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 toVeterinary 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,36inadequate for dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy,37and both inferior to carprofen and equivalent to placebo for dogs with osteoarthritis.38Despite 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.)