Tramadol vs Rimadyl: Covering All Important Details

Tramadol vs Rimadyl

Tramadol and Rimadyl are medicines that are used to relieve moderate to severe acute pain as well as chronic pain. However, if we talk about Tramadol vs Rimadyl then there are many differences between both. Rimadyl is an NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that reduces pain by reducing inflammation on the other hand, Tramadol has a place with a different class of prescriptions called opioid agonists. Opioid agonists work distinctively compared to NSAIDs and decrease pain by restraining the activity of specific neurotransmitters. Rimadyl is only used for dogs but Tramadol is a human painkiller that is also used for Dogs and Cats. There are many more differences between them which we see in the full article.

Tramadol and Rimadyl: Basic Introduction and Working


Tramadol is a human painkiller that is also used to treat dogs as prescribed by Veterinarians. When prescribed by veterinarians, Tramadol can act as a synthetic (man-made) opioid that alters the transmission of pain signals in the brain and spinal cord of dogs and is sometimes also used for cats. This can help change how your dog’s brain perceives pain and offer relief from it.

Additionally, Tramadol can inhibit the reuptake of two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which may create feelings of euphoria and happiness in dogs. In humans, it works directly on opioid receptors in the central nervous system and decreases pain by blocking the way from where nerves signal pain between the brain and the body. This is not FDA-approved for the use of Dogs but it is used off-label. Tramadol is not anti-inflammatory and it will not remove the underline cause of Pain. Never give human-prescribed Tramadol to a dog, doing so can adversely affect their health.


Rimadyl is the brand name for the generic veterinary drug carprofen. It is primarily prescribed as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is a medicine that is used to reduce pain in dogs which is held due to inflammation like osteoarthritis. Vetarianerins also prescribe Rimadyl after surgery to manage surgical pain. This medicine comes in 3 forms for dogs – tablet, injection, and chewable. It is generally used for the long-term management of degenerative joint disease and arthritis.

Rimadyl works through inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 which reduces pain and fever and also works to reduce inflammation. Rymadyl is also used off-label for other species like horses, cows, sheep, birds, and for other small mammals and reptiles but not for cats. Rimadyl dosage will be described according to the weight and Size of Dogs.

How and when are Tramadol and Rimadyl used?

There are many incidents and occasions where the meds can be used either to suppress pain before reaching its peak or to bring it down from the peak. Some of them are:

Uses of Tramadol in different scenarios:

  • For Arthritis: Arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. Tramadol helps to reduce the pain caused due to osteoarthritis and blocks the pain signals that go to the mind.
  • For Cancer: Controlling Cancer Pain has always been a part of the Cancer Treatment plan. In this practitioners assume that any tumor has the potential to cause pain. So they are prepared for the worst-case scenarios and managing pain with Tramodel is always kept as an emergency solution.
  • For Post Operative Pain: Tramadol is very beneficial in Post Operative Pain. As per research, it has been found that a single 100 mg oral dose of tramadol is equivalent to 1000 mg paracetamol. Furthermore, a dose of 100 mg has an NNT (Number Needed to Treat) of 4.6 (3.6-6.4) for at least 50% pain relief over 4-6 hours in patients suffering from moderate to severe pain compared to a placebo.
  • For Lameness: Lameness in dogs is caused because of injuries, arthritis, or because of other issues. Tramadol reduces the pain and discomfort in the legs which helps to reduce lameness and increase mobility in them.
  • For Intervertebral Disk Disease: Interverbal disk disease is a serious disease in dogs that is caused by serious spinal conditions that can lead to pain and weakness. Tramadol is a part of the treatment plan for intervertebral disk disease in dogs.
  • For Surgery: Tramadol is prescribed for use after the surgery to reduce severe pain and help in fast recovery and becomes more beneficial if taken with acetaminophen or NSAIDs.
  • Canine degenerative myelopathy: It is a disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs, causing progressive muscles, weakness, and loss of coordination. Tramadol helps to decrease the discomfort by reducing the pain.

Uses of Rimadyl:

  • For Chronic Pain Management: If your dog is suffering from arthritis, Rimadyl can be a great option for long-term pain management. Rimadyl reduces severe pain by blocking the signals between nerves and the mind and works as a pain killer for your dog.
  • For Inflammation: Rimadyl works to reduce inflammation which causes many diseases in dogs due to this property it also helps to reduce cancer-like dangerous diseases.
  • For Post-Surgery Pain Management: Rimadyl is used to reduce post-surgical pain and it is recommended for rapid recovery. It gives relief from pain and helps to reduce inflammation in dogs. After the surgery dogs usually get a Rimadyl injection, which lasts for about 24 hours. This helps them to cope with the pain.

Does Tramadol and Rimadyl affect our health?

While medicines are designed to cure our health issues, they leave behind some side effects in their wake. It is important to choose the medicine that has higher benefits than side effects. Mostly the side effects of Tramadol and Rimadyl are nothing major and serious but if you feel them escalating, contact your doctor immediately.

Side Effects of Tramadol(on dogs):

Tramadol is safe to use if a prescription of Vetarianerins is taken but if any of the side effects are seen then call your veterinary surgeon immediately.

  • Tremors
  • Seizors
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lethargic
  • Incoordination
  • Breathlessness
  • Slow or fast Heart Rate

Side Effects of Rimadyl:

Rimadyl is mainly made for dogs and it is also safe to use it, but sometimes some serious side effects occur. Here is the list of those side effects. If you see any of the following signs in your dog then contact your veterinarian.

  • Decreased Energy level
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dark Black or tar-like stools
  • Incoordination or weakness
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Pale gum color
  • Seizures
  • Behavior Changes

What Precautions are needed to be taken care of? Tramadol vs Rimadyl?

Precautions while using Tramadol on pets:

  • Do not use it on your pets if they are hypersensitive to opioids.
  • It’s important to avoid using tramadol with medications that can potentially decrease brain or lung function.
  • Do not double the dose of Tramadol as it affects the health of your dog and dizziness, seizures, and throwing-up-type problems may also occur.
  • As this medicine is used off-label do not give it to your dog without the prescription of your vet.
  • Monitor your dog closely after administering tramadol.

Precautions for Rimadyl:

  • Do not give this medicine to your dog without your vet’s prescription.
  • Give Rimadyl to your dog according to his size and weight.
  • If your dog has a bleeding disorder, it’s not recommended to use this medication.
  • Because Rimadyl is a chewable tablet, store it out of reach of your dogs as severe effects will take place if a large quantity of Rimadyl is taken.
  • If the total daily dose of Rimadyl is not sufficient to manage pain, it may be necessary to consider alternative forms of pain relief. It is important to note that using another NSAID is not recommended in this situation.

How to properly utilize Tramadol and Rimadyl for maximum effects?

The proper way of giving Tramadol medication:

Tramadol can be administered orally in the form of a tablet, capsule, or compounded liquid. While it can be taken with or without food, it’s often recommended to give it with food due to its bitter taste. If a dog vomits after taking Tramadol on an empty stomach, future doses should be given with food or a treat. It’s important to measure liquid forms of this medication carefully to ensure the correct dosage.
For pets who suffer from chronic pain, this medication can take up to a few weeks before full effects are noted.

Best and effective way of giving Rimadyl:

Rimadyl can be administered orally as it is in the form of a chewable tablet. The recommended dosage of Rimadyl for dogs is 4.4 mg/kg of weight, which is approximately 2 mg per pound. However, the actual dosage may vary depending on your dog’s condition and other factors. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage for your pet. If your dog has never taken Rimadyl before, your vet may start with a smaller dose and gradually increase it if necessary. This allows them to monitor for any adverse reactions and ensure your pet’s safety.

Final Thoughts:

Tramadol and Rimadyl both are different medicines that are used to reduce severe pain that occurs due to osteoarthritis, or after surgery. But Rimadyl is mainly used to treat Dogs on the other hand Tramadol is an off-label medicine.

Before using the doses be sure to actually discuss the pros and cons with the veterinarian for maximum results.

Also Read:

Xanax For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

What Does Gabapentin Do For Dogs?

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