Buprenorphine as A Pain Reliever for Cats – Is It Safe?


Just like in humans, cats experience pain post-surgery and post-injury. Buprenorphine (Buprenex) is a powerful painkiller administered to cats under the prescription of veterinarians. A specific group of pain medications like buprenex, morphine, codeine and heroin belong to the opioid family and none of us these should be used without a doctor’s prescription.

How do opioids work?

Opioids don’t treat the actual source of pain. They work by blocking the brain’s pain receptors that sends message regarding the pain/injury. These pain receptors are generally useful since they make animals aware about the injury. The pain sensations felt are no longer helpful post-surgery as it delays the recovery process. Buprenex blocks the pain receptors of cats.

Buprenex and cats:

Cats have low tolerance for opioid medications but buprenex is an exception. Veterinarians recommend buprenex for cats for short-term pain relief and in few cases long-term pain relief (less common). If your veterinarian has prescribed buprenx for your pet, you can purchase them from Relievet.

Their products are organically cultivated lab-tested and totally safe for animals. They are a top choice of many pet owners in San Diego. Contact their team if you want more information about their products. Buprenex is highly beneficial in providing short-term pain relief.

Administering buprenex and dosage:

Your veterinarian takes into a number of factors before prescribing the dosage. The dosage differs based on:

  • The reason the painkiller was suggested – Was it because of chronic pain induced by other conditions like cancer or was it suggested to provide relief from post-surgery pain?
  • Weight of the cat
  • General health

The usual dosage is 10 to 20 micrograms per kg of the cat’s body weight which can be administered in the form of an injection or orally. Injections react faster but when you are tending to your cat at home, you can administer it in the form of tablets.

Side effects of buprenex on cats:

Just like every pain killer medication, buprenex isn’t without side effects. The common side effects are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dependency (only in few cases)

Continue the medication until the duration prescribed even if you notice side effects. The side effects are generally mild and if you discontinue administering the medicine all of a sudden, could be dangerous.

Exercise caution:

Pay attention to the exact dosage prescribed. Though the chances of overdose are slim, an overdose can lead to ‘respiratory depression’ resulting in shallow breathing and in extreme cases even causes breathing to stop.

Do not use any other medication in combination with buprex without the prescription of a vet since it could lead to liver problems. If your cat is feeling kittens, bring it to the attention of the vet since the drug could pass on to the kittens.

This powerful medication is to be used only if the cat is in extreme pain, distress or anxiety after a procedure when other usually recommended pain killers don’t provide relief.  Use buprenex only under veterinarian guidance since cats tend to react in different ways to opioids. Only a vet can determine if your cat requires buprenex.

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