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Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful?

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Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful?

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

When we think about owning dogs, it's so easy to picture all the fun things. Snuggling up on the couch, playing fetch in the park, going on trips and walks together. After all, there are so many fun aspects of having a dog! That said, there are also times when it can get very difficult. Especially as they get older, hard choices can often pop up, requiring you to try to make the best choice for your furry friend.

Even for those who are taking the best possible care of their pet, with the best diet, plenty of exercise and regular check ups, issues can occur that you have no control over.

Our pets age, they have trouble gene-related diseases or conditions, or accidents occur. All of these things can be so hard to handle as a pet owner. You just want to see your pet happy and healthy!

One of the best ways to handle these unexpected situations is to be prepared. Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible about conditions, situations and medications that might come along. To make sure you have all the knowledge you need, we're looking into Rimadyl, which is a relatively common anti-inflammatory that can be prescribed to your pet.

That way, you'll know what it is, how it works, the potential side effects and concerns, as well as what other options you have!

Rimadyl is an NSAID, which is also known as an anti-inflammatory medication that is non-steroidal in nature. Generally, it's an option that is prescribed to help with swelling and pain as a result of things like osteoporosis and pain that can occur after a surgery.

For the most part, these kinds of medication are only used for a short period of time to help with pain until your dog heals or receives a long-term solution. However, they can sometimes also be prescribed for the longer term.

It's important to keep in mind that the longer your dog uses this medication, the more likely it is they may have some kind of negative reaction.

Knowing the different NSAIDs that can be prescribed can be very useful.

Some common options are as follows:

  • Previcox
  • Rimadyl
  • Zubrin
  • Metacam
  • Deramaxx

Human NSAID Warnings

There can be some instances where a vet may suggest an NSAID that is typically made for humans. This can typically happen when it's needed for very short periods of time. Typically, it's not a great idea to use human NSAIDs on pets, as there are a lot of adverse reactions that can occur. It's absolutely in your best interest, and the best interest of your pet, to stick to options that are specifically made for animal use.

Even with NSAIDs designed for use for pets can cause some serious problems. In general, NSAIDS can cause issues like liver damage and gastroinstestinal bleeding. As a result, a cycle can begin that includes the prescription of medications for those issues, which then have their own side effects. In time, it can become a vicious medication cycle.

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

What Is Carprofen?

Carprofen and Rimadyl are basically the same product. The only difference is that Rimadyl is what's known as a brand name, while carprofen is a generic version of the same substance. This is useful to know so that you can recognize the names when you hear them. In some cases, you may also see both names on a product, but it's all basically the same medication.

Rimadyl For Dogs Usage

In many cases, Rimadyl can be a useful medication when it comes to helping pets to feel healthy and pain-free. While it is important to keep the side effects and dangers in mind, it is a medication that can work.

Generally, there are some specific instances in which this medication is prescribed, so it's not likely to be something you'll see prescribed for just anything. Because of that, information on Rimadyl is especially important to know if your pet has any of the issues listed below.

Rimadyl With Hip Dysplasia

In some dogs, there can be issues where the hip joint is malformed. This can result in discomfort for your dog, because the hip joint doesn't move smoothly, but instead grinds as your dog walks or runs. As you can imagine, this situation can cause a lot of pain over time.

Some of the breeds that can be more prone to this situation are Saint Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes and German Shepherds. That said, there can be other breeds that may end up with the condition as well. When hip dysplasia is present, it's not uncommon for Rimadyl to be prescribed.

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

Rimadyl With Osteoarthritis

Just like us, as your dog ages, they can begin to experience pain in the various joints throughout their body. This is often due to the wearing down of cushioning cartilage that provides comfort in younger individuals. Rimadyl can be a pretty common solution for this situation.

When it comes to osteoarthritis, it's important to keep in mind that our pets tend to do a great job of keeping their pain a secret. Because of that, it's important to know that if you can tell they are in pain, it's probably pretty serious. So if you notice that your dog appears to be uncomfortable or in pain while doing everyday things, it's a good idea to get them to the vet for some help.

That said, keep in mind that Rimadyl can help with the pain, but it absolutely is not a cure. It's likely there will be other options, like surgery, to take in order to truly alleviate their pain for the long term.

Rimadyl For After-Surgery Healing

It's also not uncommon for Rimadyl to be used to help with pain that can be left over after a surgery. It can assist with relieving fever and reducing pain until your pet has healed.

Controversy Involving Rimadyl

Not all results from Rimadyl are positive ones. This is important to keep in mind when you look at ads portraying the medication as a miracle for pets who are otherwise struggling to enjoy life. At one point, these images were common, but they quickly stopped when frightening situations involving the drug came about.

Issues like liver cancer, stomach ruptures and seizures have resulted in some cases involving Rimadyl. In many of these cases, the decline in their pet was sudden and horrific. The creator of Rimadyl, Pfizer, is a large company that brings in a great deal of money from their products.

Most who use the medication do find that they get positive results, but it's important to be aware of the negative ones that can occur.

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

Rimadyl Dosage For Dogs

Generally, you can get Rimadyl in 100mg, 75mg or 25mg doses. These can also be either caplets or tablets that are easy for dogs to chew. It's usually expected that you'll provide 2mg for each pound your dog weighs on a daily basis. That said, make sure that you follow the instructions of your vet. In some cases, it can also be provided in the form of an injection from the vet.

Interactions With Other Drugs And Conditions

It's wise to make sure your vet knows everything possible before deciding to prescribe Rimadyl for your pet.

Let them know if your pet has any of these conditions:

  • Allergies to other NSAIDs
  • Liver disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Bleeding disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Aspirin allergies
  • Bleeding in the stomach, or an ulcer
  • Kidney disease
  • Fluid retention
  • Heart disease
  • Lactation or pregnancy

The Importance Of A Vet Prescription

While it is possible to obtain a form of carprofen without a vet prescription, it's not recommended. In order for your dog to receive the best possible care, a vet needs to be able to provide the correct dose and make sure that carprofen is a good idea given your dog's other conditions or medications. Making guesses about these medications will make it more likely that adverse effects will occur when it's taken.

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

Side Effects Of Rimadyl

There can be a variety of side effects for this medication, which are often similar to those of other NSAIDS.

These may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Tarry, black stools
  • Urination habit changes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin changes

If your dog is experiencing adverse reactions, they will likely show up within a few hours in the form of vomiting, ulcers, and diarrhea.

Carprofen Side Effects

Because carprofen and Rimadyl are basically the same product, these side effects will be about the same between the two medications.

These may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Coordination loss
  • Paralysis
  • Urine changes (including color, frequency and smell)
  • Yellowing of eyes, gums or skin
  • Blood appearing in vomit
  • Seizures
  • Appetite changes
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Heightened aggression
  • Scabbing, itching or redness of skin
  • Tarry, black stools
  • Blood in stools

Symptoms Of Rimadyl Overdose

Rimadyl for dogs is made to taste pleasant to them, to make taking them easier. However, this can also mean they may mistake them for treats, which can result in an overdose.

Overdose symptoms can include:

  • High amounts of vomiting
  • Urination or thirst in excess
  • Seizures
  • High amounts of diarrhea
  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Pain in the abdominal region

Rimadyl For Dogs: Helpful Or Harmful? | Innovet Pet

Rimadyl Natural Alternatives

The good news is, choices on what kinds of medications you give your pet are completely up to you. Staying informed on Rimadyl side effects and natural options can mean all the world to your pup.

Why Choose An Alternative?

Western medicine has come a long way, and vets are able to do amazing things for the sake of our pets. However, when it comes to reaching out for medications, we can become a bit too hasty. In addition, these medicines often work as a bandage, but not a cure for the root cause of the issue.

Depending on what your pet is experiencing, you may find that Rimadyl is a decent solution. Otherwise, you may discover root causes that need other methods, or help that doesn't include so many potentially negative side effects.

How Can CBD For Dogs Help?

In recent years, CBD has gained more attention. Many have found that it can help with a wide variety of situations, from anxiety, to epilepsy and even cancer. For the most part, this has mostly been in regard to humans. However, scientists recently started considering the benefits of CBD for pets.

Many of these benefits include:

  • Cancer cell elimination
  • Relieving pain due to inflammation
  • Improving heart health
  • Assisting with arthritis or chronic pain
  • Improving appetite
  • Assisting with autoimmune disease
  • Helping cardiovascular disease symptoms
  • Immune system boosting
  • Easing anxiety
  • Alleviating allergies
  • Easing epilepsy and seizures
  • Alleviating inflammatory bowel disease
  • Providing treatment for neurodegenerative disease

What CBD Products Are Best?

There are a number of fantastic CBD options out there that can help to keep your pet in good shape.

For example, these excellent and delicious Hemp CBD Soft Chews are a great option to help with digestion, appetite and balancing mood, all with a delicious apple and turkey flavor!

CBD products do a great job of helping your pet gain a more regulated system, boosting natural defense against illness through interactions with the endocannabinoid system in their bodies. Options like these Hemp Dog Treats are also tasty and enjoyable, so your pet feels like they are getting a treat instead of a supplement!

These options can help whether your dog is young and vibrant or aging and in need of a little extra help. They are also useful in bringing down the amount of prescribed medications your dog needs. Check out our botanical supplement chews that can also provide a great source of vitamins and nutrition.

Dogs and CBD Oil

Another great option is CBD oil, which gives you complete control over every drop used. It absorbs quickly, and is easy to add to your pet's food or otherwise administer to them in a way that gives them plenty of time to get used to it.

It's a good idea to use it consistently for the best results, and slowly increasing the dose can allow them to feel better gradually. That way, they don't overdo it with their excitement at feeling so wonderful.

Natural Anti-Inflammatories For Dogs

There are also a number of other natural resources that you can use for fighting inflammation and pain in your dog.

Natural options that can help with inflammation and other side effects are the following:

  • Licorice root
  • Echinacea
  • Comfrey
  • Turmeric
  • Yucca root
  • Ginger

Rimadyl: A Final Word

It's frightening and stressful when your pet becomes ill, or needs a surgery. So naturally you want the best possible solutions for helping them to feel better with as few side effects as possible. That's why it's great to have so many options out there, allowing you to weigh the Rimadyl rewards and risks versus those of natural products.


Approved by:

Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade

Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.


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The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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