Oh no, your vet prescribed Rimadyl to your pup. But you’ve heard some horror stories…
Does your dog really need Rimadyl? Is it safe? Are there natural alternatives that can still help with their pain and inflammation? Let’s find out!
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What Is Rimadyl?
Rimadyl is a brand name non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Its generic name is carprofen. Your vet may prescribe it to your dog for pain related to arthritis or surgery, but also general chronic pain.
Rimadyl works by inhibiting specific enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2 that play an important role in the inflammatory process. By inhibiting these inflammation-inducing enzymes, Rimadyl can reduce inflammation, as well as offer analgesic benefits.
Is Rimadyl Safe For Dogs?
Many vets and sources say that Rimadyl is safe for dogs, however, if you go down the rabbit hole of Google, you will likely find plenty of stories of serious and fatal reactions.
It is one of the best-selling meds for dogs on the market that many vets and dog parents trust. However, it may not be completely harmless.
Being a NSAIDs, it can lead to a variety of side effects. Depending on how bad or chronic your dog’s arthritis is, it simply may not be the best choice for them. Some dogs may not tolerate the drug well either, experiencing harsh reactions.
In most cases though, Rimadyl is well tolerated, but every dog is different. It is important to talk to your vet, ask for a second opinion (from a holistic vet if possible), and pay attention to your dog’s behavior and signals.
Side Effects Of Rimadyl In Dogs
Potential side-effects may include:
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Black, tarry stools
- Stomach upsets and abdominal pain
- Oral sores
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Increased/decreased thirst
Some serious side effects may also include:
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
- Weakness and severe cramping
- Severe, and possibly fatal, liver and/or kidney damage
- Sudden death
Looking at this list, it is clear that Rimadyl can have some uncomfortable and even serious or fatal side-effects, which makes you think twice and dig a little deeper. You want to make an informed choice and the best decision for your furry friend, after all.
The Rimadyl Controversy
Many vets and pet magazines say that Rimadyl is safe. It is the best-selling pet medication. There are dogs with no problems. Yet, there are so many scary side effects and some frightening personal stories on the net.
No wonder you are confused.
It seems that Rimadyl is great for dogs, except for the dogs it’s not.
This sums up the reality. For some dogs, Rimadyl is the best medication, offering fast and effective relief for inflammation and pain. It can give their quality of life back. For other dogs though, they endure side effects and can even die.
When Rimadyl first hit the market, it had a top-notch marketing with fantastic commercial and believable miracle stories.
Then suddenly, stories of fatal reactions started to pop up. For example, there was the case of Montana, a sweet dog who first seemed to be doing extremely well on Rimadyl, but six months in, she started to lose her appetite, began having seizures, lost her ability to walk, and had to be put to sleep. According to her autopsy, her liver showed a severe reaction to the medication.
The fact that the company tried to compensate some of the pet parents who lost their dogs to the drug is also alarming.
Eventually, the company had to take the ad campaigns down and add more precise warning labels listing ‘death’ as a potential side effect.
Despite all the controversy and the harm it has caused to many dogs and their human families, Rimadyl is still on the market, prescribed regularly, and is popular as ever. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes its safe and effective.
While it may be right for some dogs and the rate of bad reactions is low, only around 1 percent, vets need to be cautious when prescribing it and pet parents need to be cautious before giving it to their dogs.
Tips Before Using Rimadyl With Your Dog
If your dog is experiencing arthritis or chronic inflammatory pain and your vet suggests Rimadyl, make sure to keep the following things in mind before you decide to go ahead and give them the medication.
1. Rimadyl (or other NSAIDs) should not be your first and only choice for treating your dog’s arthritis and pain.
There are many other alternatives you can try before Rimadyl.
Some natural alternatives include:
- Dasuquin: a supplement which contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and essential compounds from avocado and soybean, which serves as a comprehensive supplement that is specifically created to help protect your dog’s joints.
- Free Form: a concentrated omega-3 supplement you can find in capsule and liquid form to be taken orally or in a gel topically, which contains a potent mix of omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
- Other safer prescription medications such as Adequan injections or Tramadol.
2. Don’t use multiple anti-inflammatories together.
Regardless of what medication or supplement you choose to help your dog’s pain and inflammation, don’t mix them. Try one on its own. Medication can interact with each other, resulting in negative side effects that you don’t want. Moreover, a mix of meds makes it difficult to identify what works and what doesn’t.
3. Test your dog before and during treatment.
Before you start on a new medication, supplement, or treatment plan, get a blood test. Then schedule another blood test during the treatment to see how your dog is responding to the medication or supplement.
The 4 Best Rimadyl Alternative For Dogs
If you are keen on trying natural nutritional remedies for your dog’s inflammation or pain before going on medication, there are some fantastic natural inflammation-fighter alternatives to Rimadyl.
Check out these 4 natural alternatives to Rimadyl:
Yucca is a plant from South and Central America with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It may be as effective as some other medications, however, some dogs may experience side effects. They are best for short treatment.
Glucosamine supplements are extremely popular for dogs, other pets and for humans. They are widely used for joint pain and it is definitely something to consider if your dog is dealing with this issue. It is natural and safe, and many people report good results for their dogs and themselves, however, it may not be right or enough for all pups.
Fish oil and omega-3 supplements are incredibly popular among dogs and humans. They are highly anti-inflammatory and fight pain like champs. Many pet parents report fantastic results. It definitely worth a shot before giving into medication, especially Rimadyl.
If you are looking for a powerful omega-3 supplement for your dog, look no further. Our Complete Me Soft Chew Omega Supplement is a high-quality powerful omega supplement for your dog’s health. It is a multi-vitamin, anti-oxidant supplement and a complete inflammation-reducing workhorse.
Its benefits include more than pain relief:
- Reduces inflammation
- Suppresses the production of new fat molecules
- Promotes healthy skin and coat while combating metabolic syndrome
- Supports joint and muscle recovery
- Powerful antioxidants prevent disease and infection
CBD oil is a powerful alternative to Rimadyl and other NSAIDs. Thanks to cannabidiol (CBD), it fights inflammation and reduces pain effectively. It’s completely safe and natural.
Bonus tip: Try FREE ME Joint And Flexibility Supplement
Try our FREE ME Joint and Flexibility Supplement Soft Chews or Powders. It is perfect for dogs with arthritis, inflammation, joint pain, and chronic pain. It is also a fantastic choice if you are simply looking to protect the joints and prevent arthritis in a healthy pup.
Its benefits include:
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases range of motion
- Increases joint cushioning
- Reduces discomfort
- Scientifically tested to be fast and effective
Reading this article, you probably have a better idea what Rimadyl is, what risk it has, and what alternative options you have. Talk to your vet and make the best choice for your dog.
Does your dog have pain, inflammation, or discomfort? Have your tried or considered natural alternatives to Rimadyl? What are your experiences? Share them in the comments section, we would love to hear from you.