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Tramadol Questions- Dosage, etc

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have a few questions on Tramadol - Which is apparently used for Cats sometimes (I didn't know this)


My first question is regarding taste.


So we finally found a good medication for Smokie - Tramadol. But since it doesn't actually come in "liquid" form, I had to have it compounded. The vet says they used cream, but it's a very bitter medicine when powdered and mixed in liquid.


My question is, what could I mix it in to make it more palatable for Smokie? I tasted a teeny drop and it is extremely BITTER. Thought about chicken stock or something. - When he had the Clavamox he LOVED it. He also LOVED the Meloxicam suspension.


The second question is on dosage

I take Tramadol myself (grant it, a much higher dose.. and tablet form)


The site I found says Tramadol is based on 1.8 MG per lb per day- Smokie is 15 pounds, so my calculation of his dosage is this-


(w  x 1.8) =  x MG = TOTAL DAILY MAX DOSAGE


(15 x 1.8) = 27 MG so 27 MG is his total daily dosage.


His Prescribed Dosage is: 1 ML PO BID (1 ML by Mouth Twice Daily)


Since it was a specially compounded formula (They had to take the 50 MG tablets and crush them, then mix in liquid creamer- they said it doesn't come in liquid form at all), there are no offical instructions anywhere that I can find. I also know they said there is 10 MG per ML so that would mean they are only prescribing him 20 MG a day which is 7 below the max. I wonder if this is going to be enough to keep him comfortable? I also wonder if it is too high? I have only been giving him 1/2 ML twice a day to be on the safe side, I realize this means he is only getting 10 MG Daily- and I am unsure if it will help him.


Final Question is on side effects

I take Tramadol and it makes me sleepy and nauseus, when I give it to him he chokes a little bit and also drifts in and out of sleep- He seems to not be in much pain, but if he is sleeping and drugged all the time I wonder if I am giving him too much.


Thanks everyone!!

post #2 of 5

1) cats don't taste the same things we do.  I have no idea if they can taste bitter like we can.  It he taking it OK?  If he is, don't worry.  Otherwise a little of the liquid from tuna in water (not brine) might help.


2) dose.  Dose per kilo might be different to cats than humans, and I would hope that the dose you are to give him takes into account the compounding.  Surely the acid test is is his pain controlled?  I think you said it was.  I suspect it's a fine line between too much and not enough.


3) side effects.  They vary in humans - I was on it 4 years ago for post-op pain, and didn't have the side effects you or he had.  I'm sure they vary in cats as well.  Possibly the dose is a little too high for him.  Personally I'd try reducing it very slightly and seeing how both his behaviour and his pain control is.

post #3 of 5

Some info from the Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group page on chronic pain management:






Tramadol is an excellent choice for canine patients inadequately controlled on NSAIDs alone and for those intolerant of NSAIDs. Tramadol and its M1 metabolite, O-desmethyltramadol, exert a multimodal effect involving opioid, adrenergic, and monoamine receptors. As such, tramadol has both peripheral and centrally mediated analgesic benefit. Available in generic form, tramadol is a relatively inexpensive medication free of significant side effects. While tramadol can be a useful analgesic for cats its bitter taste and tendency to cause dysphoria limits its use in that species.


Initial dosing usually starts at 3 to 5 mg/kg TID to QID for dogs. The dose can be increased up to 5 to 10 mg/kg QID for more difficult to manage canine cases. At these higher doses some sedation may be evident and constipation may occur with long-term use. While tramadol can be used at 1 to 2 mg/kg BID for cats, cats are not particularly tolerant of this analgesic.


Tramadol is available in 50 mg tablets. It is compatible with most medications with the exception of the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (in particular, MAO-AIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and some tricyclic antidepressants. Tramadol has been used extensively in combination with the TCA amitriptyline. Under proper supervision and with careful consideration to the dosing of each drug the author has not seem any adverse events over several year in our clinical pain practice.


Tramadol may decrease seizure threshold. It should be used with caution in patients with a history of seizure activity. Tramadol may potentiate the sedative influence of other medications. Excretion is by both the hepatic and renal routes; a dose reduction would be appropriate in patients with impaired renal or hepatic function.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Not sure about the dysphoria- He seems okay... and out of pain.


I just know this is what the vet said to do, so we are going to try it awhile.

post #5 of 5
My cat Cika has been given liquid tramadol. I find keeping it in fridge seems to lessen the bitter taste and she doesn't drool as much afterwards. Cats only have taste buds on the first third of their tongue. They can taste bitter but nit sweet.
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