The war on opioid medication has reached veterinary practices - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Mindhunt on 21 January 2019 - 23:01

So my veterinary practice here in Florida just informed me they can no longer prescribe tramadol for my two senior dog's pain management.  They have been successfully treated with tramadol (for the past 5 years starting at 50mg every 8 hours and slowly working up to current dosage), amantadine, and until recently, gabapentin (developed parkinsons like symptoms) and were mobile and playing, engaged in what was going on around them, good appetite, wanting to go for walks, etc.  Yes they both take 4-5 tablets every 6 hours (50mg tablets), so 18 tablets a day along with CBD oil, joint health, vitamin C, vitamin E, Omega 3, Saw Palmetto, probiotic, prebiotic, Trazadone at night, acupuncature (payday), massage, chiropractic, and home made organic bone broth.  Apparently they can only prescribe tramadol for acute or post surgical pain and gabapentin is now monitored more closely as it has the potential for abuse.  They have tried every NSAID/anit-inflammatant they can, Meloxicam makes them sick, Rimadyl will cause belly pain and they won't eat, most of the anti inflammants cause belly pain and nausea, some cases diarrhea after the first dose for a couple versions, others after being on it for a few days, so they are not an option, even with reglan or Cerenia.  My practice informed me they are unfortunately euthanizing a number of elderly and disabled pets because of the new opioid laws.  This is ridiculous in my mind.  I now have to contemplate euthanizing my dogs because of the new opioid laws.  My vets said they are not able to treat pain as they used to and some across the state are moving out or retiring if they are close to being able to retire.  Anyone else facing similar issues with pain management in their dogs?  Thank you for letting me vent, I am in tears.

by GSCat on 22 January 2019 - 02:01

Hugs and prayers.

Are you close enough to the border to go to a neighboring state?

Maybe it's time to contact elected and appointed officials, and if that doesn't work, maybe the press can help?


by Koots on 22 January 2019 - 02:01

Or take your dog to Canada for treatment/prescriptions?


by Mindhunt on 22 January 2019 - 20:01

Unfortunately, professionals in the trenches (coroners, surgeons, pain management physicians, veterinarians, etc) tried reasoning with Pam Bondi and Rick Scott regarding their Draconian approach to opioids.  The approach was based on flawed research that even the CDC backed away from stating it caused them to over estimate the deaths from opioids by 53%.  Illegal opioids such as fentanyl from Mexico, hash, opium, cocaine, heroin, and other illegal opioid drugs were included in the study of how many died from prescription opioids which is so flawed as to be criminal.  Then the confidence level (which is supposed to be 95% to be considered the gold standard of science) was dropped to 80% (the difference between .05 error and .20 error which is a rather large difference).  So now veterinarians are being asked to follow human prescribing for opioid pain medication which is 3 or 7 days for acute or post surgical pain and no more.  Also the max amount is eight 50mg tablets in a 24 hour period.  My vets are telling me that more of their elderly and chronic pain patients are being euthanized because they are only able to take tramadol and another pain medication (gabapentin or an anti-inflammatant) or hydrocodone.  Many elderly dogs develop problems with GI tract and the NSAIDs.  It is a sad situation. 

by ali44 on 02 February 2019 - 13:02

I can't believe that in 2019 USA there is a law forbidding human doctors and vets to prescribe tramadol and other opioids for pain in long term diseases such as generalized arthritis in elderly patients. Opioids are the only comfort that these patients have.
I understand that for animals that have chronical pains they propose euthanasia, but what do they propose for your grand mothers and grand fathers?
This is the kind of law that Hitler and his doctors would give in their concentration camps!

by astrovan2487 on 02 February 2019 - 16:02

Does not surprise me the US is making more nanny laws to protect people from themselves. This law won't stop a single addict from getting drugs, if they are desperate enough they can get what they want.
I'm sure there are cases of people abusing medication prescribed by a veterinarian but is it really worth punishing everyone else and their pets for it? Those people will find the drugs they want other ways. Meanwhile the law abiding people and their pets that have pain issues will be the ones that suffer.
Is this only a Florida law or have similar laws been passed elsewhere?


by Hundmutter on 02 February 2019 - 17:02

Max. amount for opioids for my arthritis has been that "8 x 50mg tablets in 24 hours" for as long as I can recall.

I know I'm not in the States, but I've never had my pills prescribed in such fiddling amounts that it would have been noticed if I had occasionally exceeded that amount; and in extremis I have done. But would prefer to believe that normally its a good deal safer NOT to exceed the dosage anyway. By exceeding the dose, I mean using extra pills for me, of course, not selling them off as 'recreational drugs' to other people !


Turning to whether protocols ought to apply for canines same as humans, I don't actually see anything wrong with that, as long as both people and animals can still obtain the same drugs that suit their needs. Making one or another sort absolutely unobtainable on the grounds that they can be addictive, and thus assuming that people who are addicted to them will be sold them (by others who are not) seems a strange and inadequate precaution when these things are available all over the Internet these days !


by Koots on 02 February 2019 - 17:02

I can't believe that in 2019 USA there is a law forbidding human doctors and vets to prescribe tramadol and other opioids for pain in long term diseases such as generalized arthritis in elderly patients. Opioids are the only comfort that these patients have.
I understand that for animals that have chronical pains they propose euthanasia, but what do they propose for your grand mothers and grand fathers?

And it's hard to believe that in 2019, cannabis is still illegal federally.    Some states have been forward-thinking enough to legalize it for recreation, some have legalized it for medical purposes, yet it is still illegal federally.   

In Canada, medical cannabis has been legal for years, and patients with a prescription can order it on-line from a federally-approved provider, and have it mailed to their home.    Now that cannabis is legal for recreational purposes federally, there has been a lot of interest from people with medical issues that would not have explored the option of using it before - the elderly, people with arthritis, etc. are going into 'the pot shop' to see if marijuana can help give them some relief.

I hope that people in the USA can help their law-makers become enlightened and change the backward-thinking draconian laws so that those with severe life-affecting pain and illnesses can get the relief they deserve.    This will enable the people with pets that are affected to give their much-loved companions relief as well.


by Mindhunt on 04 February 2019 - 16:02

It has really gotten ridiculous in the states regarding opioids.  Time and again coroners have be emphatic that prescription opioids are not the culprits.  It is the illegal fentanyl, heroin, cocaine that kills.  Addiction specialists agree it is not the prescription medication that is the problem with addicts, it is the illegal opioids.  Also addiction is usually rooted in trauma whether big "T" or little "t" trauma.  I work with trauma specifically and much of the addiction is lessened when the client addresses the trauma.  It takes lots of work from a holistic and integrative approach, and manualized therapy (actually step by step in a manual) does not work long term.  The chicken little knee jerk reaction and band aid approach never does anyone any good.


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