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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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What are the normal Side effects and duration of hydromorphone

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What are the normal Side effects and duration of hydromorphone in dogs?

My dog received hydromorphone IM injection approximately 8 hours ago and is whiny, hyper-alert and still out of it. Is this typical for 8+ hours, when can I expect him to be back to normal and are there any issues I need to watch for that should cause concern?

Thank you.



Hydromorphone usually is effective for 6 to 8 hours with its pain relief. For some, if they are very sensitive to it or a very large dose was used, it could provide relief for a little longer period of time. More than likely as his body clears the drug, he'll get back to his normal self. Could he be whiny because what ever was initially causing pain is still present? Why was the hydromorphone given?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dr. Bruce,

He was given the drug as a sedative for a series of (non-invasive) procedures because he is a total butthead with the vet, so not pain related. And it's actually been more like 10 hours (my math is not as good at this time of morning). Is it possible the dose required for sedation is higher than what would be used for pain? Is this normal for side effects or would you say he is sensitive to this drug neurologically or in some other fashion? Not sure if this is normal or I should be concerned.....
I wouldn't be that concerned at this time with what you're seeing. What was the non-invasive procedures being done? Did they give anything else along with the hydromorphone? Don't worry, he most likely isn't the most challenging patient to ever be seen by your vet!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ultrasound of his abdomen, x-rays, bloodwork.....they said he was still struggling with them a bit but was manageable. He has some odd reactions to sedation (ace makes him frantic and aggressive). He's a little unpredictable that way. He's trying to rest but seems really alert and druggy with the slightest sound.

I don't know....he has quite a reputation but I've been told he's not the worst ever but pretty bad. I apologize in advance for his horrible behavior. I wish he didn't need to be drugged up but that's the only way he can be handled by doctors....
He can't be the worst one for them. Trust me on that! I would be pretty comfortable saying that he needs a little more time for the sedation to wear off. Curious, what was the reason for all this work up?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
3 month recheck following removal of (3 cm) TCC far he's just been on Piroxicam following surgery/ small bright spot the doc believes is a suture reaction but other than that no sign of spread that he could frustrating TCC, because I've given them bottled water for years, don't spray a thing on my lawn ever, try so hard to watch what they ingest, but still.....I discontinued a tacrolimus drop he had started prior to his diagnosis, the coincidence seemed odd enough to me....could be completely wrong on that but not worth the chance since no one can say how he likely got it....hard to point finger (so many bad things in dog food etc.) just SO frustrating when you try so hard.....
It is very frustrating when bad things happen for no good reason. Glad to hear that the TCC has responded so well to the surgery and the piroxicam at this time! I hope he continues to do well. As far as what you're seeing, he most likely again just needs to sleep it off and he'll be himself in the morning. It is tough to see them "not with it". But, as long as he's in a quiet, restful place where he can't hurt himself - he should do well! He's beating the TCC, he can get over this way easier!
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