Galliprant vs. Tramadol

Canine arthritis is a common issue, particularly in older dogs, and managing your dog’s pain effectively is key to ensuring their comfort and overall health. Two medications frequently used in the treatment of canine arthritis are Galliprant (grapiprant) and Tramadol. This article will provide an in-depth comparison between these two drugs, discussing their effectiveness, side effects, and potential interaction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Galliprant?

Galliprant is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) specifically developed for treating osteoarthritis in dogs. Galliprant acts by targeting and inhibiting the prostaglandin E2 (EP4) receptor, which plays a crucial role in producing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Pros of Galliprant

Galliprant is relatively safe compared to other NSAIDs and has fewer gastrointestinal side effects. It can be a particularly good choice for older dogs with compromised kidney or liver function. Galliprant also tends to cause less drowsiness, allowing your dog to maintain its normal activity levels.

Cons of Galliprant

While Galliprant is generally well-tolerated, potential side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. As it’s a relatively new drug, long-term effects are not fully known yet.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid-like analgesic used for managing moderate to severe pain in dogs. Unlike Galliprant, it doesn’t have anti-inflammatory properties, but it works by blocking pain signals in the brain.

Pros of Tramadol

Tramadol is a potent painkiller and can be particularly effective for dogs with severe or chronic pain that NSAIDs alone can’t manage. It can also be used alongside other medications, enhancing its effectiveness.

Cons of Tramadol

The downside of Tramadol is that it can cause sedation, dizziness, or constipation in dogs. Also, some studies have suggested that many dogs lack the specific receptor needed for Tramadol to work effectively.

Galliprant vs. Tramadol: Which is Better?

There isn’t a definitive answer to which drug is better because it largely depends on your dog’s individual health condition and the severity of their pain.

If your dog is suffering from arthritis pain and inflammation, Galliprant might be the more appropriate option, given its targeted mechanism of action and fewer side effects. However, for severe or chronic pain, Tramadol could offer more relief, especially when used in combination with other drugs.

Remember, you should always consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions regarding your dog’s medication.

Can Galliprant and Tramadol be Used Together?

Yes, these drugs can be used together. Combining Galliprant and Tramadol can offer a more comprehensive approach to pain management, tackling both pain and inflammation. However, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for proper dosage and timing to avoid potential drug interactions.


Managing your dog’s pain effectively is crucial for their quality of life. Both Galliprant and Tramadol have their place in canine pain management. While Galliprant can be particularly effective for arthritis-related pain and inflammation, Tramadol can help manage severe or chronic pain. It’s essential to work closely with your vet to determine the best medication strategy for your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Long Does it Take for Galliprant and Tramadol to Work?

Galliprant starts showing its effects within a few hours of administration, with pain relief often observed within a day. On the other hand, Tramadol’s effects can be seen within 1-2 hours after ingestion, and it reaches its peak effect within 1.5-2 hours.

2. Can Galliprant Cause Sleepiness Like Tramadol?

While Tramadol is known to cause drowsiness in some dogs, Galliprant typically doesn’t have this side effect. It’s more likely to keep your dog active and comfortable, though individual responses can vary.

3. Are there Any Long-Term Side Effects of These Medications?

While both drugs are generally safe for long-term use, potential side effects can occur. For Galliprant, these might include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Tramadol, on the other hand, might cause sedation, dizziness, or constipation. Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect any potential issues early.

4. Is it Safe to Give my Dog Galliprant and Tramadol Together?

Yes, Galliprant and Tramadol can be administered together under your veterinarian’s supervision. The combination can be effective for managing both pain and inflammation in dogs. However, it’s crucial to follow your vet’s dosage instructions to prevent potential drug interactions.

5. Can my Dog Develop a Dependency on Tramadol?

Tramadol is a type of opioid, and while it’s not common, some dogs might develop a dependency if it’s used for an extended period. It’s crucial to use this drug under veterinary supervision and follow the prescribed dosage.

6. Can my Dog Overdose on Galliprant or Tramadol?

Yes, like any other medication, an overdose of Galliprant or Tramadol can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Always follow your vet’s dosage instructions and contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested more than the recommended dose.

7. What if my Dog Misses a Dose?

If your dog misses a dose of either Galliprant or Tramadol, give it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never double the dose to make up for a missed one.

8. Can Galliprant or Tramadol Interact with Other Medications?

Yes, both Galliprant and Tramadol can interact with other medications, which could either diminish their effect or lead to adverse effects. Always inform your vet about any other drugs or supplements your dog is currently taking.

9. How Should These Medications be Stored?

Both Galliprant and Tramadol should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and direct light. Keep them out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

10. What Should I Do if my Dog Shows Adverse Reactions?

If your dog shows any unusual symptoms or adverse reactions, such as severe vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or changes in behavior after taking Galliprant or Tramadol, contact your vet immediately. Your vet may need to adjust the dosage or switch to a different medication.

11. Can Galliprant be Given to Puppies?

Galliprant is intended for use in dogs who are 9 months of age or older. Puppies younger than 9 months should not be given this medication as their bodies are still growing and developing. Always consult with your vet to determine the most appropriate treatment for your puppy’s pain and inflammation.

12. Is it Safe to Give Tramadol to Elderly Dogs?

Tramadol can be safely administered to elderly dogs under the supervision of a vet. However, elderly dogs may be more sensitive to the medication and may require lower doses or special monitoring. It’s essential to follow your vet’s instructions closely to ensure your senior dog’s safety.

13. How Should I Give Galliprant or Tramadol to my Dog?

Galliprant can be given orally, with or without food. For Tramadol, the delivery method may vary. Some dogs take it willingly, while others may require you to hide it in a treat or piece of food. Always follow your vet’s instructions for how and when to administer these medications.

14. Can Galliprant or Tramadol be Used for Post-Surgical Pain Management?

Yes, both Galliprant and Tramadol can be used for managing post-operative pain in dogs. However, the decision to use these medications depends on the type of surgery, your dog’s overall health, and your vet’s preference.

15. Is there a Generic Alternative to Galliprant or Tramadol?

While there is no generic version of Galliprant available, Tramadol is a generic medication. The brand name for Tramadol is Ultram. Generic drugs are typically less expensive than their brand-name counterparts but are equally effective.

16. How Often Should my Dog be Monitored While on these Medications?

Your vet may recommend regular check-ups to monitor your dog’s response to these medications and to detect any potential side effects early. The frequency of these visits will depend on your dog’s overall health status and any other medications they may be taking.

17. Are There Any Precautions I Should Take When Handling These Medications?

These medications should be handled with care. Avoid skin contact with Galliprant as it can cause skin irritation in humans. Tramadol, being an opioid, should be kept out of reach of children.

18. Can my Dog’s Diet Affect the Efficacy of these Medications?

Yes, your dog’s diet can affect the absorption and effectiveness of these drugs. Some medications may work better when given with food, while others might be more effective on an empty stomach. Always follow your vet’s advice regarding the administration of these medications.

19. What Should I Do if my Dog Swallows Too Much Medicine?

In case of an overdose, seek immediate veterinary attention. Symptoms of overdose can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, or seizures. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary intervention.

20. How Long Can my Dog Stay on these Medications?

The duration of treatment will depend on the nature and severity of your dog’s condition. Some dogs may require long-term treatment while others might need these medications only for a short period. Your vet will guide you regarding the duration of the treatment.

21. Can Galliprant or Tramadol Interact with Other Medications?

Yes, both Galliprant and Tramadol can interact with other medications. Always inform your vet about any other medications or supplements your dog is taking. For instance, using Galliprant alongside corticosteroids or other NSAIDs may increase the risk of side effects.

22. What if My Dog Misses a Dose?

If your dog misses a dose of either Galliprant or Tramadol, give the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never double up on doses as it can lead to overdose.

23. Can Dogs Develop a Dependence on Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid, and like other opioids, it carries a risk of dependence when used for a long time. However, under a vet’s supervision, the benefits of pain relief usually outweigh the risks.

24. Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects of Galliprant or Tramadol?

Long-term use of any medication can potentially lead to side effects. With Galliprant, these may include changes in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. For Tramadol, possible side effects include constipation, decreased heart rate, and potential dependency. Regular check-ups with your vet can help catch any adverse effects early.

25. Is Human Tramadol the Same as Dog Tramadol?

Yes, Tramadol is the same medication for humans and dogs. However, the dosage and frequency are vastly different. Never give your dog Tramadol prescribed for humans without consulting with a vet.

26. How Quickly Does Galliprant Work?

Galliprant begins working within a few hours of administration, with peak effects usually observed around 24 hours after dosing. However, the relief from pain and inflammation may not be noticeable immediately and can take a few days.

27. Can I Stop Giving My Dog Galliprant or Tramadol Suddenly?

It’s not recommended to stop these medications abruptly, especially Tramadol, as it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Always consult your vet before making changes to your dog’s medication regimen.

28. Can Tramadol Be Given on an Empty Stomach?

Tramadol can be given either with or without food. However, some dogs may experience nausea if given Tramadol on an empty stomach.

29. What Should I Do If My Dog Shows Adverse Reactions to Galliprant or Tramadol?

If your dog shows any signs of adverse reactions like hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, contact your vet immediately.

30. Are Galliprant and Tramadol Safe for All Breeds of Dogs?

Most breeds tolerate these medications well when used as directed. However, certain breeds may have breed-specific sensitivities. Always consult with your vet to determine the safest and most effective treatment options for your dog.

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