COVID-19 Update: AAHA staff is currently working remotely and will support our members virtually. All orders are currently shipping as normal.
Click here for more information.


In contrast to humans, tramadol in dogs has a very short half-life (1.7 hr) and negligible amounts of the opioid M1 metabolite are produced.45–48 Pharmacodynamic studies demonstrate the anesthesia-sparing and pain-modifying effect of parenteral tramadol in dogs.49–53 Convincing evidence for a pain-modifying effect of oral tramadol, however, remains elusive, and already low plasma levels quickly diminish with sequential administration.54–57 One small study of oral tramadol did report a statistically significant increase of mechanical threshold levels in dogs, but only at the 5 and 6 hr time points.48

In contrast to dogs, cats do produce the μ-agonist M1 metabolite. A pain-modifying effect has been demonstrated in both a thermal threshold and clinical surgical model.58,59 One case series involving the use of oral tramadol in a flavored compounded form (the drug is otherwise quite bitter), and dose-titration, toxicity, and safety data are currently lacking in both dogs and cats.60

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat your pet’s health problem or disease without consulting with a veterinarian. Please consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pet’s condition.