Arthritis and Tramadol

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Sandra b
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Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:24 pm

Does anyone have any experience with tramadol? My 17 year old cat has been pulling his fur out and vet thinks it’s due to pain from arthritis. He was put on tramadol today and within half hour he was sick and has been ‘spaced out’ since. He won’t eat or sleep, is walking around unsettled and uneasy. I’m obviously not continuing with them but due to his kidney issue he can’t get metacam long term. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by booktigger » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:31 am

It isn't a drug I would use for cats. My cat also cant have metacam due to kidney issues, before the lockdown she was having acupuncture, but as that isn't an option, we started gabapentin this week, my neighbours cat has been on it over a month with good results.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Ruth B » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:52 am

I can also back up the use of acupuncture for arthritis in cats and would suggest you look into it when the lockdown is over. My parents had a cat that wouldn't take the Metacam in food and rather than have to force it into her each day they asked the vet for alternatives and acupuncture was suggested. The vet warned them that it seemed to work for about a third of cats, another third had no problem having it but didn't seem to again any benefit and the final third objected to having the acupuncture needles put in, they were lucky and their cat responded very well to it, but had to have a session every week to stop her limping.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:42 am

Thanks for your replies... Just spoke to my vet and she thinks gabapentin will have much the same effect on him as the tramadol as he is obviously sensitive to opioid based meds. He behaved in a similar way after anaesthetic last year. We are using a steroid cream on the area he’s pulling the fur out and will have a think about pain meds for his arthritis. I mentioned acupuncture but we feel it’s not a good option for Murphy as we would need to travel a 1 hour round trip so we feel the stress of the journey and treatment would outweigh the potential benefits. Even though he’s 17 he is still quite active, he goes out a wander in the garden and still plays with his toys. He isn’t limping or exceptionally stiff but he will be in some discomfort at his age. It’s very difficult to know what to do for the best as we know they are very good at hiding pain.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by booktigger » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:06 am

Gabapentin is an anti epilepsy drug that they discovered is good for neuropathic pain, not a painkiller. Other options would be a glucosamine supplement, I find seraquin very palatable and you can buy it online

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by fjm » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:44 am

Pippin loves seraquin, and it does seem to help the arthritis.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:12 pm

He’s been on a glucosamine supplement for years...cosequin until it was discontinued and now vet pro for joints and mobility. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do for the best.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Mollycat » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:56 pm

No experience here in cats but for myself I took Devils Claw for years for back pain and no longer needed Cocodamol. It's used a lot in horses and also dogs, I'm not sure if it's cat-safe, but it's specifically helpful for arthritic type pain. It's not like traditional painkillers in that you can't pop one for a headache, it takes around a week to build up to become effective.

There is also something called You-move which some of the dog owners I know swear by for arthritic dogs, again you'd have to check if there is a cat version or if it's cat safe.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Kay » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:26 pm

I was prescribed Tramadol for a cat with a terminal cancer, and he turned into a complete zombie, so I stopped it very quickly

I'm not sure why at 17 Metacam has been ruled out - being pain free would IMO cancel out any shortening of his life from kidney disease

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:48 am

Metacm hasn’t been ruled out, it is an option but not the best for kidneys. I’m just not sure if he really needs it at the moment.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by fjm » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:30 pm

I believe that, while long term metacam can cause CKD, when the disease is already present metacam can actually improve kidney function, due to its anti-inflammatory effect. It may be something worth discussing with your vet. Pippin's arthritis is so severe that he simply could not manage without it - gabapentin did not help. Seraquin does seem to make a small difference, and he loves the tablets; he liked the YuMove tablets but they changed the feline formulation to powder only and he hates it. I was trying to find a joint supplement all the animals liked and could take, but eventually gave up!

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by booktigger » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:42 pm

It's a judgement call. I had a 19 year old who started with kidney disease after being put on metacam, but without it she wouldn't eat, so we kept her on it and she had just over a year, her kidney function improved just changing her dry food (she barely ate wet) and it was her arthritis that forced the decision. At 17, quality is better than quantity, but its hard choosing a medication you know may shorten their life

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:03 pm

Thanks for all the replies and advice. I’ve still not decided on a course to take. He is pulling more fur out all down the left side of his back and I’m not sure if it’s pain related or stress. Anyone have any experience of this? I have tried a few things ie: checked for food intolerances, stress meds etc but to no avail. Thanks.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Jan » Wed May 13, 2020 3:05 pm

It may well be stress related from any pain your cat is experiencing. We had a similar problem with our cat last year. He licked a large patch of fur from his left shoulder, It-t was bloody and looked terrible. A steroid injection given by a locum vet did nothing. When we saw our own vet, she suggested putting a jacket on him so he couldn't scratch. I won't go into the comedy we had with Blackie managing to pull the elasticated neck down to his tum :roll:

Must say Blackie looked very smart in his red jacket and after the trauma of nearly strangling himself he accepted the situation which lasted about 10 days or more as our vet said it had to be kept on for another 5 days after the initial 7. It was about that time that the vet decided to put him on metacam on a permanent basis. She believed he was stressed from being in pain from an arthritic joint in his neck and front left leg. He was put on Gabapentin as well a few months later.

Licking himself to raw I believe was Blackie's way of trying to tell us he was in constant pain.

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Re: Arthritis and Tramadol

Post by Sandra b » Sun May 17, 2020 11:54 am

Murphy had a urine sample showing inflammation and vet thinks it’s related to the stress. He had 5 days of Metacam which made a big difference. He is also on Valerian compound to see it that helps. Has anyone tried it?

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