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Tramadol Strange Side Effects?

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As Dean is starting to show some signs of arthritis/joint pain, his vet and I decided to try him on a combination of Adequan/Tramadol, like Speedy was on in the latter part of his life.

 

After a few days on the med, Dean got strange. He got very sleepy - but I knew there might be some sedation at first (although Speedy never experienced any on Tramadol). Then he started acting like he was seeing things that weren't there. He would stare intently at nothing, and seem very concerned about whatever he was staring at. Finally, he holed himself up in Bandit's crate, and when Bandit approached, he seemed to be afraid of him. (And Bandit was just hanging around looking at Dean with curiosity).

 

I took him right off of the med and within a day he went back to normal (whew!).

 

I am going to be talking to his vet tomorrow, but I am wondering if any of you have ever seen anything like this with Tramadol? Like I said, Speedy took it for years and tolerated it beautifully. I know different dogs (just as with different people) experience different side effects to medication.

 

Guess we are going to need to come up with another pain management plan for him. :( I hate to do an NSAID, but I might not have a choice if he can't take Tramadol.

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I have used Tramadol on a short-term basis with Celt after each of his surgeries, and saw nothing unusual.

 

I hope you get something suitable worked out. Best wishes!

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One of my dogs gets really silly on it...I have a really funny video of him on it. And I do have to watch him around stairs if he has it because he is sometimes a little wobbly. So not same symptoms. But definitely it alters him.

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Also, FWIW, it is my understanding that Tramadol is only for pain and does nothing for inflammation.

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Speedy was always pretty happy on it. I had read that it can give a "general feeling of well being" and Speedy definitely had that.

 

Dean seemed on edge and extremely worried, though. Maybe having a tendency toward anxiety, it threw something off for him.

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jvw - that's why it is combined with the Adequan, I believe.

 

He's actually been on the Adequan for a little while now and is doing fine with that.

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Smudge got a little sleepy on Tramadol, but Boots acted out of sorts and suspicious of things. If I remember right, one of the side effects is dizziness, which I would think could be rather confusing for a dog to try to understand.

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My dogs and my patients are routinely on it and I have had some instances similar to your description. One example: Livy had some extensive dental work done last year and that night she totally geeked out after her Tramadol. She was crazed and all up in my business, very unsettled, wanted me to console her. After that I gave her half the dose (25mg) and she was fine. Since then, she's had an occasional Tramadol 50mg and has had no ill effects.

 

I've taken it and had different effects: sometimes sleepy, sometimes relaxed, sometimes mildly euphoric, sometimes hyperactive. Maybe has to do with taking on an empty stomach, other med interactions, or even current mental state?

 

Have you tried lowering the dose or giving on a full stomach?

 

And yes, it's not an anti-inflammatory. Maybe an NSAID would be a worthwhile trial medicine for Dean.

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My Sheltie was on Tramadol for the last two years of her life and I never saw any side effects. I didn't even notice sleepiness, but she was 14 when she started on the medication so slept a fair amount to begin with.

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My old gal Blimpie did well on it.

I don't.

Nothing super serious but I had some weird hallucinations type dreams on it. I have only ever taken a tiny amount in case of severe pain to get some sleep.

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I gave Tramadol to my Kit dog for her pain, but it never seemed to make any difference, which I thought was strange, because I take it myself for pain and it helps a lot. I never have had much in the way of side effects from it beyond occasionally feeling a very mild euphoric effect, which occurs less than half the time I take it. I have heard that it can have widely varying effects on people, though, so why not on dogs.

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