The use of tramadol in a Labrador retriever presenting with self-mutilation of the tail

Zulch, Helen E., Mills, Daniel S., Lambert, Ruth and Kirberger, Robert M. (2012) The use of tramadol in a Labrador retriever presenting with self-mutilation of the tail. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 7 (4). pp. 252-258. ISSN 1558-7878

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A 30-month-old Labrador retriever bitch with a history of atopy was presented for acute-onset tail biting that was leading to self-mutilation. The problem began 8 months before consultation and was resolved after 2 months, but it recurred 3 months later and continued for 3 months until the time of consultation. The current episode was difficult to interrupt and was being controlled through the use of an Elizabethan collar. There had been no history of injury to the tail. On examination of the tail, an irregularity was palpated approximately midway on the dorsal surface. Radiographs of the tail showed soft-tissue swelling cranially and presence of an ossicle between the mid-caudal vertebrae. Mutilation stopped with administration of tramadol and paracetamol and started again when the medication was discontinued. No behavior modification was implemented. Although there is a possibility that the tramadol was treating a psychogenically driven self-mutilation behavior, it is more likely that pain was the initiating cause for the behavior. This case report highlights the importance of careful medical evaluation of suspected behavioral problems and discusses the possible use of tramadol in self-mutilation. 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords:Canis familiaris
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:9028
Deposited On:23 Apr 2013 15:56

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