Hydromorphone For Dogs: Usage, Side Effects, And Dosage.


Accuracy Review & Edit: Nicole Wanner, DVM - September 28th 2021

Table Of Contents


Hydromorphone for dogs is an opioid medication that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.

As a derivative of morphine, it has similar effects but is approximately two to eight times more potent with a shorter duration of action and greater sedation.

As a schedule II narcotic, Hydromorphone is only available with a prescription from a veterinarian.


Hydromorphone for dogs has several different uses in veterinary medicine, including as a sedative, an analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain, and preoperatively to reduce the pain sensation of surgery.3 Another drug veterinarians prescribe for pain is tramadol for dogs.

It may also be used, off-label, for suppressing the cough reflex within the brain.4


Hydromorphone may be administered orally or by intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), or subcutaneous (SC) injection. When administered by injection, the typical dosage for dogs is 0.10 to 0.20 mg/kg (0.05 to 0.10 mg/lb).

When taken as an oral tablet, it is available in either the immediate or extended-release variety.

The extended-release form of the tablet should not be crushed, chewed, or dissolved as it will lead to a quick release of the full dosage, which could potentially cause an overdose.4


As a powerful opiate drug, some animal patients may experience certain side effects. Side effects in dogs are generally dose and route of administration dependent.

Common side effects associated with Hydromorphone are:

Additional side effects witnessed in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Defecation
  • Panting
  • CNS,respiratory, and cardiac depression.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories – Motrin, Advil, Excedrin, and Aleve
  • Acetaminophen – Tylenol, Panadol
  • Non-Opioid Prescription Drugs - ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bayer), and steroids
  • Localized numbing of problem areas – injection of anesthetic
  • Non-Drug Treatments – ice, massage, heat pads, and acupuncture
  • CBD - The Cornell University Arthritis Study found that activity scores showed a significant decrease in pain and increased activity at both week two and week 4 of CBD treatment compared to week 0 and the placebo group. CBD has the potential to give your suffering dog a better life.
References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov


  • CBD for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

    Hip dysplasia can severely hinder a dog's ability to function normally, so it’s only natural you’ll want to find a way to make them feel better. So, can CBD help dogs with hip dysplasia?

    Read Now 
  • Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Neurological Disorders

    You might know that CBD has been studied for neurological disorders in humans. But does CBD oil work for dog neurological disorders? If it does, how do you find the highest quality, best formulated, safest oil for your dog?

    Read Now 
  • CBD For Dogs Anxiety

    This blog puts forward a fair assessment of CBD for dog anxiety, the effectiveness, the safety, the proper dosage, and helps you avoid the pitfalls and find the best CBD oil for dog anxiety.

    Read Now 
  • CBD for IVDD in Dogs – Does It Work?

    Intervertebral Disc Disease is a condition where the spinal discs between the vertebrae of the spine degenerate. Learn more about this condition and what CBD oil can do for your dog!

    Read Now 
  • Hyaluronic Acid for Dogs

    This blog considers Hyaluronic Acid, what it is, how it works, administration, dosages, side effects, safety, and where to buy Hyaluronic Acid for dogs.

    Read Now 
  • Natural Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs

    Arthritis can occur at any point in a dog's life. About 1 in 5 of all adult dogs have arthritis, and 65% of dogs older than seven years of age will suffer from arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

    So what can we do? First, we need to understand this common disease before we can explore natural remedies for arthritis in dogs.

    Read Now 
  • CBD for Aggressive Dogs

    Why do dogs get aggressive, and is there anything we can do to quell their emotions during these tumultuous times?

    This blog gets the leash around the causes of aggression, and helps you find the best CBD product for an aggressive dog.

    Read Now 
  • CBD for Dogs with Cancer

    This article explores CBD oil for dog cancer, its relationship to post-cancer treatments, and looks at some potential natural ways to help.

    Read Now 
biscuits story

Biscuit's Story

Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet

To say Biscuit lived an active life would be an understatement. Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and to dog parks.​​

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the dog park. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met.

Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping...

Read Her Story

Best Selling Dog Products