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Is Rimadyl Safe For Dogs? Rimadyl For Dogs Joints Explained

Published on Jan 29, 2018 in Pets

There are various ailments which dogs and humans share. In fact, you could say, that in some ironic way, it helps us to go through life together. At any rate, one of the conditions which we and our canine companions share is arthritis and joint pain. There are ways of dealing with this situation, and when it comes to our animal friends, one of the most popular joint pain medications is Rimadyl. These kinds of diseases affect dogs a lot more than cats, so this article will be targeting dogs specifically.

But before we get into the details of this medication, let’s take a closer look at what exactly causes this condition in our beloved pets.

What Causes Arthritis & Joint Pain in Dogs?

image of arthritis

Diagram Displaying Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis and joint pains are caused by a wide range of issues: from diseases which directly affect the ligaments and tendons, to cancer and obesity. So, sometimes the joint pain is merely a by-product of a pre-existing condition, and sometimes it is the main ailment.

Now, this doesn’t always have to be a big deal. There are times when the symptoms are very mild. So mild, in fact, that they are not noticeable by the owner, and not seen as an issue by the dog itself. Many times, arthritis and joint-related conditions are the property of larger breeds, but lap and toy dogs have also been known to suffer from such conditions. I remember my grandmother used to have a little miniature Schnauzer who could barely walk by the time he was 8.

Keep in mind that the symptoms vary in accordance with the type of condition, and may range from a slight limp to the inability to stand and walk. It all depends on the specific situation. In recent years, better and more advanced drugs have been introduced for animal treatment, and this has been very helpful in treating joint-related diseases. Enter Rimadyl.

What Is Rimadyl?

doctors notes

Rimadyl For Dog Arthritis

Rimadyl is an FDA-approved, non-steroidal medication which is meant to treat pain and inflammation in canines. It has been on the market since the mid-90s, and has helped many millions of dogs to regain their former selves. Although it is mainly used to treat osteoarthritis, Rimadyl also works well for other conditions.

Just remember that this is not a miracle cure, there is no actual cure for joint diseases. All you can do is treat the symptoms, and make it so the situation does not worsen over time. Much like with human bones, once they begin to deteriorate, there isn’t much you can do about it. You can manage it, though, by bringing the dog’s weight to a healthier level, exercising, keeping a warm and comfortable environment, and managing the pain and symptoms with medication.

This is what Rimadyl does to great effect. It can effectively shave years off, and give some dogs their bounce back. Some owners say their doggies have managed to stay much younger in spirit and in good physical shape, thanks to Rimadyl. Is it a remedy that works all the time, for every dog? Of course not, but it is certainly worth asking your vet about it.

What Ingredients Does Rimadyl Use?

ingredients for rimadyl

Rimadyl Ingredients

The active ingredient of Rimadyl is carprofen. As previously mentioned, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, and it has shown to be highly effective in most cases. Carprofen goes by different names (which vary by company), has different dosages, and various ways of intake (chewable or non-chewable tablets, injection form), but the active ingredient is always carprofen.

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Rimadyl For Dog Review: Before & After Results

dog joint pain

Dog Suffering with Joint Pain

My bitch (a beautiful and most noble English Shepherd named Daisy) was a trooper till the very end, but around the time she was turned 14, things took a turn for the worse. She began limping and was diagnosed with a joint disease. I wanted her to be able to spend her remaining days and/or months in relative comfort. She had no problems before that, and our vet – who had been seeing her for many years – recommended Rimadyl.

Now, I was well aware that this condition was a matter of age more than anything, and not necessarily a disease. Nevertheless, I wanted Daisy to be able to live out her days comfortably until she either died of natural causes or had to be put down. As it turned out, we put her down when she was 15. She wasn’t functioning properly anymore, and we didn’t want her to suffer needlessly. She had lived a long and happy life with us, was a great friend to us and the kids, and she died in the gentle warmth of summertime. We buried her in a forest which we loved to visit together.

dogs playing

Dogs with Newfound Youth

Regarding the effect of Rimadyl, there was no question that it helped her out a lot. She wasn’t exactly leaping up to greet us when we walked in the door anymore, but her limping subsided, there was no noticeable pain, and she was able to take better and longer walks with us. I was fortunate enough to notice things before they got too bad, and that was key is the success of Rimadyl. This is true to almost any joint medication – the sooner, the better. Some dogs spend years on joint medication, and they manage to do just fine.

Heck, there was even a time when carprofen was prescribed to humans, for the same reasons. It has since been discontinued, for commercial reasons, but it just shows you how similar dogs and humans can be.

Vets with dog

Taking Care Of Your Dog

Can You Get Rimadyl Without a Prescription?

Rimadyl is currently a prescription-only drug, and it is meant to be prescribed only by a vet, and only for dogs. Although, I did find out that there are websites who are selling it without a prescription, but I don’t know how legal that is, so – as always – buyer beware.

Does Rimadyl Cause Side Effects? What is a Safe Dosage of Rimadyl For Your Dog?

Like any meds, Rimadyl does have a slew of possible side effects. Some of them are mild, and some more severe. Some will only present themselves after prolonged use and/or overdosage, and some can appear almost immediately, but many may never present themselves at all. Like I said, many dogs live on these meds for years and do just fine. It goes on a case-by-case basis, and these effects include: lack of appetite, diarrhea, liver and/or kidney damage, black poop, and even aggression.

hungry dog

The Way a Dog’s Appetite Should be

As for me, Daisy never had any negative side effects to Rimadyl. She continued eating her regular food till we put her down, although towards the end we used to soak her dry food in water to make it easier for her to chew. Dammit. I miss her.

For proper dosage, consult your vet before anything. You do NOT want to mess with the dosage factor since overdosing can cause severe internal damage which can be fatal. Rimadyl does not react well with steroids and other non-steroid painkillers, and this is another reason why you should definitely consult with your vet before beginning treatment with Rimadyl.

The normal dosage in dogs is 2 mg per lb, given as a single daily dose. Alternatively, you can divide it and administer it as 1mg per pound, twice a day. Depending on the weight and condition of your pet, the doctor may decide on one method or another. Let your vet know of any changes, side effects, or pre-existing conditions.

Conclusion

Sometimes, your animal friends need your help. If they are suffering from some kind of a condition, you should do what you can for them. Some see their pets as part of the family, and some are not as attached, but we pet owners are all of one mind when it comes to their health. We want our furry friends to be happy and healthy. Rimadyl can help out, and it has been doing exactly that for over 20 years.

True, there are some cases in which there is nothing you can do, but there is no need for your dog or bitch to suffer needlessly. If it is something you can control if only to some extent, it is worth looking into. We humans domesticated this animal long ago. The least we can do is make sure that it gets the best life that it can while in our care.

Rimadyl can have extremely positive effects on dogs with joint aches, arthritis, and pain from inflammation. It won’t work like a miracle cure, but when it does hit their system, you will probably be able to see a dramatic change in the way they behave and carry themselves. This happens in a matter of days in most cases, sometimes in a week or so. In that sense, Rimadyl really is a miracle, and I was very happy with the results we had with it.

Fair you well, Daisy. As the 1989 movie title says: all dogs go to heaven. Amen.

Thanks for reading our Rimadyl feature – learn about Marula Oil and Turmeric while you’re here at Maple Holistics!