Is Rimadyl Bad for Dogs?

It’s hard to see your dog in discomfort. When their tail droops, so does yours – metaphorically speaking of course!

But you also recognize that every prescription drug carries its own side effects. It may alleviate one symptom, but cause one or two more. This may be the case for the medication Rimadyl. Some dogs are able to take it without complications, but others but others experience adverse reactions.

The best thing you can do is gather as much research as possible, consult with your vet, and make the best educated decision for your dog’s health. Below we’ll answer the commonly asked question “is Rimadyl bad for dogs” by discussing how Rimadyl is often used, its controversial history, common side effects and alternative and safer forms of treatment that have been found to be just as effective!

Table of Contents:

  • What is Rimadyl?
  • The Controversial Past of Rimadyl
  • Common Uses for Rimadyl
  • Typical Doses of Rimadyl for Dogs
  • Common Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs
  • Alternatives to Rimadyl for Dogs

What is Rimadyl?

Just as Tylenol is a popular name for the pharmaceutical “acetaminophen,” Rimadyl is a popular brand name for the pharmaceutical known as carprofen. Rimadyl (and by extension, carprofen) is an analgesic, meaning it’s a drug specifically designed to help with discomfort. Carprofen and Rimadyl belong to a class of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Rimadyl is considered safer for dogs than other human NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Carprofen was originally created for people and was used in human medicine for about 10 years, from 1985-1995 [1]. Shortly after that, it was gradually taken out of human treatment and was tested on dogs with mostly positive results.

rimadyl for dogs

The Controversial Past of Rimadyl

When it was first marketed for dogs in the 1990s, Rimadyl for dogs seemed to be a wonder drug [1]. Commercials depicted dogs suddenly able to move as freely as pups after taking the prescription medicine. Naturally, pet owners across the country sought out Rimadyl, hoping it would give the same relief to their aging and symptomatic dogs.

Suddenly, the commercials and magazine ads stopped circulating, as more and more testimonies popped up from owners whose dogs were experiencing severe Rimadyl side effects and even dying. Heartbroken, these owners demanded action be taken, and even asked for the drug to be removed from veterinary practice altogether. That didn’t happen, but the advertisements for the drug stopped almost completely.

The biggest concern for most of these dog owners was not so much the side effects, but the fact that they were not warned about the symptoms ahead of time. Their fur babies started vomiting, suffering from stomach ruptures, experiencing seizures, and more without warning.

While these are known side effects of the drug, other dogs are able to tolerate it without any noticeable problem. Since Rimadyl for dogs seems to provide significant relief to the canines that don’t experience an allergic reaction, the drug is still widely prescribed by vets across the country. In fact, Rimadyl has been prescribed to over four million dogs in the U.S. alone, and even more across seas [1].

Common Uses for Rimadyl

As an anti-inflammatory agent, Rimadyl is used as a discomfort reliever. The three most common reasons Rimadyl would be prescribed are joint issues, hip dysplasia, and recovery post-surgery [2].

Post-Surgery Recovery: Dogs, just like humans, may need some extra support as they heal from a recent surgery. Rimadyl and other NSAIDs are often prescribed to help reduce post-operative discomfort and the short-term discomfort and inflammation that usually accompanies a surgery. Once your dog is fully recovered from surgery and no longer experiencing post-surgical discomfort, your vet will most likely take them off of Rimadyl.



Enjoy this blog? Let's stay connected ;)