The Senior Dogs Project
"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
Reports about the Benefits of Rimadyl
11/23/99: Short-Term Use of Rimadyl Helps, Long-Term Use Not an Issue for 14-year-old Yellow Lab
Breed: Yellow Lab/Shepherd mix (male, "Buckwheat")
Age: 14 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritic joint collapse
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 75 lbs; 2 x 75mg per day for 1 month, then as needed
Did your vet warn you about side effects? No
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? See comments.
Comments on Dog's Rimadyl Experience: "My vet did not warn me about any potential side effects of Rimadyl, except he was very specific about discontinuing the use of aspirin (1 Bufferin a day for several years) during Rimadyl treatment (or it would 'eat a hole through his stomach'). Daily use of Glyco-flex, which has proven most effective for the dog's arthritis, was continued without interruption. However, it's important to point out that my vet prescribed daily use of Rimadyl for only a short time. Continued daily use of Rimadyl was never discussed, in spite of the fact that my dog has substantial arthritic problems. I assumed Rimadyl was only for short-term use, during recovery from injury or surgery. The first I heard of Rimadyl's long-term use was on this website. Rimadyl did seem to improve my dog's mobility. This, in spite of the fact that he had a cast on his front leg for ligament strengthening, and his back legs have the real mobility problems. Steps are usually a bit of a challenge for him, but, on Rimadyl, he got up and down steps rather well, despite the cast. My dog has a relatively weak stomach, as unfamiliar foods have caused occasional diarrhea and vomiting. However, he had no gastric problems or other noticeable side effects during the Rimadyl treatment. Long term use of buffered aspirin may have better 'conditioned' his stomach for the drug. I will certainly ask my vet about the daily long-term use of Rimadyl. However, after reading about bad experiences with Rimadyl on this site, I would be cautious about its long term use. On the other hand, my dog is getting quite old, and 'long-term' may be a non-issue. If his arthritis or mobility problems worsen, Rimadyl may prove to be a godsend. Thanks for providing a great Internet resource for aging dogs! (An aside: LAMBRIAR ANIMAL HEALTH CARE at http://www.lambriarvet.com/ has Glyco-Flex at by far the lowest price I have seen -- under $30.00 for 600 300mg tablets. Low shipping costs, excellent service too. I highly recommend them.)"
11/16/99: Very Old Dogs Do Well on Rimadyl and Anipryl
(Editor's note: Rimadyl and Anipryl are both Pfizer products.)
"We have a Toy Poodle/Teacup Yorkshire Terrier mix, about five pounds, that turned sixteen years old in August. She was becoming very forgetful and losing energy until our vet gave us some Anipryl ( half a 2mg tablet a day). Yeti ( the Hindustani name for the abominable snowman -- what better name for a very small totally black dog?) thinks she is a puppy now and is enjoying life immensely. We lost a seventeen-year-old Poodle/Cocker Spaniel mix two years ago whose last months were improved vastly by daily doses of Rimadyl."
11/8/99: Early-Onset Arthritis Cripples Dog; Rimadyl Allows Him to Walk into Old Age
Breed: Golden Retriever (male, "Chester")
Age: 15 years, 3 months when he died
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, early onset
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 75 lbs; 1 x 50mg per day for 1 year; 2 x 50mg for several months
Did your vet warn you about side effects? No
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? He benefited greatly
Comments on Dog's Rimadyl Experience: "Arthritis and limping began at age 3; a variety of supplements and injections given; Rimadyl administered the final two years of his life. I believe that, without it, he would not have been walking. He continued to walk until a few hours before his death. We finally lost him at 15.5 to 'old age.' His bowel habits were good until the end, and there were no known liver problems."
11/16/99 -- Keeshond Does Well on Rimadyl for Nearly Two Years
Age: 12 yrs 8 mos old, was 11 yrs old when first placed on Rimadyl.
Reason for Rimadyl: Arthritis, stiffness, limping, pain
Weight & Dosage: 55 lbs, 75 mgs, 2x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects? Yes to both. Vet informed me of side effects when it was prescribed and at annual check up.
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? "Kaiser has been on Rimadyl since January of 1998. He was lethargic due to stiffness in his joints and avoided movement due to pain. He couldn't walk 20 feet without lying down due to being in too much pain. Rimadyl has given us our wonderful dog back. He has the most gentle and sweet personality and we didn't want to see him in pain, but didn't want to put him to sleep. Within a short period of time after being placed on Rimadyl, he started climbing stairs, taking walks with us, and even running to keep up with us if he got distracted and fell behind. We got a new 1 1/2 yr old Shetland Sheepdog shortly there after and he has been able to keep up with her when we play. He amazes us when he runs to pick up a ball that he has missed catching. They both rush up and down stairs side by side. Before Rimadyl, we had to hold his back legs to support him to get up the stairs. He refused go out the back door because there were too many steps. Now, he doesn't give it a second thought. Since Rimadyl, he has even learned to jump into the back seat of our four-door car because he loves to go for rides. We thank God that he has not had any side effects whatsoever."
11/6/99: 17-Year-Old Dog Has Two-and-a-half More Years of Life, Thanks to Rimadyl
"Rimadyl was a life saver for my dog, Tribble. Tribble is a mixed breed who is now 17 years old. Tribble had an accident several years ago that left her a paraplegic; she uses a canine cart to get along. Two years ago, arthritis in her front shoulders made just lying down painful for her. We made a decision to have her put down. When we took her to the vet's, he suggested we try Rimadyl, since Tribble is a fighter. She had overcome many odds, just to make it to that day. The Rimadyl proved to be a lifesaver for her, although this past summer her ALT levels started to rise and we did notice a change in her behavior. There was some discussion whether to remove Tribble from the medication or just continue on the track we were on. Several weeks ago, the vet changed her medication to Etogesic, with the understanding that if it was not effective Tribble would return to the Rimadyl. She is responding well to the medication change and doing much better. The bottom line is, even if the Etogesic was not effective, Tribble would have remained on the Rimadyl. She cannot live without a pain medication, and, if the side effects would have proved to have been fatal, the use of Rimadyl was a god-send for her. Because of the Rimadyl, she was able to live two good years and fortunate enough that other arthritis medications have been developed to allow her to continue to live a relatively normal life. It is my hope that people give their dogs the chance to live pain free, if the opportunity arises. But, they must also take responsibility to be involved in their pets' healthcare. If it had not been for Rimadyl, I would not have had the last two- and-a-half years with Tribble, who at this point intends to live until she decides its time to go."
11/5/99: Grateful to Pfizer and Rimadyl for German Shepherd's Relief from Pain
"My dog started taking Rimadyl about three months ago. He is a German Shepherd, 8 years old, with very bad hip displaysia and arthritis. So far he is doing very well, and, if anything should happen to him as a result of taking this medicine, I will still feel good about giving it to him. At least he has been comfortable for a while. Any medicine we take can cause complications. I still would rather have my dog without pain, even if it is just for a while. Thank you, Pfizer, for making Rimadyl."
10/22/99: Rimadyl Has Enormous Positive Impact on Life of 15-Year-Old Shepherd-Cross
"My 15-year-old Shepherd-cross, Emma, weighs 31lbs. and has been limping on one of her hind legs for years. During the past year, she has been deteriorating slowly. She's losing her sight and her hearing. I could tell her back legs were getting weaker all the time, but when she stopped eating and wouldn't get up, I could tell she was having some sort of generalized pain, so I took her to the vet. The vet suggested that Emma probably had a lot of aches and pains associated with her old age and prescribed Rimadyl. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Emma has been a different dog these past few months while taking her one-half 75mg. tablet twice a day (I just put it in her food). She has not passed up a meal once, and she always gets right up in the morning to go outside, and she even runs around like a puppy with me. Five days ago, I ran out of her Rimadyl and, while I ordered it from the vet, I didn't have a chance to get it. Emma could not even get up today. I picked her up, and she fell over like a rock. She would not eat, even when I carried her to her food. She lost control of her bladder while I was carrying her to the door to take her outside. I picked up the Rimadyl from the vet and gave her a pill. I am really hoping that, in a day or two, she will be feeling better. I don't want to have to put her to sleep, but she is very uncomfortable. I didn't realize what a huge impact Rimadyl had on Emma's everyday life. She really felt better. She looked happy and never seemed to be in pain. If this drug has this amazing effect on a dog like Emma, I would easily recommend it to others. Right now, my fingers are crossed."
11/23/99 Update: "After several days of lapsing her Rimadyl medication and finding her unable to stand or walk, I gave my dog, Emma, one dose of Rimadyl in the evneing. The next morning, she stood up and was able to walk outside to do her business. She was not 100% that day,but she is now back to her old self. This medication is truly amazing. I would have put Emma to sleep, she was in so much pain. To see her stand up and walk and even wag her tail not even 12 hours after the first dose was so impressive. I would recommend Rimadyl to anyone with an older dog who suffers the effects of aging the way Emma did. I will never again run out of her prescription again."firstname.lastname@example.org
10/18/99: Lab Mix with Vestibular Syndrome and Cushings Has Excellent Quality of Life on Rimadyl; Pfizer Salesman Tells Vet Side Effects Are "One in a Million"
"My Lab cross, Gracie, rescued from the charnal house of an animal dealer 14 years ago, is between 16 and 17, has old dog vestibular syndrome and has been diagnosed with Cushings. She falls now and then, but since she's been on Rimadyl, she very seldom needs help getting up, and, once up, she gallops all over the house, wrestles with my Chow, follows me everywhere, barks indignantly if I dare shut the back door when she's outside, or when the Chow won't move to let her pass, and is the happiest dog in the world. I was nervous about the side effects of Rimadyl, which she's been on for months, but the probability of her falling and not being able to stay up was greater. She does seem to fall less and is able to get up without help more since she's been on Rimadyl, and she certainly enjoys life immensely. I think it's unwise to extrapolate from anecdotal evidence. Only a well-thought-out study of thousands of dogs receiving Rimadyl versus other or no pain medications may indicate if Rimadyl is more or less toxic than they, and how the benefits and risks of all pain medications compare. Anecdotal reports are, of course, the first indications to come in, and I think should always be taken seriously. It's rather chilling to realize how many drugs are on the market for a long time before the makers say 'Ooops!' after a large number of untoward effects are reported. One vet told me that the Rimadyl salesman assured him that side effects were one in a million. However, the vet at the University hospital here said I should get regular liver function tests for any dog on Rimadyl. In the case of an old dog like Gracie, the quality of life with Rimadyl is worth some risk, of course."
10/15/99: Pup with Panosteitis Helped by Rimadyl Used on an As-Needed Basis
Breed: Lab/Chow mix (male, "Buster")
Age: 1 year when Rimadyl first prescribed
Reason for Rimadyl rx: Panosteitis
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 40-50 lbs (dosage not specified)
Did your vet warn you about side effects? No
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? We used Rimadyl for our dog when he was in pain from panosteitis. We used it infrequently, but did so over a period of two years. The orthopedic specialist said he would outgrow it, and advised us to administer Rimadyl only when Buster appeared to be in pain or would not get to his feet for things he normally would get up for. He is now three years old, and is no longer taking the medication, but it definitely helped to alleviate his pain while he was hurting.
10/1/99: Golden Retriever Mix Gets Two Added Years of Life, Thanks to Rimadyl; Question Raised Whether Purebreds Are More Susceptible to Side Effects
Breed: Golden Retriever Mix (female, "Annie")
Age: 9 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: hip dysplasia and/or severe arthritis
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 80 lbs.; 75 mg daily with food
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: Nothing other than possible stomach upset.
How has your dog benefited from Rimady? "Annie has been on Rimadyl for nearly two years, and the results have been dramatic. She was in a great deal of constant pain, and we were trying desperately to find some way to help her. As the saying goes, her spirit was willing but her body would not cooperate. In her younger days, she and her buddy would run trails for hours chasing birds and bunnies, but beginning in 1996, her movements were becoming more and more painful. Even chasing a ball only a few times would make it almost impossible for her to walk the next day. We first tried baby aspirin in her food, but there was no noticeable improvement. Then we tried "Pain Free" (glucosamine/chondroitin), also with poor results. Finally the vet suggested Rimadyl, but first ran a 'geriatric panel' to determine the feasibility of doing this. Lab results came back fine, also showed a need for Soloxine for thyroid. It took a little while (maybe a week) for us to start seeing any improvement, but soon she was able to walk and run with her canine companions without suffering the next day. Now, two years later, we have especially noticed her remarkable improvement over the last month or so -- her energy level is like a puppy's, and she can now actually jump up on her hind legs to greet us. It's amazing -- as if she has been given a new life. I'm saddened to read of all the heartbreak associated with this drug -- saddened for the pets who have died because of it, and saddened to think that something that has helped Annie so very much could also be her killer. However, the quality of her life prior to Rimadyl was so poor that there really wasn't much of an option. In fact, we were seriously considering putting her down because we couldn't bear to see her suffer as she was. I know that many humans, if given the option to live out their remaining days in constant, agonizing pain or to take a drug that would relieve the pain but might shorten their lives, would opt for the drug. The only thing I wonder about as I read all the tragic stories on this site is the dosage level stated for most of the pets -- 50, 75 and even 100 mg TWICE a day. That seems awfully high in comparison to Annie's 75 mg once a day (with food, never on an empty stomach). We know that Annie would have been gone from our lives long ago if it weren't for the Rimadyl. Is it possible there may also be a connection between purebreds and Rimadyl? I wonder since Annie is a mix and has had none of the side effects mentioned."
9/10/99: Rimadyl Works for 10-Year-Old St. Bernard
Breed: St. Bernard (male, "Goliath")
Age: 10 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, recent stiffness and limping problems
Weight and dosage: 148 lbs., 150 mg 2 x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: not specified
Comments: "Our Saint recently seems to have aged due to his advancing years and very hot weather. He was limping badly one day and seemed very uncomfortable. Our vet put him on Rimadyl. At first, I wasn't sure it was working; but within a couple of days, he really seemed much better -- even his personality was back to normal. He has been on Rimadyl for two-and-a-half weeks, but I do notice a remarkable difference. We stopped it for a two-day period to see if it made a difference, and it really did. He is much happier and walks better. He does not seem to be in any pain and also has a reat appetite again. I am very hopeful. I will keep you informed."
8/25/99 Border Collie on Rimadyl for Eight Months Is Active and Shows No Signs of Side Effects
Breed: Border Collie (female, "Abbie")
Age: 11 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, stiffness, limping
Weight and dosage: 39 lbs., 1/2 75mg tablet 2 x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: No
How has your dog benefitted from Rimadyl? "Abbie's been on the medication for 8 months. Within a few weeks after starting, her stiffness and limp disappeared. She is much more active. I have not seen any side effects. After reading about problems associated with Rimadyl, I called my vet. They were not aware of the problems and had not received any complaints. Abbie's current blood test results were normal. She had blood work done, as part of her annual physical, before starting Rimadyl, so we have baseline data. I'm relieved. Rimadyl has improved her quality of life quite a bit. My vet said he has had only one case involving side effects -- a dog experiencing nausea. This was solved by giving an antacid with the Rimadyl. I have always given Abbie Rimadyl with food to reduce the potential for stomach upset."
8/20/99 Rimadyl Used Following Surgery
"Our 11-year-old Cocker Spaniel was given Rimadyl after she was sedated for removal of skin growths and bad teeth. The only side effect she had was similar to any animal or human taking a pain-killer, i.e., sleepiness. She was on Rimadyl for about two weeks. No other side effects showed up."
\8/14/99: Rimadyl Helps 14-year-old Cocker Spaniel on a One-Week "Daily," then "As Needed" Basis
Breed: Cocker Spaniel (male)
Age: 14 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, prior cruciate ligament repair in both rear legs
Weight and dosage: not specified
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: Yes
Comments: "Recently my dog has had a lot of difficulty walking. My vet prescribed Rimadyl for one week , which worked wonders. Afterwards, we put him on Cosequin and a nutritional supplement. My vet said to give him Rimadyl only when he 'needed' it."
8/22/99: Rimadyl at Half the Recommended Dosage Works Wonders for Yellow Lab
Breed: Yellow Labrador (male, "Carter")
Age: 10 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis in shoulder
Weight and dosage: 100 lbs, 50 mg 2x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: Yes; dog is tested regularly for liver function
Comments: "Carter has been on Rimadyl for nearly two years. He is tested regularly for liver function, and we have seen no negative effects. He weighs about 100 lbs and gets 50 mg twice a day (with meals) -- half the recommended dosage for a dog his size. We live in a very hilly part of Oakland, California, and within two days of his starting on this medicine, he was pulling US up the hills on our walks, instead of the other way around! It has made a tremendous difference in his quality of life. Occasionally, we will walk further than we should or he will just have a 'bad spell' -- when he can't turn his head or lie down on his own because of the pain. When this happens, we just up his dosage to 100 mg twice a day and, within 24 hours, he is back to normal. I think that owners must take into account the age and activity level of their dogs when deciding on any medication. More frequent lab tests might be warranted, but the change in quality of life must be considered as well."
8/9/99: Rimadyl a "Godsend" for 15-year-old Golden Retriever
Breed: Golden Retriever (female, "Aspen")
Age: 15 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, limp
Weight and dosage: 100 lbs., 100 mg 2 x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: Warnings on label
Comments: "I adopted Aspen five years ago through a friend in People for Animals. She is a large girl with a love for tennis balls and small children. She has arthritis in her hips and a recurring front leg limp. Her condition has gradually deteriorated. A friend told me about glucosamine. Started the supplements, but didn't notice much change in her condition. Then I heard about Rimadyl and talked my vet into getting me some for Aspen. Two caplets a day 100mg each. Almost immediately her condition improved . She was just like a puppy and would play for hours with the kids in the neighborhood and her tennis ball. In the past three years, she has slowed down somewhat. I continue to use Rimadyl and have added chondroitin to the glucosamine (400 and 500 mg respectively). She sometimes needs a rear end boost, especially when on linoleum, and does not like stairs. Have read the warning notes that came with Rimadyl. Typical of a lot of drugs for people. Have been buying full 250 caplet bottles (cheaper in bulk) so always get the manufacturer's literature. To me Rimadyl is a GODsend. I have not seen any adverse effects on Aspen. I only wish there was an equivalent medicine for friends who suffer from arthritis."
8/9/99: Rimadyl Works, but Elevated Liver Enzymes Are Noted; Less Expensive "Feldene" Substituted
Breed: Pit Bull (female, Dixie Sugar Elizabeth, "Sugar")
Age: 11 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis
Weight and dosage: 60 lbs., dosage not specified
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?: Original prescribing vet didn't, second vet who we were transferring to for other reasons did
Comments: "My dog, Sugar, had been on Rimadyl with no obvious adverse effects for approximately five months. The Rimadyl was originally prescribed by Dr. Eric Sercy of St. Augustine, Florida. Our new vet, Dr. John Farah, of Jacksonville, Florida, had apparently become aware of some of the problems associated with Rimadyl. He asked me to bring Sugar in to run a blood study to check her liver enzymes. He ran one series then and noted that there was a slight increase in her liver enzymes from some previous blood work. When he ran a second series of tests approximately 6 weeks later and found a continued elevation, he prescribed the human medication, Feldene 10 mg. Sugar took 1 pill per day for four days and then 1 pill every other evening. I believe his preference would have been to not have her take anything, but the Rimadyl really was such a help. Before Rimadyl, I would just hurt for her watching her slowly get to her feet in the mornings. Slipping and falling was another common occurrence. Within a few days of starting on Rimadyl, she acted 3 if not 4 or 5 years younger. It wasn't quite like the gray-faced Irish setter in the Pfizer commercial, but it was close. The Feldene seems to provide an equal or at least 90% equivalent level of arthritis and pain relief. The generic is piroxicam. A prescription of 30 capsules is less than $8.00. At one pill every other day, the monthly cost is $4.00. Money is never the object (I'd give Sugar a kidney if she needed it), but $4.00 per month vs. $60.00 per month for the Rimadyl, is a big difference. There have been times in my life when I certainly wouldn't have had $60.00 a month for doggie arthritis pills, and I know many people now who can't afford it. Therefore, I strongly suggest that if Feldene doesn't have it's own bag of adverse effects, then DVMs should consider prescribing Feldene if only for the cost savings."
7/20/99 Almost-14-year-old Dog Is Given New Life by Rimadyl
Breed: Boxer/lab mix (female, "Guinevere")
Age: 13 yrs. 7 mos.
Weight and dosage: 75 lbs. 100mg Rimadyl twice a day
Reason for Rimadyl rx: hip dysplasia and arthritis of the spine diagnosed7 or 8 yrs ago.
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? "For the past two years, my dog has not been walking well. I had been giving her glucosomine and chondroitin supplements for the past nine months. One morning, about a month ago, she was unable to move or get up and could not go outside to relieve herself. I thought she was going to die, but she never lost her appetite or will to live. My vet gave me some Rimdyl for her. For the first three or four days, there was no improvement, but on the fifth day, when I was about to carry her dish of food to her in the front room of my house, she came walking into the kitchen! I almost fainted. Since then she has improved, with some days better than others. She has been on Rimadyl for about a month now. This past weekend I forgot on Saturday and Sunday nights to give her a second pill, with no adverse results. My vet seems to think there is no risk. Even though I read all the negative results, at her age -- going on 14 -- I think Rimadyl is a miracle and has prolonged her life and improved the quality. She walks better now than she had for the past year. Even if she only has six more months, I want her to be here every day."
7/18/99 Rottweiler with Cancer Gets a New Lease on Life with Rimadyl
Breed: Rottweiler (female, "TC")
Age: 9 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: pain from hip dysplasia
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 60-65 lbs, takes 50mg/twice a day
Did your vet warn you about side effects?: "I was well informed about the side effects when I went in to see my vet, so am not sure if the side effects would have been mentioned."
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? "She has been on Rimadyl for 8 months and is now free of pain from the hip dysplasia. It had gotten so bad, she would cry out and limp when she got up. The morning after she started Rimadyl, she was like a new dog. She's back to walking/jogging several miles, morning and night. She also has bone cancer and had her right front leg removed, but the Rimadyl, in addition to glucosamine, etc., has given her a new lease on life. I have blood work done on her every three months to check for side effects, but so far there have been none. Rimadyl is helping my dog lead a pain-free, happy life in the time she has left."
7/18/99: Dog Gets Relief When Using Rimadyl; Caregiver Angered about Not Receiving Warning of Side Effects
Breed: Belgian Sheepdog (male, "Regnier")
Reason for Rimadyl rx: vertebrae injured in jumping
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 65 lbs, 75mg
Did your vet warn you about side effects? NO (". . . and I'm mad!")
How has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? "He has had great relief from the drug and is back to his old self."
Remarks on Dog's Rimadyl Experience: "I have stopped using Rimadyl at this time, as I would never do anything to hurt any of my dogs. Regnier was a good worker, but I have retired him at only five years of age, rather then lose him in a few years due to any medication he uses for his back injury. I used Rimadyl to help him feel better, not to kill him. There are many ways to relieve back pain other than this drug."
7/16/99: Young Beagle with Dysplasia Benefits from Rimadyl Pre- and Post-Surgery
Breed: Beagle (female, "Disney")
Age: 1- 2 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: hip dysplasia and arthritis
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 25-30lbs, 37.5Mg 2x per day
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? "Yes, they said long-term usage could lead to liver damage, but there wasn't enough data to conclusively prove anything - said it was generally one of the safest medicines ever created for dogs."
How has your dog benefited? "Her condition was so bad that she could barely walk at times and could not jump or run without pain. The Rimadyl helped greatly, especially on cold days. There was a definite improvement in her demeanor and energy level while she was on it. We did not notice any side effects. She took it for about a year, until a corrective operation was done around her second birthday. She then took it for an additional month and now no longer needs it.
5/26/99: Rimadyl Helps 11-year-old Standard Poodle
Breed: Standard Poodle (female, "Chrissy")
Age: 11 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx:old hip problems, arthritis, etc.
Weight and dosage:76 lbs. 75mg 2 x daily
Did vet seem informed and inform you about potential side effects?:Yes, my vet informed me of the side effects, mostly liver damage. Bloods were taken before and after. Interestingly, she has increased appetite, perhaps from her feeling better.
Comments: "Chrissy had hip displasia in the right hip five years ago. She is now 11 years old and is having trouble with the left leg. I guess it's from supporting the weaker leg all these years. She does have arthritis in the legs and some in the back, and also general weakness. Rimadyl has given her an excellent quality of life. She has a little trouble getting up and around, but she's playful and happy." Update 5/27/99: It is with sadness that we report the sudden and unexpected death of Chrissy. She was taken to the vet, became more lame, and blood appeared in her urine; she died while at the hospital. A necropsy was not performed to determine the cause of death.
5/19/99: Pug Gets Two More Years of Life with Rimadyl
Breed: Pug (female, "Samantha")
Age: 15 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis, hind quarters
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 22 lbs;
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? "Not really."
How has your dog benefited? "About two years ago, my dog was having a difficult time getting around. She was sleeping many hours and was not as frisky as she used to be. I knew she was in pain; if I touched her in the hind area, she would immediately sit down and tremble in pain. The vet prescribed Rimadyl. Within three days, she was like a puppy again -- running around, sleeping less, and generally living her old life again. It has been over two years now. She is still doing fine. Blood tests are showing that she has elevated liver enzymes, but she eats and drinks well. Now she is starting to have problems controlling her bowels, but she is in no pain, and still has an excellent quality of life. If it weren't for Rimadyl, I would have had to put her down two years ago."
5/16/99: Rimadyl Gives Two Years of Life and Is More Effective Than EtoGesic for a Cockapoo
A post to the Senior-L E-mail list: "My 10-year-old Cockapoo, Cindy, has been on Rimadyl for the past two years. She has not had any problems so far. A few weeks ago we tried the EtoGesic, but it didn't control her pain, and she was miserable and lost her appetite. We put her back on Rimadyl, and she is doing so much better again. I think that most drugs have side effects of one sort or another, and I know that many dogs have had serious and even fatal reactions to Rimadyl. But, for us, Rimadyl has been a blessing. We would have had to say good-bye to Cindy two years ago without it. Also, I have experimented with the dosage and now have her on the lowest dose possible while still controlling her pain."
5/16/99: Quality of Life an Important Factor in Decision to Use Rimadyl
A post to the Senior-L E-mail list: "I have been closely reading the posts about Rimadyl with various levels of distress. I'm not an expert on this, but I do have a comment to make. My 14-year-old rescue Sheltie, Lady, was prescribed Rimadyl for her arthritis a month ago. Her condition had deteriorated to the point where she was hobbling badly and was chewing at her front legs. X-rays showed that the inflammation in her legs was so severe, my vet wondered how she walked at all. Before the X-rays, after he felt the knots in her leg, he feared bone cancer. Advanced arthritis was a relief, actually! She had been on Glyco-Flex, aspirin (buffered baby aspirin) and a number of 'natural' remedies. After two weeks on Rimadyl, she wanted to play Frisbee! Yes, I'm aware of the possible...POSSIBLE... side effects. I know that long-term use will most probably be harmful. My vet advised me to give her a 'break' from it after three weeks, and now that she has been off it for six days (we start her back tonight), she is again hobbling and chewing at her legs. I think some common sense needs to be applied here. If a dog of my dog's age is clearly suffering and Rimadyl is the only answer, then it is a chance I must take. If it is found that she was harmed by it -- that the drug caused her life to be shortened -- she is, after all, 14 -- then I can live with that because I know that the days or weeks she had were pain free. She did not live to be 15, or 16 or 17 huddled in pain in a corner. Sometimes there are choices to be made. I hope that everyone can make the choice on a case-by-case basis. To say under no circumstances would you give Rimadyl to your dog is doing the dog an injustice, I believe. But it is an individual decision. I hope people aren't scared off by the people who have had a bad experience. There is risk in life. And I believe quality of life for an aged dog, or human, for that matter, is of vital importance. I will loose her someday, probably sooner then later. But I feel I am doing the best for her."
4/30/99: Careful Vet Helps in Successful Use of Rimadyl; Notes that Negative Reports Always Outnumber Positive
Breed: Shepherd/Rottweiler (female, "Carly")
Age: 8 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: lameness, stiffness after activity
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 90 lbs; 150 mg taken as needed, usually 3x week
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? "Liver and basic chem panel were done....When we sat down to talk, I brought up what I had learned from this website regarding side effects. My vet was extremely open, discussed more recent studies regarding this very problem done in Maryland, and also discussed follow-up lab work; he felt it was probably not necessary more than every 3 months. He reiterated that websites will ALWAYS contain more negative than positive experiences; simply because of human nature to report problems more swiftly, but he NEVER took my concerns lightly, and was willing to do labs as I felt necessary or prudent.
How has your dog benefited? "My older dog has had marked stiffness after exercising, even though she sets the pace. After a dose of Rimadyl, the pain and stiffness are gone. Thus far, the benefits are side-effect free. I watch her VERY closely after receiving the info from this website. I am very grateful that my dogs have such a caring and concerned vet to look after them. "
4/28/99: Suggestions for Maximum Benefit/Fewer Side Effects with Rimadyl:
"May I suggest that regardless of the indications for the dosing of Rimadyl: (1) experiment on your own for the minimum quantity that will provide relief in order to tax the system the least; (2) administer one-half the dose in the morning and the other half in the evening to reduce gastric irritation, (3) administer with food to minimize gastric distress, (4) try having drug-free week ends to give the liver and gastric system some rest. The above measures (2 & 4) are the result of some valuable suggestions received from other users and my own (1 & 3) curiosity. My 9-year-old German Shepherd Dog has been on Rimadyl for two years with satisfactory results."
4/28/99: Owner Wishes to Share Very Positive Experience -- Amazing Improvement & Excellent Quality of Life Provided by Rimadyl
Breed: Mixed (female, "Smokey")
Age: approximately 15 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: severe arthritis in both back legs (the left back leg having been broken approximately 14 1/2 years ago)
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 65+ lbs., initially one 75-mg. tablet once daily, later boosted up to two 75-mg. tablets per day (one in the morning and one at night)
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? "No. We were the ones to bring it up as soon as he mentioned the word "Rimadyl". Prior to the initial vet visit, we had read through your web site and we told our vet about what we had read. He said he had never had any patients show adverse reaction to the drug."
Owner's Remarks: "We believe that Rimadyl prolonged her life and provided for a good quality of life for one more year. A week or so prior to beginning the Rimadyl, Smokey could barely walk - we had to carry her everywhere and physically hold her up to urinate. She was obviously in great pain and neither she nor we could continue on in this way. The Rimadyl worked it's wonders almost immediately - 12 hours after the initial dose, she was back to walking, running and playing like a puppy - it was a miracle! However, after about 7 months of doing well on the Rimadyl, Smokey was diagnosed with a bone cancer in her right front leg. At that time, the Rimadyl was boosted up to two pills daily for pain control, along with Torbutrol (a mild narcotic) to be given as needed for pain relief. At the time of the initial cancer diagnosis, about 5 1/2 months ago, our vet advised that he believed that Smokey only had 3 months to live. The Rimadyl, in conjunction with the Torbutrol, was still working wonderfully and Smokey was in no apparent pain - her quality of life was still very good. A few weeks ago, however, we started to notice some possible drug toxicity effects such as loss of control and balance, hot spots, urination in the house and excessive urination that had a strong and distinctive odor, all of which had never been a problem before. We did attribute these symptoms to the Rimadyl (based on everything we've read about it), but since Smokey was suffering from incurable cancer and since the Rimadyl was still providing obvious pain relief, we did nothing about it. Everything was fine until the evening of 4/25/99 when Smokey all of sudden could no longer raise herself from a sitting position or walk unaided. The situation remained the same the next morning. She was in horrible pain and all her reserves were used up - she could barely lift her head. We called the vet and brought her in late that afternoon. Given the situation and the fact that she would never get any better from this point forward, we had no choice but to euthanize. We held her until the very end...Smokey died on 4/26/99 at 5:30 P.M. All in all, Rimadyl for us provided one more blessed year of companionship with our beloved dog. Towards the very end there may have been some drug toxicity problems, but for us, the benefits of Rimadyl greatly outweighed any of the negative side effects. We hope this story will assist and give comfort to those people similarly situated. If we had it to do all over again, we would not have changed a thing."
3/27/99: 14-Year-Old Mixed Breed Has Regained Independence with Rimadyl
Breed: Mixed breed (male, "Moishe")
Age: 14 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: arthritis
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 45-50 lbs, 100 to 200 mgs daily
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? not specified
Owner's Remarks: "Last October Moishe had a slight stroke, but I don't believe it was related to Rimadyl. He stayed off the drug for a week. The vet gave him a B-12 shot and some other vitamin pills. Thank God he got better! He went back to Rimadyl later that week and has been fine ever since. If I could, I would be a spokesperson for Rimadyl. It has given my dog so much independence, and he feels good on more days than not. The only thing that I have to do is to help him when he walks down the stairs. I hold his collar so he doesn't get dizzy. That's the only reminder of the possible stroke."
3/27/99: 10-Year-Old Rottie Uses Rimadyl Successfully for More Than a Year
Breed: Rottweiler (female, "Freya")
Age: 10 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: pain and debilitation
Dog's weight and dosage taken: lowest possible dosage
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? not specified
Owner's Remarks: "My vet has prescribed the lowest dose that relieves Freya. We are monitoring her liver function. So far, she has had zero side effects from Rimadyl, and she appears to be pain-free. She runs, plays, jumps and is normal in all respects. I am very happy with Rimadyl and feel that it has given my girl a new lease onlife. I even have to put her backpack on (albeit empty) when we walk. She again wants to be useful and enjoys our walks."
3/22/99: Two-Week Regimen of Rimadyl Every Six Months Keeps 16-Year-Old Yorkie Going
Breed: Yorkshire Terrier (female, "Rattie," AKC "Prissy")
Age: 16 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: severely incapacitated and in obvious pain; struggled to get up
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 7 lbs, 12 1/2 mg 2x daily
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? No
Owner's Remarks: "It's nothing short of miraculous; she was moving about noticeably better by the third day. By the end of the regimen, she was bounding up the stairs and chasing Milkbones like 5 years ago. She started getting a bit hobbled again about six months later, and we repeated the regimen with the same results; she clears the top step on her way up. I am truly sorry for those who have lost their dogs to an adverse reaction to this drug. I had no idea of the potential; but I remember standing in the store, tears in my eyes, wondering whether I would need another box of dog food or not just before the first treatment (last summer). She is doing extremely well today."
3/22/99: Dog Reacts Negatively, then Recovers and Continues Successfully on Rimadyl
Breed: Jack Russell/Rat Terrier Mix (male, "Teddy")
Age: 14 years
Reason for Rimadyl rx: severe arthritis
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 21 lbs, 25 mg 2x daily
When reaction occurred following initial dose: 2 years
Symptoms: vomiting; refusal to eat or drink; diagnosed with pancreatitis
Date of episode: February 1999
Dog's current condition: recovered
Did vet seem informed & inform you about side effects? not specified
Owner's Remarks: "My dog had been doing very well on Rimadyl until about six weeks ago. He then started vomiting continously and was unable to eat or even drink water. We took him to an emergency room at a nearby veterinary clinic where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. He remained there for a week on an I V. The vet felt the pancreatitis was brought on by the use of the Rimadyl. However, we decided to go back to the Rimadyl because he was in such pain without it. Our vet recommended that we also give Cytotec with the Rimadyl, and he is doing fine. He has lots of energy and is going on two walks a day. It works for our dog."
3/22/99: Rimadyl Works Better than Etogesic for Senior Lab
Breed: Labrador Retriever (female, "Lori")
Reason for Rimadyl rx: Disc disease
Dog's weight and dosage taken: 62 pounds, 100 mg per day.
Did your vet warn you about side effects?: NO! - We discovered them only through this website
Has your dog benefited from Rimadyl? Yes - greatly. She could barely move before.
Comments: "My 11-year-old Labrador Retriever took Rimadyl for back pain for at least 2 years. The vet recommended using Etogesic as a safer alternative. Four months and continual bouts of intractable diarrhea later, we discontinued the Etogesic. All gastrointestinal problems immediately disappeared. When she became ill, I didn't suspect the Etogesic at first; the vet treated her for giardia/colitis, etc. I discontinued the Etogesic only after obtaining and reading the pharmaceutical pamphlet. After she was better, we returned her to Rimadyl, with careful monitoring, and she's been fine ever since. We're taking her in for blood work tomorrow to check out her liver function. Without the Rimadyl, I'm afraid she wouldn't still be with us."
Report Received Wednesday, January 20, 1999
Two Senior Female Dobies -- One Does Very Well on Rimadyl
"I have several older Dobies (14 yrs, 12yrs, 9yrs). Of these, I have given the two older dobies (females) Rimadyl. The 14-year-old has done wonderfully on it, with swelling in joints deminished to unobservable amounts. She is no longer listless and runs, plays, and digs again as if she were only 8. The 12-year-old did have some adverse side effects (kidney problems). But she is fine without the drug."
Report Received Monday, January 11, 1999
Rottweiler in Great Pain Gets New Lease on Life
Reason for Rimadyl: Arthritis
Dogs weight: 120 lbs
Dosage: twice a day - 100 mg
Owner's Comments: "My dog has been on Rimadyl for 15 months now. His arthritis was so bad that we had thought the time had come to put him down. Anytime he would rise from a lying position, he would cry out in pain for minutes - it was horrible. He would walk a few steps and then collapse in pain. He would cry at night whenever he changed positions. To date, my dog has experienced no side effects from this drug other than to get a new lease on life -- and for that I am truly grateful."
Report Received Thursday, January 7, 1999
Young Doberman Does Well with Rimadyl "As Needed"
Breed: Doberman (male, neutered)
Age: 3-4 years (has been taking Rimadyl on and off for a year)
Reason for Rimadyl rx: pain from fractured medial malleolus (ankle)
Dosage: 75 mg, for several weeks, twice a day; lately one half pill as needed
Comments: "Rimadyl has had no adverse affects on my boy. I try not to use it unless his pain is bad because it works so well that he has a 'false sense of security' that his leg is fine, when it isn't. He runs and plays and then his leg gets worse. Maybe it's his young age that's caused it to work so well? My vets have always given me the info on the drugs they've prescribed. My latest vet has recommended Glucosamine and Chondroitin --1000 mg twice a day for a year. It's cheaper than Rimadyl, and I haven't heard of any bad side effects. My dog has only been taking it for a week so far."
View reports from 1998