The Veterinary Applications of Buprenorphine

by | May 31, 2012 | Animal Health

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Buprenorphine is a drug manufactured for use both by humans and for domesticated pets as a painkiller. Buprenorphine is used for animals of all types, due to the safety of the chemical formula and the extended trials it has undergone during its development. It may be prescribed by a veterinarian when a dog or cat is suffering from a particularly painful disease or injury, such as genetic conditions, tissue necrosis, and serious wounds or fractures.

Pain Is Difficult To Diagnose
With external injuries, you can immediately tell when buprenorphine will be needed, but animals do not show internal pain: They will instinctively hide any injury that they have, or will be easily distracted during diagnosis so as not to display the symptoms that may be observed while at home. It is important to have a pet receive a full set of diagnostic tests if there is any pain suspected, as the symptoms it displays in a more comfortable environment could be related to a more deeply rooted problem in the health of a pet. Buprenorphine will be prescribed for pain management of these conditions.

Increasing Treatment Options and Rehabilitation
Buprenorphine is not a permanent solution for pain, but it is one way to make the job of healing and rehabilitating pets easier. Just as with humans, pain can be an obstacle for the process of recovery. A pet that experiences a great amount of pain while trying to regain the use of certain muscles may not develop the strength needed to make a full recovery. Buprenorphine may be prescribed in these cases to facilitate a faster recovery.

Care and Prescription Required
As with all prescription painkillers, you should never give a pet buprenorphine unless it has been prescribed by a veterinarian, and even then only in the doses that are recommended. As with many drugs, different animals and breeds therein experience different reactions and sensitivities to all drugs. Opioids are a particular class of drug where sensitivity can have a wide variance, which is the category under which buprenorphine is classified.

Watch for Reactions
It is important that the animal be monitored during a buprenorphine regimen as well for any signs of an allergic reaction, as an opiod allergy can be fatal in some cases. Speak with a veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about the use of buprenorphine, as well as a list of warning signs for allergies.

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