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What Happens If A Human Takes Tramadol For Dogs

What Happens If A Human Takes Tramadol For Dogs? Is It Safe?

What happens if a human takes Tramadol for dogs? Humans and dogs have different physiological needs in terms of medication, consequently resulting in differences in concentrations and dosages. 

For this reason, you will find that most canine drugs differ from those for human beings, although they may be addressing the same problem in these two organisms.

However, there are some cases where you will find that the same medication used in dogs also applies to humans. 

And this raises the question about the safety and implications of using veterinary medication on humans. Is it safe? 

What are the side effects if consumed by humans? Well, we are going to discuss all these in this piece. Continue reading to the end to learn more.

Answering the question, What Happens If a Human Takes Tramadol for Dogs?

You should never consume your pet’s medication without a prescription from a licensed vet or doctor. Tramadol for dogs is the same medication as that for humans. 

Therefore if you consume the right dosage, there won’t be any side effects, and the medicine will work as intended. However, just like any other medication, if you overdose, there may be side effects, such as vomiting, dizziness, and nausea.

What Is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a medication that treats moderate to severe pain in dogs and humans. This drug belongs to the category of opioid analgesics, which are similar to morphine and fentanyl. 

Its mechanism of action involves directly modifying the perception and transmission of pain by activating the opioid receptors in the nervous system. 

Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) you can purchase without a prescription for mild pain relief, such as Ibuprofen, Tramadol has a much stronger analgesic effect. And its potency comes with potential risks if not taken correctly.

How Does Tramadol Work?

Tramadol is a medicine that affects the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin, chemicals in the brain and body. 

Norepinephrine is like a signal that prepares the body for stressful situations, like the “fight-or-flight” response.

When norepinephrine leaves the brain, it travels through the body and communicates with certain parts, including those that sense pain. 

Tramadol doesn’t directly target the painful area, like joints or muscles, but it helps relieve pain during recovery from injuries or surgeries.

Normally, norepinephrine returns to the brain with information about pain, but Tramadol stops this process. 

Instead, it signals the brain to keep sending norepinephrine in small amounts, which helps the body stay active even during severe discomfort. This “tricks” the brain into feeling less pain than there is.

Also, high levels of norepinephrine in the bloodstream trigger the release of serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel good and happy. 

So, if you notice your pet acting a little happy or dizzy after taking Tramadol, the increased serotonin and norepinephrine create a pain-free and euphoric feeling.

What Is Tramadol Used For?

Tramadol is a medication used to treat various ailments in dogs and humans. It proves to be effective in managing pain and providing relief to our furry friends. 

The drug commonly alleviates postoperative pain and discomfort caused by broken bones and sprained joints

Furthermore, it is an excellent option for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, which can be extremely painful and debilitating. 

Tramadol also works for dogs experiencing severe nerve, back, and cancer-related pain.

Besides its pain-relieving properties, Tramadol has shown efficacy in treating other conditions. It is useful in addressing coughing and anxiety in dogs.

The medication can also manage degenerative myelopathy, a spinal cord disease affecting dogs.

Dosage And Administration Of Tramadol In Dogs

You need special paperwork from your vet to get Tramadol. Your vet will decide the proper dosage based on your pet’s weight and other factors like their health condition and type of pain.

Tramadol comes in tablet form; you may need to cut the pills into smaller pieces for small dogs. 

However, some dogs might not like the taste of the pills, and this is where your vet could also prescribe liquid Tramadol, which you’ll need to measure carefully with a milliliter (mL) syringe.

The medication takes effect in about one to two hours, and you should see an improvement in your dog’s condition. 

But remember, Tramadol is short-acting and usually stops working within 12 hours, although it might last longer for dogs with kidney or liver problems. If your dog experiences stomach discomfort with the medication, try giving it with food.

Dosage And Administration Of Tramadol In Humans Beings 

Tramadol is started at a low dose and gradually increased until the pain is manageable. The dose depends on the severity of the pain, how well the patient responds to the treatment, past experiences with pain relief medication, and the risk of addiction, abuse, and misuse.

Regular Adult Dosage for Pain:

The typical oral dose for adults aged 17 years and older is 50 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain. 

If rapid pain relief isn’t necessary, the initial dose can be 25 mg once a day, with subsequent increases of 25 mg every three days until reaching a total of 25 mg four times daily. 

Afterward, as tolerated, the dose can be increased by 50 mg every three days. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 400 mg.

Regular Adult Dosage for Chronic Pain:

For chronic pain, in individuals aged 18 years or older who have not taken Tramadol, the initial dose is 100 mg once a day, with incremental adjustments of 100 mg every five days until reaching a dose that effectively minimizes side effects. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 300 mg.

If the patient is already on immediate-release Tramadol, the daily requirement of the immediate-release version is calculated. Then the extended-release dose is rounded down to the nearest 100 mg increment, taken once a day.

Before starting Tramadol, you should stop taking all other around-the-clock opioid drugs. The initial extended-release dose is 100 mg once a day, with an increment of 100 mg every five days until reaching a dose that minimizes side effects. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 300 mg.

Caution To Take When Administering Tramadol To Your Dog

  1. Tramadol should not be given to your dog if they are already taking certain psychoactive medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  2. Tramadol might not be compatible with the joint and liver support nutraceutical SAMe, so be cautious about using them together.
  3. If your dog is on antihistamines, be careful with Tramadol as it may worsen sedation side effects.
  4. When you use Tramadol alongside the appetite stimulant drug cyproheptadine, its effectiveness reduces.
  5. The risk of tramadol toxicity increases if you combine it with erythromycin, cimetidine, and metoclopramide. 
  6. If your pet is on Deprenyl for senility or Cushing’s Syndrome, don’t give it Tramadol. 
  7. The active ingredients in tick control products, like amitraz, can induce sedation if combined with Tramadol.
  8. If used together with benzodiazepine antianxiety medications, Tramadol increases the risk of respiratory depression.

Side Effects Of Tramadol

Tramadol can help manage pain in dogs but also comes with some risks. It’s a Schedule IV controlled substance, which can be dangerous if not given correctly. 

Common side effects of Tramadol in dogs include agitation, low appetite, increased heart rate, constipation, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, dilated pupils, extreme sleepiness, panting, and upset stomach.

For your dog’s safety and well-being, you must work closely with your veterinarian and follow their guidance throughout the treatment. 

Watch for unusual reactions, and inform your vet if anything concerns you. Remember, the proper use of Tramadol can provide relief for your furry friend without unnecessary risks.

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Overdosed On Tramadol

Ever wondered if your furry companion could overdose on Tramadol? Well, it is possible if you don’t follow the prescription. 

Watch for warning signs like excessive drooling, aggressive behavior, uncontrolled movements, and muscle spasms. 

If your dog seems unusually sleepy, has a severely low heart rate, experiences seizures, or struggles to stay awake, it might indicate a Tramadol overdose. 

Breathing slowly and shallowly or slipping into a coma could also be signs of concern. Be a vigilant pet owner, and if you ever suspect an overdose, seek immediate veterinary attention to ensure your pup’s well-being.


If you have read up to this point, you now know what happens if a human takes Tramadol for dogs. It is important to understand the potential risks and consequences of taking medication that is intended for animals.

In the case of Tramadol, the medication for dogs that humans are nearly the same thing. And if taken in the right doses, there would probably be no side effects.

However, if misused or overdosed, there could be adverse side effects. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate pain management options tailored to humans.

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