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Anyone giving their dog Rimadyl for pain?

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by Dukesdad, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. Dukesdad

    Dukesdad New Member

    Just read in USA Today the other day about dogs dying from reactions to Rimadyl. Today another letter in the paper from a person who lost their dog. It appears to be fatal in some cases by constant dosing over a few weeks. Does anyone have more info or experience with this drug? I believe it's used to treat arthritis.
  2. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    It's a HUGE debate. Some people say it helps their dog wonderfully. Others have had dogs die from it. I would never give it, unless there was no other choice and the dog was really suffering. Then I MIGHT try it and watch very, very closely for danger signs. But I would try everything else I could think of first.

    They actually gave me this medication when Nala hurt her foot when she was a puppy. At the time, I didn't know what it was. They said it was an anti-inflammatory, like Advil for dogs. I only gave her one dose on the first night, to take away the inflammation and let her sleep, but after that she didn't need any. Months later, after I had become better educated about dogs, I found the bottle and saw it was Rimadyl. I was STEAMED that they gave me such a controversial and dangerous drug to give to a puppy with a minor injury!!
  3. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Personally I think the drug is safer than most of the other options available, ....when its used correctly and the history of the dog is known.
    This came up a few days ago though on another thread so you can read the report.....

  4. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I guess it depends what you regard the other options to be. I think I would try a change in diet, supplementation, homeopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractic (just to name a few) before I would touch Rimadyl (or any other drug) with a 10-foot pole.
  5. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Compared to Prednisone for inflamation, for pain Ibuprofen, definitely Aspirin and Tylenol. Ive used some natural home remedies for one dog that had asthma instead of pumping her up on Pred every couple of months. . For pain though, I know that in the last few years theres been a lot of 'pushing' (probably more from drug companies) about there being no need for any pet to be in pain at all so now we have people demanding pain killers for cats after theyve been neutered etc, my personal opinion on that is while I dont like to think of pets being in pain over anything mild pain will prevent them from overdoing it and causing damage to themselves, most of the dehissences on spays we see are on dogs that have gone home with a 5 or 10 day course of pain killers (including Rimadyl which in my opinion is abusing the drug anyway) after the surgery (im mostly talking about spaying, skin lacerations etc....) you cant explain to a pet that they need to take it easy for a while and the fact is that most people cannot be home to monitor them for more than a day or 2 so as dogs will be dogs, you mask the pain and they start bouncing around like a yoyo again, without any pain killers they will take it easy, at least in most cases. I dont think its necessary to put a pet on pain killers the day after a long hike in the mountains when hes feeling a bit stiff....some people do.
    The last hospital I worked at never prescribed more than 5 days worth of Rimadyl (if your talking fractured legs other stronger drugs are used).
    Some vets do warn their clients of the side and long term effects. Rimadyl is only supposed to be used short term and 'as needed'....days, not weeks and definitely not every day for months, my mom had one of her dogs on it for arthritis, it was mild and worse in the winter, she takes Rimadyl average about 2 days a week over 3 months a year for 4 years, had all the relevant liver tests, no heart or other underlying problem and shes still doing great, what do you tell the client who has, for example a 12 year old German Shepherd with severe arthritis who has already been through all the natural remedies, is already on things like Glucosamine but natures taking its course so a 'final' visit to the vet and after a first course of Rimadyl gives the dog a new lease on life, in my opinion if the dog is comfortable and its quality of life is now good even if it is only for a few more months, its not necessarily a bad thing, (Im a firm believer in quality of life). The clients are told (at least by good vets) what the consequences are, the decision is theirs. Thats whats so great about the internet though, it gives people the opportunity to research anything and everything so if they are not warned of the consequences they can read it for themselves and either make their own decision or at least ask more questions.

    That said, I personally dont know that much about natural remedies, the only thing I know about acupuncture is in resuscitating newborn puppies after a c-section, Ive done some work in therapeutic massage but not much. Id like to look at some websites if you have some links.
  6. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    In this case, I would probably go with the Rimadyl since everything else had been tried. It would be nice if all vets did the right thing and informed owners of danger signs, what to look for, proper dosing, etc. Not all do, unfortunately.

    Arthritis and other auto-immune diseases are so common now in older pets (and people) that it is thought of as "normal" in aging. This is not necessarily the case. I have heard many anecdotal stories of people who have put their arthritic old pets on a raw diet and had them acting spry as a puppy after a few weeks. Of course, a raw diet is not a cure-all, but it has been known to stop seizures, allergies, IBD, etc. It's truly a shame that "common" becomes confused with "normal" and accepted as a part of life. People forget how things used to be, before we started filling our pets up with chemicals in their food and on their skin.

    I agree with you about not giving pain killers to pets for every little thing. That's the reason I didn't give Nala more of the Rimadyl when she hurt her foot. Why would this active puppy rest if I made the pain go away?? I even asked the vet this question and he said it was better to give her the medication. I only gave it to her once, when she was in her crate for the night. I supplied a steady stream of bones the next day and kept her marginally quiet, but that's all I could manage. The vet said 2 weeks. Obviously, he has never raised a border collie puppy. :)

    Of course, I am also the person who doesn't give her human children Tylenol when they run a fever, unless it is dangerously high or the child is suffering. In general, a fever is a GOOD thing. It is the body's defense mechanism that helps to kill the germs that are making you sick. Let the body heal itself!
  7. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    I think Ive been lucky in that I have a 'group' of my favourite vets that Ive worked for that Ive been able to rely on for accurate information. Unfortunately Ive seen the 'darker' side of the business too though although thats made me question things like drug dosages, necessity versus convenience versus money.
    I had a dog years ago that fell through some ice into a canal, one vet wanted to keep him in the hospital and treat him for hypothermia...at a huge cost which I just didnt have, then an old guy in the waiting room told me (as I was in tears, convinced that my dog would die) to take him home, get him on some warm blankets by the fire and just give him warm black tea (just the regular tea) with some sugar, if he wouldnt drink it then spoon feed him with it, talk to him, sleep next to him (for body heat) and then said he'll be fine in about 2 days, it didnt take qute 2 days before he almost back to usual happy self. Im not saying that this would work in all cases but its thinking about things like that and some of the old remedies that makes me look into a lot of the drugs that are given out non-chalantly these days. Pets did used to survive some illnesses before people ever started pumping them full of drugs.
    Looks like I have my project for the weekend then....Now I want to look into diets and more natural remedies. :)
  8. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    If all natural remedies didnt help. I would put my dog on rimadayl, and making sure the tests were done

    now if my dog was 12 years old, I would probably skip the test and put him on rimadyl. because of his age and hopfully live out the last month or years pain free.
    I have a borderline auto-immune disease and arthritis and I am not old So I get severe pain in my hands, finger points and elbows. so much so somtimes I cant hold anything. my orthdo wanted me to take celebrex, I didnt, My general Dr said to try first the glucosomine/msm before drugs, it has done wonders for me. I ran out recently and didnt take it for almost 2 weeks, and boy was I feeling it :D
  9. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I don't know what I would do, if I had a 12 yr old dog in pain. I mean, how good is the rest of the dogs health? My parents dogs lived to be older than that, like 16, 17 and they never had any meds (well besides shots and stuff) but they "seemed" realitvly healthy. But I think when a dog is 12 and can't move bc arthritis or whatever is so bad, am I keeping the dog around for my good or for the dogs? if the dog was really in that bad of pain, i would probably take it to the vet and have it Pts (but I don't know if I could actually do that) I haven't ever been in that situation and hope I never will be. But I think people try to make the best decisions they can whether it be with or w/out meds.
  10. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Exactly lil...I always weigh up the pets quality of life and as hard as that is sometimes I will do whats right for them.
    I remember a lady that had called for a refill on Rimadyl, Id been to a conference on it shortly before and...trying to be a 'good tech' I spoke with the vet as the dogs last blood results showed liver problems and was overdue to have more tests done, telling her that we not be able to give her the Rimadyl....what she 'yelled' at me down the phone is unprintable but she had a point. She knew her dogs problems and that it wouldnt be long before her dog had to be PTS, she wanted the dog to be comfortable for a little while longer. So there I was following protocol etc but I totally understood her point. It is up to the owner, but they do need to get all the facts.
  11. sunnyo84

    sunnyo84 New Member

    I don`t know f this is relavent, but a friend of a friend of mine who is a dog breeder, had this whole litter of blind puppies, and now there`s a discussion going on weather the rimadyl which was given to the nursing dam for the pain after giving birth had something to do with the whole litter being blind. The puppies were examined by many specialists, and there were nothing wrong with the eyes, except the total blindness. Fortunately, the puppies are propably starting to see some shapes now at the age of 8 weeks. They really couldn`t figure out any reason for the temporary blindness, but perhaps it could have been also some kind of hiding bacterial infection in the pregnant bitch or something, anyway, it was a really odd incident.
    But generally speaking I would give Rimadyl to my dog if he was in lots of pain, it is so widely used drug so it can`t be that dangerous. I know many dog owners that uses rimadyl on a regular basis, without any problems.
  12. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    I've known a lot of dogs that have been on long term Rimadyl with no problems too; right up until they died of liver failure or bled out from an ulcer. Like many drugs, Rimadyl is dangerous for individual animals, not so dangerous for others, but still bears monitoring, as damage to the liver can be subtle at first, showing no outright symptoms until the damage is grave. Bleeding ulcers can kill quickly, before you have a chance to do much of anything.

    Rimadyl is like any other NSAID. It's tough on the stomach and tough on the liver. I don't take drugs without understanding all of the possible side effects and complications, and I don't give them to my pets without understanding all those things either. It's just common sense. Even some very common drugs that are widely perscribed can be very deadly if you don't understand what they can do. Taking Tylenol for a hangover can cause liver failure in humans, for example.

    One thing I discovered with my own journey through pain control is that a lot of meds work for a while, then they stop working and you have to use something else. Aspirin worked well at first, then I had to switch to ibuprofen. When that quit working we went to codiene, then codiene with aspirin, then back to ibuprofen. I think I was on a different medication about every two weeks. None of them worked much longer than that, although after being off a med for a couple of weeks, I could go back to it and get relief for a while.

    Personally, I have a 12 year old Malamute with hip displaysia and spinal stenosis. She can suffer from a lot of pain, especially when the weather is bad. We've tried everything. Most things worked for a while, then stop working. So applying what I'd experienced myself, we switch to something else, including Rimadyl. On bad days, she gets Rimadyl.

    At her age, I'm much more concerned about quality of life. She doesn't have all that much time left. If I couldn't relieve her pain, I'd have her put down. So I feel I'm buying her some time by using pain meds, including Rimadyl.
  13. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    I havent heard of blindness being one of the symptoms but from what I do know Rimadyl is not used in pregnant or nursing dogs (I read a report somewhere that it has never been tested on them but that could be an older report so that may have changed now).
    There are safer short acting drugs available for nursing dams if pain killers are necessary but whatever the dam gets the puppies also get through the milk.
  14. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Heres the link from Pfizer with the instructions and description, this papragraph is from the 'precautions' section.

    "The safe use of Rimadyl in animals less than 6 weeks of age, in pregnant dogs, dogs used for breeding purposes, or in lactating bitches has not been established."

    http://www.rimadyl.com/display.asp?coun ... CN&sec=660
  15. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Please rethink this attitude, not just for Rimadyl but for everything in general. Just because something is "widely used" does NOT mean that it is safe. Think about all the drugs that have been given to people that were "safe" and then later recalled. What about that drug they used to give for morning sickness that caused many babies to be born with birth defects before they finally figured it out?

    I remember when I was pregnant and later nursing my children, everyone told me to eat things with Nutrasweet in it to help conserve calories when I was trying to lose weight. No way! Sugar is natural. Why would I knowingly feed an artificial substance to my children when there is a natural alternative that is perfectly fine in moderation.

    Moderation is the key. People are so stuck on convenience and wanting to do whatever they want whenever they want in whatever quantities they want, that it is killing us.

    Lots of people smoke. It can't be THAT bad, right? Right? :|
  16. sunnyo84

    sunnyo84 New Member

    I don`t know much about Rimadyl`s medical history, but I believe that it isn`t a newcomer on market, and I guess that there have been a lot of research conserning the side effects. I know I shouldn`t be all that blue-eyed, but if I had an older dog with arthritis or some other chronic pain causing disease, I would definitely use rimadyl, if it would help to improve the life quality of the dog, on the other side I wouldn`t give rimadyl to a younger dog, with temporary pain, if it might damage the liver or other organs if used long-term. Many drugs have side-effects, some even shorten the life expectancy of a dog if used long-term (like cortisone) but sometimes there`re no other options.
  17. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    my Shepherd was on Rimadyl years ago....she now has liver disease. No way of knowing if it was the Rimadyl or genetics or whatever. But I wouldn't use the stuff on any dog again.
    The Rimadyl did a job on her from day 1 and she only took it for a short while, then we tried again a few years after and it did the same thing to her.
    I think if a dog is going to have problems with it you'll see it early on (Sadie had severe "dire-rear" with Rimadyl but she did do better joint wise on it). We had to weight the odds - and the rimadyl lost.
    Not worth it IMO. And now that she is 11 years old with liver disease I wouldn't give it to her ever again - wouldn't matter the age of the dog for me since they have to deal w/more health related issues the older they get.
    But if you do decide to use Rimadyl please do bloodwork every 2 months especially w/an older dog whose internal organs are going south anyway.
  18. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    And sometimes the options are simply not known. My research has led me to homeopathy. When practiced correctly (which the few vets who practice it usually do NOT do) it can "cure" a lot of things that people think are incurable or can only be helped with something like cortisone. Cortisone does not CURE anything. It treats symptoms, leaving the underlying disease to recur over and over and over again.

    If anyone is interested, I can put you in touch with someone who can teach you the basic principles of homeopathy and why it works, and also why many of the "therapies" promoted by mainstream doctors and vets are so dangerous. PM or e-mail me if interested.
  19. sunnyo84

    sunnyo84 New Member

    I also believe in the efficiency of homeopathy and some other alternative methods, like acupuncture, for example in part of the treatment for arthiritis.
    I don`t like either the use of cortisone, but in our case, cortisone was a life-saver..It was about a year ago, when our dog got really sick, she had this disease called eosinophilc myositis, which is some sort of acute incection in the jaw muscle. Luckily we started the treatment (huge amount of cortosone each day for about 2 weeks)quite quickly (just a few hours after we notices that there was something seriously wrong with the dog; she was shaking, her eyes were all swallen and red, she wasn`t able to open her mouth), and the dog started to get better the day after she got sick. I`ve heard many cases about this disease progressing to that point, when the muscles in the face starts to waste, with no response to steroids or other drugs. But this dog has been healthy -knocking the wood-, with no relapses, allthough I know that there is a possibility of getting sick again.
  20. LRomane

    LRomane New Member

    Our dog's death from Rimadyl

    Yesterday we lost our 4 year old Akita/Shephard cross, named Rhys, to Rimadyl.
    Three weeks ago he was hit by a car and needed surgery to pin his leg back together. He was given a two week supply of Rimadyl for the pain.
    From the beginning we were concerned because he constantly 'leaked' urine, and the vet told us it was just a full bladder. This went on for a week. He urinated approximately every 20 minutes, and as he was uncomfortable laying in his urine (imagine that) we shifted him around the makeshift bed all day and all night.
    He eventually managed to control his urination and he began having bowel movements, but we were never able to get him to eat enough. We fed him by hand, bit by bit, but he wasn't even eating half of his usual amount. It got to the point were he was interested until we put the food in front of him, and then he'd turn his head away.
    By last Saturday he had stopped eating all together, and was becoming extremely weak. We were advised to force feed him, but after the first day he fought us to the point of trying to stand up to get away, and by closing his throat. Finally, Monday morning the vet came to take blood for a workup, to reassure us that all was well, and when he arrived he realized Rhys had jaundice and was incredibly weak. The blood work came back showing liver necrosis, elevated white cells, and minor dehydration. We took him in to the clinic for overnight IV fluids, and when we went to visit in the morning we found out he died overnight.
    We were too traumatized and devastated to agree to an autopsy, because he'd had been poked around enough, but the vet believed that Rimadyl caused a gastric-ulcer that bled out.
    Rhys was 125 lbs, raised on raw food, taken for runs twice a day, received nutritional supplements, and this drug took less than two weeks to kill him.

    I'm sorry this is so long and detailed, but it's still so raw. And we are furious that our dog died as a result of medication that has a bad enough track record that there are lists like this all over the internet.

    If anyone can guide us in how to proceed with complaints, etc. (we live in Canada) please respond.

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