Rimadyl – Risks, Side Effects & Alternatives Every Dog Lover Should Know About
Rimadyl has gained a lot of attention over the last few years as more veterinarians have prescribed it for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint problems. However, there are serious risks with using Rimadyl, due to the severe (and sometimes fatal) side effects it can have on dogs who are prescribed the drug.
Since 1997, when pharmaceutical giant Pfizer introduced Rimadyl, there have been more than 1,000 reported cases of dogs who have died or had to be euthanized after taking the drug. 7,000 other dogs were reported to have experienced dangerous adverse reactions to Rimadyl. Because of this, it’s important for all dog owners to understand more about this drug and compare it to natural alternatives before selecting a treatment for your pup.
Rimadyl – What is it?
Rimadyl is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) manufactured by Pfizer for the treatment of dogs suffering from pain and inflammation from arthritis, hip dysplasia or other joint problems. It is also sometimes used to manage pain after surgery. The generic version of Rimadyl is called Carprofen, which is sometimes also
marketed as Imadyl and Imafen.
Rimadyl is designed to provide pain relief within a 24-hour period. It is administered in one of three ways: chewable tablet, caplet, or injection. Currently, Rimadyl is only available as a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. The recommended dosage depends on the weight of the dog, though tablets come in doses of 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg.
Side Effects of Rimadyl
Rimadyl can cause severe, sometimes fatal damage to a dog’s digestive tract, liver and kidneys. As such, a wide variety of side effects and symptoms are associated with the drug. While some Rimadyl side effects are less common than others, owners must monitor their dogs closely for potentially dangerous symptoms that include:
- Noticeable decrease in appetite or change in eating behavior
- Diarrhea or other irregular bowl movements, including black, tarry stools
- Vomiting (sometimes containing blood)
- Partial paralysis
- An increase in aggression or unusually hyperactive behavior
- Weakened muscles or unusually lethargic behavior
Rimadyl has been found to be the cause of death for thousands of dogs who were prescribed the drug. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms while taking Rimadyl, contact your veterinarian right away. The sudden onset of symptoms can be the sign of a much more serious problem.
Symptoms of Rimadyl Overdose
Administering too much Rimadyl, or a dog’s accidental consumption of too many tablets, can be fatal. If you notice any of these symptoms from a dog taking Rimadyl, it could be the sign of an overdose, and you should contact your vet immediately:
- Difficulty urinating
Rimadyl should never be kept in a location where your dog can gain access to it. It is recommended to keep Rimadyl in a secure location, out of reach from dogs and children.
Dogs Who Should Not Take Rimadyl Under Any Circumstances
Because of Rimadyl’s potentially adverse effects on the liver and kidneys, there are several circumstances in which Rimadyl should NOT be administered whatsoever, including:
- Dogs who already receive other NSAIDs or aspirin
- Dogs who already take steroids or corticosteroids including prednisolone, prednisone, or dexamethasone
- Dogs with kidney disease
- Dogs with liver disease
- Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease
Note that veterinarians should pre-screen dogs for all of these conditions before prescribing Rimadyl. In addition, if your dog is taking Rimadyl regularly, its liver and kidney enzymes must be checked periodically.
Safe Alternatives to Rimadyl
Due to the dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects of Rimadyl, dog owners are recommended to use safer alternatives, such as Winston’s Joint System. Winston’s Joint System is one of several all-natural formulas on the market, and it was developed by a naturopathic doctor for his own dog several years before Rimadyl was released.
Over 20 years of evidence has shown the Winston formula to be extremely effective at relieving joint pain and stiffness for all ages and breeds suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia or other conditions.
Benefits of these all-natural formulas:
- Safe alternative to Rimadyl
- Pain free
- Surgery free
- All natural – no toxic or harmful ingredients
- No side effects
- No dosage problems
- Made with raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue
- Natural anti-inflammatory compound, long used to relieve the pain of arthritis
Winston’s Joint System is a safer alternative to Rimadyl that provides the most powerful natural pain relief on the market for dogs with: hip dysplasia, arthritis, osteochondritis (OCD), stiffness/inflammation, ligament tears, growing pains, mobility problems, joint pain, back & spinal problems and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD).
To compare Rimadyl to alternatives like Winston’s Joint System, get more information here, and talk to your veterinarian to find the safest, most effective treatment for your dog.
History of Rimadyl
First introduced in 1997, Rimadyl has been one of Pfizer’s biggest money-makers in its sale of drugs for pets. However, Rimadyl’s history has been tainted by several serious problems; namely:
- The lack of adequate warnings about the potentially serious and deadly side effects of Rimadyl
- The unacceptable number of veterinarians who are unaware of Rimadyl’s serious side effects
- The severity and sometimes sudden onset of the side effects which can result in the death of the dog being given Rimadyl
Pfizer initially marketed Rimadyl very aggressively with several magazine ads and a PR blitz that resulted in more than 1,700 printed news stories, 800 radio reports and over 200 TV news reports about the drug.
However, as more reports have surfaced about dogs who died or experienced dangerous side effects from taking Rimadyl, the FDA began receiving numerous complaints. While the FDA has not yet banned Rimadyl from the marketplace, they ordered Pfizer to add “death” as a potential side effect in their marketing and labels. Pfizer complained that this would hurt sales of Rimadyl significantly, so they stopped running all their television ads for the drug.
To date, more than 1,000 reports of canine death due to Rimadyl have been reported to the FDA, as well as 7,000 dogs who experienced adverse symptoms from the drug. A consumer group named B.A.R.K.S. (”Be Aware of Rimadyl’s Known Side-effects) has campaigned against Pfizer and was created to educate more dog-owners about the risks of Rimadyl before they have it prescribed for their pets.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rimadyl
1. How do I know if Rimadyl is safe for my dog?
Start by conducting your own research about Rimadyl and natural alternatives like Winston’s Joint System. Talk to your vet about all options to make sure you select the best treatment for your dog.
3. Are there alternatives to Rimadyl?2. My dog hasn’t been eating well after taking Rimadyl. What should I do?
Call your veterinarian immediately. A loss of appetite is a common side effect of Rimadyl and could be a sign of a serious problem.
Yes. Some alternatives to Rimadyl include glucosamine and chondroitin. However, these supplements do not work for all dogs. For a safer alternative to Rimadyl that provides the most effective pain relief, you may want to consider Winston’s Joint System.
4. How do I know if my dog has joint issues or other problems?
Typical symptoms include moving more slowly, difficulty getting up, personality change, shifting weight to another leg, reluctance to walk, jump or play, refusing to use the stairs, limping or yelping when touched.
5. Where can I get more information?
For more information on natural alternatives to Rimadyl, click here. Speak to your vet about how to get more information on the risks and side effects of Rimadyl.
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