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March 27, 2024

Episode 123 – How Do Tramadol and Gabapentinoids Transform Veterinary Pain Management?

Dive into the realm of advanced pain management with Dr. Mark Epstein, as he unveils the latest on Tramadol, Gabapentinoids, and more in our dedicated pain management series.

Quick Summary: This episode, part of a five-episode series from a comprehensive workshop held in late 2023, focuses on Tramadol, Gabapentinoids, and their roles in veterinary pain management. Dr. Mark Epstein, a renowned expert, discusses the effectiveness, applications, and considerations of these medications in dogs and cats, offering practitioners insights to enhance patient care.

Speaker: Dr. Mark Epstein, DVM, DABVP, CVPP, a leading authority in veterinary pain management, shares his expertise. Dr. Epstein is the medical director at Total Bond Veterinary Hospitals, North Carolina, and a celebrated figure in the field, having led significant pain management guideline programs.

Main Talking Points:

  • Tramadol’s Efficacy: Exploration of Tramadol’s varying effectiveness in dogs versus cats, highlighting its limitations and potential uses.
  • Gabapentinoids: Discussion on Gabapentin and Pregabalin’s roles in treating neuropathic pain, with specific dosing insights for both species.
  • Emerging Therapies: Introduction to promising medications like Amantadine and Acetaminophen, outlining their contributions to multi-modal pain management strategies.

Interesting Quotes:

  • “The conversations about Tramadol… pretty much settled by now that the oral form of it in dogs is simply no strong evidence that it’s effective.” – Dr. Epstein
  • “When it comes to dogs… we need more evidence to show it. So this is like going to be a therapeutic in progress of its study.” – Dr. Epstein on Tapentadol
  • “We can say with some confidence that [Gabapentinoids] can have a benefit when there’s a neuropathic component to pain.” – Dr. Epstein


  • 0:00 – Introduction 
  • 2:05 – Tramadol’s efficacy and limitations
  • 5:40 – Gabapentinoids in pain management
  • 10:25 – Insights into Amantadine and Acetaminophen
  • 11:00 – Final thoughts
  • Visit to learn more about the Veterinary Dental Practitioner Program.
  • Tune in next week for more insights into veterinary dentistry and pain management.

This episode provides a deep dive into the complexities of using Tramadol and Gabapentinoids for managing pain in veterinary patients, guided by Dr. Mark Epstein’s rich experience and research. By dissecting the latest findings and practical considerations, veterinarians and technicians can glean valuable strategies for optimizing pain management in their practice.

Affiliate & Sponsor Links: This series is brought to you by the International Veterinary Dentistry Institute (, offering comprehensive training to elevate your veterinary dentistry skills.