Pain Management

  • There are many ways we can change our dog's home environment to help them more easily move around and avoid injuries. This handout reviews some key points to improve your dog's comfort at home and on car trips.

  • Controlled, regular physical exercise is one of the core treatments of canine osteoarthritis, along with weight control, physical rehabilitation, and pain management. Exercise increases circulation to the muscles and joints, decreases stiffness in the joint capsule and soft tissues, reduces pain, maintains strength, and benefits the cardiovascular system. Left untreated, the chronic pain of arthritis causes a continually worsening cycle of less movement, weight gain, muscle loss, decreased strength, and loss of cardiovascular fitness.

  • Tramadol is a synthetic opioid given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or compounded liquid, and is used off label to treat pain. Common side effects include sedation, gastrointestinal upset, or agitation. It should not be used in pets that are hypersensitive to opioids, and should be used cautiously in geriatric, sick, or pets with seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.