less likely to produce dependence and addiction. CBD also has potent analgesic properties. However, it’s not recommended for them to be used together as CBD, in high doses, inhibits the action of tramadol and the enzymes necessary for metabolism and clearance of the drug, resulting in prolonged effects of tramadol on the system.

Prolonged effects increase the risk and severity of the several side effects of tramadol, most important of which are respiratory depression and coma.

CBD as an Alternative Supplement to Tramadol

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog in pain. Managing pain in dogs has always been challenging because of the long term side effects of pain meds. Your furry best friend can’t say where or how much they hurt, so it’s up to you and your veterinarian to decide how the pain is managed, and discuss cannabidiol’s efficacy for natural pain relief.

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CBD can help to manage acute and chronic pain, but may be needed in combination with other pet meds. Nutraceuticals like CBD are desirable because they rarely have side effects, although they may take longer to work. In this article, we’ll discuss why CBD for pets as an alternative to Tramadol may be effective in reducing your dog’s discomfort. Never combine pet CBD and Tramadol without speaking to your veterinarian first.

“Recent clinical studies of oral tramadol are also mixed but with a trend against any meaningful analgesic effects. One study reported that tramadol and dipyrone combined provided analgesia in dogs with chronic cancer pain and that addition of an NSAID did not improve the quality of pain control,” via Veterinary Practice News, 2018.

What is Tramadol?

Brand Name: Ultram

Generic Name: Tramadol

According to the Merck’s Veterinary Manual “Tramadol , a synthetic codeine analogue, is a weak mu opioid receptor agonist. In addition to opioid activity, it inhibits neuronal reuptake of norepinephrine and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) and may facilitate serotonin release. It is recommended for acute and chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity.

Due to its inhibitory effects on serotonin uptake, tramadol should not be used in animals that may have received monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as selegiline , in animals on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or in animals with a recent history of seizure activity.”

Merck’s Manual explains that “In people, the principal active metabolite (O-desmethyl tramadol , M1) is more active at mu receptors than the parent drug. Cats produce significant amounts of M1, whereas dogs produce minimal amounts. Oral bioavailability is 93% in cats but only 65% in dogs. Dogs eliminate and clear tramadol more rapidly than cats. The dosing interval must be adjusted in cats. Adverse effects include decreased seizure thresholds, nausea/vomiting, and in some animals, altered behavior.”

Tramadol Use

Tramadol has been shown to reduce minimum alveolar concentration of sevoflurane in cats and is reported to have an analgesic effect after ovariohysterectomy similar to that of morphine in dogs. The take with Tramadol is that it can be used alone for mild pain treatment or together with other pet meds in a multimodal plan to treat moderate to severe pain in pets.

Your veterinarian is the only person that can prescribe Tramadol. What’s important to note here is that human Tramadol should never be given to pets, and that with both human or pet Tramadol the potential for overdose from an incorrect dosage is always a possibility.

Tramadol Overdose in dogs

The only way to get Tramadol is with a prescription from your veterinarian. Human Tramadol should not be given to pets since dosage differs vastly, and the incorrect dosage could lead to an overdose. Pet parents should only use Tramadol under the guidance of a veterinarian. Tramadol can also be problematic because your dog can become addicted to it, and could also overdose.

Work closely with your veterinarian and adhere to all dosage instructions to avoid adverse effects. Dogs can become tolerant to Tramadol in a short amount of time, and more Tramadol may be needed to have the same effects. Increasing Tramadol dosage could be dangerous, and could lead to an overdose.

Dogs can suffer from withdrawals when they stop taking Tramadol. That said, dosages should be decreased slowly. Always discuss this with your veterinarian beforehand, and don’t just stop giving your dog Tramadol.

Side Effects of Tramadol

Opioids relieve pain by acting on the central nervous system. Continuous administration of pain medication is more effective at relieving pain than by using “as-needed” dosing. That said, Tramadol may have a few adverse reactions

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Sedation
  • Anxiety
  • Pupil Constriction
  • Coughing
  • Seizures
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Peeling skin rash
  • Blisters on skin

Dr. Salisu Buhari, DVM in a study published in The Scientific World Journal explains that “Although Tramadol has a rapid onset of effect when given to dogs IV or intramuscularly, it can also produce unwanted side effects such as nausea, salivation, increased swallowing, and retching. Another effective analgesic strategy, epidural analgesia, carries the risk of nerve injury and side effects that include pruritus, urinary retention, hypoventilation and hypotension. In contrast, better patient compliance with minimal restraint was achieved in the SC group. In this study, none of the dogs suffered from adverse effects of tramadol, regardless of the route of administration. According to Hendrix et al., marked respiratory depression is not observed in dogs, even with morphine administration. In addition, although vomiting is reported to occur within 5–10 min of SC administration of morphine, this effect is not reported with other opioids.

Keep in mind that sedation is a common side effect. Although not an issue for veterinarians or pet parents who would rather have their pets asleep, and be pain-free. Sleep also promotes faster healing and tissue regeneration.

Tramadol for cancer pain

The Merck Veterinary Manual adds that Tramadol can be used to treat both acute and chronic pain. Both acute and chronic pain fall within the range of moderate to severe on the pain scale.

Cancer pain is difficult to treat because there are numerous causes of cancer pain. The pain may stem from tumors, inflammation, or neuropathic issues. Like other forms of chronic pain, cancer pain does not always respond well to treatments that are commonly used. While it has helped many dogs become pain-free and mobile, there is a huge problem with long-term side effects, which are serious and may include potential liver damage.

That said, opioids remain a good source of veterinary treatment, and are often used together with other treatments like analgesics which include NSAIDs, tramadol, acetaminophen, and amantadine to help with chronic pain.

Opioids and NSAID’S for cancer and osteoarthritis pain

Cancer pain

An opioid and an NSAID are often prescribed together by veterinarians. This is because they have a stronger action in reducing cancer pain when combined. You will need to have regular follow-up visits with your veterinarian to ensure that the pain treatment plan is effective. Pain management treatment plans should be tweaked and managed regularly with correct therapeutic adjustments.

Osteoarthritis Pain. ( Degenerative Joint Disease). This condition is characterized by thinning of the cartilage, build -up of fluid within the joint, and the formation of bony outgrowths around the joint. Joint degeneration is the result of trauma, infection, the body’s own immune system or malformation during development. That said, when this results in the inflammation of the joint membrane, continued cartilage destruction and inflammation, and abnormal joint function, dogs feel intense bone pain.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms include lameness, swelling of the joint, muscle wasting, thickening and scarring of the tissue joint membrane. Progressive damage occurs resulting in the grating sound during joint movement, soft-tissue swelling around the joint, the formation of bony outgrowths, hardening and thickening of bone beneath the cartilage, and possibly a narrowed joint space. Veterinarians may prescribe Tramadol to block the transmission of pain signals in the dog.

Consistent trend against Efficacy of Tramadol is apparent in studies

According to Veterinary Practice News , preclinical studies show that “it has been difficult to convincingly show that oral tramadol is absorbed and metabolized to the active metabolites to a degree that would be expected to produce meaningful analgesic effects. While some studies do suggest adequate absorption and metabolism, most indicate that dogs generally appear to produce very little of the active metabolite of tramadol, and this seems to persist for too short a time to provide reasonable analgesia. While these studies vary in route, dosage, and formulation, the trend is clear that the absorption and metabolism of tramadol in dogs is unlikely to support effective clinical use as an analgesic, especially with oral administration. Studies evaluating intravenous tramadol and thermal nociception in dogs have also failed to find a clear effect. ”

“Clinical studies of oral tramadol are also mixed but with a trend against any meaningful analgesic effects. One study reported that tramadol and dipyrone combined provided analgesia in dogs with chronic cancer pain and that addition of an NSAID did not improve the quality of pain control.”

The studies demonstrate that “on its own, however, tramadol has been reported to be inferior to carprofen for dogs undergoing enucleation, equivalent to hydrocodone/acetaminophen with both being inadequate for dogs undergoing tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, 36 inadequate for dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy, 37 and both inferior to carprofen and equivalent to placebo for dogs with osteoarthritis. 38 Despite differences in indication, pain assessment, and other important variables, these studies suggest oral tramadol is not likely to be useful as an analgesic for dogs for acute or chronic pain.”

Tramadol is often used as an oral analgesic in dogs and cats. New studies from 2018 demonstrate that it may not have meaningful benefits for dogs. It’s also now unclear as to how beneficial Tramadol is for pain in dogs. Studies are now showing that Tramadol should not only be used as a sole analgesic. “ More research in both species may help to clarify the potential effects of tramadol, but at this point the widespread use of oral tramadol is not justified by reliable scientific evidence, via Veterinary Practice News (2018.)


All dog breeds are susceptible to cancer, and pet parents need to be aware of what symptoms to look out for. Certain dog breeds like the Boxer are prone to brain cancer, of which symptoms may include difficulty walking, impaired vision, and facial paralysis. Today, one in four dogs will develop neoplasia, with over 50% of dogs over the age of ten developing cancers.

Symptoms of Neoplasia in Dogs

The American Veterinary Association (AVMA) lists the following as signs to watch for:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty eating
  • Lumps, bumps or discolored skin
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Unexplained swelling, heat, pain or lameness
  • Visible mass/tumor

All dogs can develop neoplasia which can affect any organ or tissue in their body. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) treatment response will depend on the severity and the type of neoplasia, as well as the availability and effectiveness of the therapy. The earlier neoplasia is treated, the better chances of a good outcome.

“Despite a lack of metastasis, benign tumors can sometimes have damaging effects on the patient; for example, brain tumors are often benign but the pressure they create on the surrounding brain tissue can be life-threatening. Although some neoplasms (especially the more aggressive cancers) cannot be cured, treatment can prolong your pet’s life and improve their quality of life,” via AVMA.

Pet meds for cancer

Although CBD oils are beneficial when dealing with pain, pet parents need to keep in mind that veterinarians may suggest an array of pain medications which are part of a cancer treatment program. These pain medications will include the following:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory) like cortisone as a second type of pain reliever
  • Opioids which include morphine and codeine for advanced cancers with prolonged and severe pain.

As with all medications given in higher doses, there may be side effects.

What is CBD oil?

Hemp refers to the cannabis varieties that are grown as an agricultural crop, and also contain low amounts of THC(tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is federally illegal in the US if it contains a higher amount than the O.3% allowed for use, though it’s been approved for both recreational and medical use in Canada, and numerous US states.

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According to Fido Friendly magazine, “What you may not know when purchasing a CBD pet product is that the certificate of analysis (COA) is most important. “COA’s that are good will list cannabinoids, heavy metals, aflatoxins, microbial analysis, and solvents from extraction. All of these should all be tested for, to ensure it’s a safe product, and the cannabinoids should be below 0.3% THC with at least 20 mg/ml of total cannabinoids preferably CBD and/or CBDA,” via Claudia Bensimoun.

We’ve all questioned the varying cannabidiol potencies in different CBD pet brands, and wondered as to the outcome if not used properly. Pet parents play a huge role in their pet’s health, and with our dogs being family members, CBD product safety is key. Dr. Wakshlag explains to FIDO Friendly that “most of the CBD oils on the market are relatively low potency therefore most people under dose their dogs – so they will not see the beneficial effects.”

What you may not know when purchasing a CBD pet product is that the certificate of analysis (COA) is most important. “COA’s that are good will list cannabinoids, heavy metals, aflatoxins, microbial analysis, and solvents from extraction. All of these should all be tested for, to ensure it’s a safe product, and the cannabinoids should be below 0.3% THC with at least 20 mg/ml of total cannabinoids preferably CBD and/or CBDA,” explains Dr. Wakshlag, DVM, via Fido Friendly.

He adds that “We also are not 100% sure as to whether CBD is an effective nutraceutical supplement that can be used safely with other supplements on a daily basis. Dr. Wakshlag says that “this is an unknown – but we think that it can go with other typically used pain relievers used in dogs. We just don’t have data on other drugs at this point. But its looking promising that there are not many interactions.”

Is CBD legal?

For all CBD pet products to be legal, they need to have less than 0.3% THC. CBD is natural, safe, and is derived from hemp and cannabis. Most CBD dog products will use CBD from hemp. That said, there is no “high” and dogs will not consume THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, resulting in psychoactive effects with your dog getting “high”. CBD is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid, and yields therapeutic and medicinal purposes for dogs.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil for cancer pain

Hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) oil with no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for dogs with cancer may be beneficial by helping to relieve the symptoms that go hand –in- hand with cancer treatment, that results in loss of appetite, pain, and nausea. Cancer most times causes pain due to inflammation, nerve injury and pressure on the internal organs.

All About Tramadol for Dogs Including Alternatives

Pain treatment is an unfortunate reality many dog owners must face at some point. It’s sad, but it’s also scary. If your dog is already sick and suffering, you feel everything you do for them is of the utmost importance. Is the treatment enough? Will it make them worse somehow?

Is it safe? Whether your dog has cancer or arthritis, has been injured, or has just had surgery, your vet is likely to prescribe anti inflammatory drugs. You want to know everything there is to know about it and if there are other alternatives , should you decide you don’t like the idea of giving a particular medication to your pet.

Why Vets Choose Tramadol for Dogs

Tramadol hydrochloride is a powerful, synthetic opioid painkiller that can be used for treating mild to moderate pain alone, and severe pain in conjunction with other medications. Veterinarians choose to prescribe it for both acute and chronic pain conditions, meaning dogs can take it both short and long term.

As an opioid, Tramadol for dogs does more than just treat pain. It also impacts mood and may be prescribed for anxiety.

Tramadol is one of the most popular pain killers prescribed for dogs because the side effects from Tramadol are usually mild and veterinarians usually hold that the risk of addiction is less than with comparable medications, though there is some debate on how true that is. When used properly, Tramadol can be a safe and effective way to manage acute pain in dogs.

For chronic pain, it may take weeks for the effects to become noticeable. For this reason, and if Tramadol dosages are not enough to provide therapeutic relief for your dog, other painkillers may be prescribed along with it.

What does Tramadol do for pain in dogs?

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain in dogs. Tramadol can be administered as a tablet, chewable or liquid oral solution and should not be given with anything that contains milk protein because drug interactions can cause an allergic reaction.

Tramadol is commonly prescribed in veterinary medicine to help relieve pain in their patients’ best friends – our canine companions! Interestingly enough, this medication also has some side effects on people called “serotonin syndrome.” This means you may experience hallucinations if tramadol interacts with other medications your taking like antidepressants or blood pressure pills which are both designed to increase serotonin levels naturally.

Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat pain. It’s often used post-operatively to help manage pain, and it can also be used to treat arthritis pain and other chronic conditions. Tramadol works by changing the way the brain responds to pain signals.

Tramadol is available in both oral and intravenous forms, but the intravenous tramadol form is generally only used in hospital settings. Oral tramadol can be given with or without food, but if your dog is vomiting or doesn’t seem to tolerate the medication well, your veterinarian may prescribe the intravenous form.

How Tramadol Works

Tramadol is an opioid working similarly to how you generally perceive such medications. It impacts the chemicals and receptors in the brain that influence the perception of happiness and pain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine. Like many other medications, the exact mechanisms that make it work are unknown.

Tramadol Dosage for Dogs

Tramadol is a human medication as well as a dog medication. Dogs, of course, need a different dosage because their bodies are different from ours. You could give your dog your own Tramadol prescription medications if you needed to, but it should be done under the guidance of your licensed veterinarian.

The correct Tramadol dose is determined by many factors, including the the dog’s body weight and state of health of the dog, as well as the cause and severity of the pain.

The most widely accepted advice on Tramadol dosage for dogs is that it should be based from the 1 mg per 1 pound of dog model and varied according to the dog’s health and the pain management level as described above.

It will usually be given 8 to 12 hours apart or a bit more frequently for cancer pain. If your veterinarian prescribed tramadol in a very different amount from this, you should ask them why to ensure your dog is not being under or over treated.

As any pet parent knows, watching your dog suffer from pain can be heartbreaking. You just want to do whatever you can to help them feel better. When your dog is dealing with chronic osteoarthritis, you might wonder if tramadol is the right option for pain relief.

Unfortunately, a recent study has shown that tramadol may not be as effective as we thought for treating pain and joint dysfunction in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis. While it’s still important to talk to your veterinarian about whether or not to prescribe tramadol for your dog, this study provides important information that pet parents should be aware of.

You can’t crush Tramadol, it makes it not work correctly. If you find you can’t give Tramadol to your dog any other way, you should ask your vet for another medication.

Tramadol is a pain reliever that can be given with or without food, depending on what works best for your dog. Some dog parents find that their dogs do better when they take tramadol with food, while others find that it doesn’t make a difference. If your dog vomits when taking tramadol on an empty stomach, you may need to give future doses with food or a treat.

Side Effects of Tramadol for Dogs

Your dog should tolerate Tramadol pretty well. Most do not experience troubling side effects because the vet carefully chooses the dose to prevent over-medicating the dog.

If they do have side effects from Tramadol, they could be:

  • sedation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • lack of coordination
  • anxiety
  • behavior changes
  • tremors

Should your dog experience negative side effects from taking Tramadol, discuss them with your veterinarian to ensure they are not getting too much medication or it simply isn’t working well for them. Something may need to be done about the dosage or the type of medication, or there could be a treatment for the side effect.

Concerns about Tramadol for Dogs

Tramadol Overdose in Dogs

Pet owners greatest concerns about Tramadol are overdose and addiction. A dog taking too much Tramadol could hurt themselves, become frighteningly sedated, or even die. The dog’s blood pressure, breathing, and slow heart rate are overdose symptoms of Tramadol.

If this situation becomes severe enough, it can lead to death. Thankfully, this is very rare. Should your dog show signs of Tramadol overdose, you should get them to a vet as soon as possible.

Tramadol Addiction in Dogs

Opioids make dogs feel euphoric, that super good feeling that makes humans get addicted to drugs. It is also way too easy for the dog’s body to become tolerant to a certain level of medication and require more medication to maintain the same effect.

If the dog improved a great deal on the drug and then that improvement seems to wane, it may seem logical to increase the dosage, but this can be the path to your dog taking too much Tramadol.

If the medication’s effectiveness wanes, it is usually more prudent to prescribe an additional treatment rather than up the dosage.

Even if the dog has never been given an excessive amount of Tramadol, they can suffer withdrawal when they stop taking it, or their dosage is lessened.

Any change in the amount of medication given to your dog should be discussed with the vet and tapered off slowly. Never, ever just stop giving your dog Tramadol.

Allergic Reactions to Tramadol in Dogs

It is possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction to Tramadol.

Consult your veterinarian immediately should your dog experience:

  • rashes
  • itching
  • a racing heartbeat
  • diarrhea
  • swelling
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • hives
  • difficulty breathing

In fact, discuss any adverse reaction your dog has with your vet to be on the safe side. Even if a symptom is not a sign of an allergic reaction, if it is negatively impacting your dog, something might be done to alleviate the problem.

Tramadol Warnings Before Use

Tramadol should not be given to a dog who:

  • is taking MAOIs
  • is taking SSRIs, anti-depressants
  • is taking Digoxin, Quinidine, or Warfarin
  • has seizures now or in the past
  • is pregnant or nursing
  • has liver disease
  • has kidney disease
  • dogs who have had trouble with Tramadol or other opioids in the past
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Tell your veterinarian about any drugs, even holistic treatments, your dog is already taking. This drug may exacerbate the side effects of drugs it is already on. Also, discuss any health conditions with your vet.

Alternatives to Tramadol for Dogs

You may have decided you are not comfortable with your dog taking Tramadol. Or you may be okay with them taking it, but you’d like to know what other options are out there in case the Tramadol stops working or doesn’t work well enough.

CBD Oil as a Substitute

CBD oil is an excellent replacement for an opioid medication such as Tramadol because it provides the same type of relief in a safer, non-addictive, and natural form.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and you guessed it, it comes from marijuana and hemp. This doesn’t mean your dog will get high. CBD oil sold for pets is made from hemp, which is naturally extremely low in the chemical, THC, that could make your dog high.

Of course, if your dog gets a large enough dose of Tramadol, they will get high from that.

Cannabidiol acts on chemicals and receptors in the brain similarly to the way that Tramadol works. Dogs have an endocannabinoid system that produces its own cannabinoids and need a certain balance of them to function well.

Much of the components of this system are the same as those that opioids and SSRIs treat.

CBD oil helps dogs by:

  • alleviating pain
  • improving mood
  • decreasing anxiety
  • decreasing inflammation
  • providing additional nutrition
  • improving stomach problems like nausea or loss of appetite
  • giving them more energy

Scientists prove more ways all the time that CBD oil helps dogs, and veterinarians are helping devise CBD oil products. It is a valid, scientifically-backed method of treating and/or managing many conditions.

Your vet should be willing and able to assist you in using this treatment.

Why CBD Oil is Better Than Tramadol

CBD is all-natural and non-addictive. In fact, it is virtually impossible to give your dog too much CBD oil as all it can do is give them a sedative effect. There is no evidence of a dog having a life-threatening sedative effect from CBD oil.

Tramadol does nothing for inflammation, while CBD oil does. So, if your dog’s pain is coming from inflammation, CBD oil can both help treat the pain and decrease the inflammation, rather than your dog taking Tramadol and another medication to treat the inflammation.

CBD oil shows promise as a cancer killer. If your dog has cancer and that is why they need Tramadol, then CBD oil could both help manage to alleviate their pain and potentially treat their cancer.

This has not been definitively proven yet, but scientists have gotten exciting results and are continuing to test.

You might want to use CBD oil in conjunction with current cancer treatments or as the main treatment should your dog have cancer too advanced to be treated by conventional means.

Discuss CBD oil with your veterinarian as a potential substitute for or addition to Tramadol.

They can tell you the benefits and specific dosing for your dog, as well as how they expect it to interact with any treatments they may be offering.

CBD could be particularly helpful for dogs who can’t take Tramadol, are taking it and it is not effectively reducing their pain, or need the additional benefits CBD oil can provide.

How to Give Your Dog CBD Oil Instead of Tramadol

There is a huge range of products being made with CBD oil for dogs so you can give CBD oil to even the most finicky dogs.

You can find CBD oil in many forms your dog might like to take:

  • oil tinctures
  • oil sprays
  • capsules
  • treats
  • soft chews

Tinctures in droppers or pumps as well as sprays can be applied directly to the dog’s mouth or applied to their food.

This is the most effective means of delivering CBD oil to your dog as you have the most control of the amount they get, and it is the purest form, i.e. contains fewer ingredients.

Many tinctures and sprays contain flavorings to mask the taste of hemp because it can be a bit off-putting. You can pick which one you think your dog will most like.

Capsules are good for ensuring you are giving your dog an exact amount of CBD oil and masking the taste of the oil. Some dogs don’t like the hemp taste, even when it’s masked with other flavors.

If you’re adding CBD oil from a tincture to their food, you could also discover that they don’t eat all the food and then you aren’t sure how much CBD they ingested. A capsule can prevent that.

Treats and soft chews offer a fun way to get CBD oil into a dog who doesn’t want to take it in other forms.

A quality manufacturer of CBD oil treats and soft chews will ensure an exact, measured dosage of CBD oil in each treatment and keep ingredients as low as possible. They may have real meat in them and taste as good as their normal treats.

Dosages of CBD Oil for Dogs

The product you buy will tell you how much to give according to your dog’s weight. Often, when purchasing, you’ll need to choose an option based on the size of your dog. The dosage can be raised up or down as you deem is needed after trying it out on your dog.

It’s easy to adjust because there is so little risk that your dog will have an adverse reaction. If you are concerned about managing this yourself, you can ask your vet for advice.

Choosing A CBD Oil Product for Your Dog

Do read the ingredients list on any product you consider for your dog. There may be an alarming amount of ingredients, some may not be natural, and some are, sadly, not really safe.

Learn where the company making the product acquired or grew their hemp. Some companies are not honest and sell CBD oil made from poor-quality or fake hemp.

Check for lab results from third-party testing on the product you’re considering. This will help you ensure you are getting the amount of CBD oil the company promises.

And that there really is CBD oil in the product. It is possible to mistakenly purchase products claiming to contain CBD oil that have no actual CBD oil in them.

Most CBD oil companies boast that they sell natural products because their target market likes it, but you can also find organic hemp CBD oil products. Organic is best because you’re avoiding potentially harmful chemicals.

This would not normally be pesticides because hemp is naturally pest repellant, but the CBD oil manufacturer may use other chemicals or purchase ingredients that contain chemicals.

Look for a mention of the manufacturer using the CO2 extraction method as it is the safest and purest way of extracting CBD oil.

Full-Spectrum vs Isolate CBD Products

You may get confused by labels saying full-spectrum or CBD isolate. CBD isolate is just CBD oil as opposed to full-spectrum which is CBD oil with some other cannabinoids, phytonutrients, terpenes, and other nutrients dogs can get from the entire hemp plant.

Most people want full-spectrum CBD oil to gain a broader range of nutrients and cannabinoids. If you don’t want that, only wanting to administer CBD and the few ingredients in the form sold to your dog, then a CBD isolate is fine. You may discuss the benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil versus CBD isolate with your vet. The need varies depending on the ailment your dog is suffering from, nutrients they may need to gain from a supplement, and what simply works better for your dog.

Where to Find CBD Oil for Dogs

100% organic CBD products are exploding in popularity all over the internet, some great and most scary. You can start your journey into the world of pet CBD oil with Innovet Pet Products CBD Oil and Hemp Treats.

Our CBD oils are:
  • full-spectrum
  • extracted using the cold CO2 method
  • sourced from Oregon, Germany, and the U.K.
  • legal in all 50 states
  • THC-free
  • third-party lab tested with results available on the website
  • Current products include tinctures, capsules, treats, and soft chews. We do not have any CBD isolate products at this time.

Do ask us about creating products specifically for your pet. Should you want CBD isolate, feel that one of our products could be made better, or have a pet ailment that there isn’t a product to treat, or treat effectively, contact us to see if we can’t create a solution specifically for your pet. We’re in the business of treating the trickiest pet problems. You can also purchase supplies for helping you administer medication to your pet from us.

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I was very impressed with your site. The language was quite understandable, and easy to read. I have two German Shepherds around 7 years young. One has cancer growing on his heart that is slow growing, and the other has hip dysplasia, bone on bone. They are both bright and playful, just not ready to lose them until they show me it’s time. My Vet is very good I think, and she has them both on Tramadol, close to same weight and age. I am having alot of trouble getting them to take the pills. I have tried Pill Pockets; hamburger, other soft food, cottage cheese, mac and cheese. And then I read at your site to say away from milk products. Thank you for the proper information. If you have any suggestions to help them, please feel free.. And again thank you for the quality information.

**Review Disclaimer: In accordance with FDA/FTC regulations regarding product/advertising claims and to ensure full transparency to the public testimonials displayed on are given verbatim as we do not have the ability to change any reviews made by customers. Testimonials appearing on this site are actually received online and are processed through YOTPO – the leading independent review auditor. These are individual experiences of real-life people who have administered our products to their pets. However, they are individual results and results do vary. The testimonials are not necessarily representative of all of those who will use our products and/or services. is not a forum for testimonials, however, we do provide testimonials as a means for customers to share their experiences with each other. Innovet Pet does not necessarily share the opinions, views, or commentary of any testimonials on this site specifically because such views are strictly the views of the reviewer.
Additionally, these testimonials are not intended to make or imply claims that these products can be used to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Statements within these testimonials have not been clinically reviewed or evaluated by the FDA. Please consult your veterinarian about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The information on our website is intended to inform the public in the most honest and transparent way possible.