My 12 year old Black Lab lives with severe arthritis in his front legs, he limps and is obviously lame. He has that unbreakable Lab spirit and God love him for it. As he ages, he has required more meds to maintain comfort and a decent quality of life. Now that his pain meds include 300mg of Tramadol in (3) 100mg doses, t.i.d., it seems like we are constantly medicating the poor guy. I am aware of the Extended Release versions of Tramadol which would greatly simplify the regimen, provide a consistent level of pain mngt and reduce highs and lows. I cannot see a negative, but my vet did not even know of an ER Tramadol, neither did two of her partner vets. Why? Its not a secret.

The pills are very small and easy to administer so as to avoid chewing/crushing, which would release all the active med at one time. Such would not kill the dog, they may feel really good and require watching for resp depression during the peak plasma level which is a short 2-4hrs, but all is reversible with Narcan if need be. Short of this possibility, why would any vet be against what seems to be a good case for Tramadol ER use? My question is simple, what is the GI travel time for the average canine after ingesting food, meds, any solid? Will an ER medication be evacuated before the delayed benefits can are realized? Any logical assistance is greatly appreciated.