Morphine is an opiate pain reliever that can be used in dogs to treat moderate to severe pain. It works by changing the way your dog's brain and nervous system respond to pain, allowing them to feel less pain. Morphine can be injected, orally administered or given through an IV. Morphine has a high addiction potential and must be used carefully by medical professionals in order to control pain without the adverse effects of dependence and overdose.
Overdose of morphine can be fatal and must be treated immediately. When administered, the opiate binds to opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system, preventing them from reacting to pain stimuli. This causes a decrease in breathing, blood pressure and heart rate, as well as feelings of euphoria and sedation. The opiate may also cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, a dog may experience seizures or become unable to breathe on its own and require mechanical ventilation.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, take her to the veterinarian right away. Once your dog is stable, the veterinarian will continue to monitor her health and administer treatment as needed.
Morphine can be habit-forming, especially when used for a long time or in larger doses than prescribed. To prevent overdose, follow all instructions from your doctor and pharmacist. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to morphine, or any other medicines, foods, or drinks. Also tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol, or if anyone in your family has ever abused prescription or nonprescription medications, or has a history of depression or other mental illness. Also let your doctor know if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or other medications that affect blood pressure, heart rate, or nerve function.