Can I Give My Dog Rimadyl?

Can I Give My Dog Rimadyl?Rimadyl is the most popular NSAID carprofen brand for treating canine joint deterioration. Dogs are living longer than ever so arthritis, and similar joint issues, are very common ailments.

Veterinarians are often quick to prescribe medication for arthritic dogs. With so many options, choosing becomes somewhat of a dilemma. Research becomes invaluable because, the sad truth is, sometimes questionable meds are provided for various reasons.

Rimadyl can be a great treatment option for an ailing dog. Let’s go over the information so you can discuss it with your vet. Unfortunately, financial incentive has blinded many vets these days which is why you need to be well informed.

Can I Give My Dog Rimadyl? Answer: Yes, when prescribed

It’s a good pet medication for treating suffering and discomfort associated with arthritis including osteoarthritis.

This carprofen also provides supportive treatment for hip dysplasia as well as various other joint inflammation conditions. It must be understood that this is a medication which improves overall quality of life and mobility for dogs rather than curing underlying problems. As frustrating as it is, there is no known cure for arthritis either in humans or canines.

A Highly-Regarded Drug

This FDA approved non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) also helps dogs recover after orthopedic surgery. We are normally very cautious about providing NSAIDs to dogs but an exception is being made here. Experts say Rimadyl is more effective than supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin.

Side Effects of Rimadyl

As with most drugs, Rimadyl carries some serious side effects which must be taken seriously. It’s a powerful drug only available by prescription. If your vet talks you out of Rimadyl it’s because of the adverse side effects some dogs experience. Over use can lead to the development of ulcers and kidney or liver damage. You must prevent dehydration during treatment since renal toxicity can occur. Gastrointestinal symptoms are also possible. Dogs have died in rare cases.

Some more typical reactions can include a loss of appetite, increase in thirst, increase in urination, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and changes in your dog’s behavior. Talk with your vet about the use of Rimadyl if your dog is already taking other medications, such as steroids, because this is how grave complications occur. For example, you shouldn’t use a carprofen together with any other NSAIDs such as Aspirin.

Possible Good News

Rimadyl is well tolerated by dogs and a clinical study didn’t show a great incidence of bad reactions verses a placebo. However, if Pfizer funded or influenced such a study, it may be biased. One thing is for sure, your dog can not be helped and their condition won’t improve if you don’t at least try some treatment options.

Correct Dosage & Duration

When treating a dog with a carprofen, such as Rimadyl, limit their exposure to it. You can’t administer this drug over long periods. This will increase their chances of suffering serious effects. Your dog’s weight and age plays into the equation and needs to be discussed with your vet. Mention if your dog is pregnant or suffers from Von Willebrand disease which is most common in Doberman Pinschers.

Rimadyl comes in tablet form and the milligram amounts differ by country. In the US, the doses come in 25, 75 or 100mg tablets. You are likely to be providing Rimadyl to your dog daily in the amount of 2mg per pound. There’s also an option to have the drug injected.

– Use this great Rimadyl dosage chart for reference

– Review Pfizer’s Rimadyl documentation because it contains great information.

Conclusion on Rimadyl

Rimadyl is considered to be one of the best NSAIDs for dogs. There are, however, many other good carprofen versions. Ask your vet about Novox, Rovera, Imadyl or Imafen. These options can potentially reduce the treatment cost because generic brands are less expensive. If you chose a different carprofen, do the research as there may be important differences versus Rimadyl.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gearmoe May, 2015

Do not give Rimadyl. Statistics are inaccurate due to lack of reports from pet owners. My senior dog just died from internal bleeding. Steroids are dangerous and are well known to erode tissue. Feed a hand made diet, give a natural pain reliever.


Teresa November, 2015

Rimadyl is not a steroid. It’s an NSAID, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Unfortunately, some NSAIDs (usually acetaminofen) can eat away at the stomach lining if overused and not taken with food or given properly. This is true for humans and dogs. Steroids, on the other hand, shut down various types of hormone production when given too long and can cause the development of Cushing syndrome.

That being said, I would guess that your dog had developed a clotting issue and the Ibuprofen thinned the blood too far. Or they got into something containing grapes or raisins. That can cause the blood vessels of many breeds of dogs to dissolve. I’m sorry for your loss, but please make sure your information is accurate.


Cathy April, 2015

My 100 pound Lab has cruciate problems. My vet said surgery isn’t usually successful for dogs that large. She would also have to be crated and sedated for at least 8 weeks while recovering. Would a leg brace help her? What kind of medication would alleviate her pain? The vet suggested Rimadyl but also said it has side effects.


Carol April, 2015

Hi, Cathy. My Cocker Spaniel named Niles had the cruciate ligament operation 6 years ago. He took 16 weeks to heal completely but he’s fine now. He was on Rimadyl. Now has a large lump in his neck and is on Meloxidyl which is an anti-inflammatory painkiller. Ask your vet about it. Meloxidyl comes in liquid form which you measure by the weight of the dog. I hope this helps.


Tom May, 2015

How is the Meloxidyl working? My German Shepherd has recently been having trouble with his hips due to severe arthritis.


Terence February, 2014

You are right when you mentioned that, “Vets often prescribe useless medications whether they know it or not.” Thanks to your site, I am now doing more research on medicines and discovered that my Husky died because of a vet error. He did not eat for 3 days, that’s why I sent her to the veterinarian. They prescribed Tramadol, a pain killer, together with an anti-depressant called Mirtazapine Soltab.

Through my research, I found that Tramadol cannot be given together with anti-depressant. In hindsight, I believe my Husky only suffered from toothaches and hence she refused to eat. I should have given her some honey or other soft foods, like canned foods.


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