Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs

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Dogs undergo illness and disease like any other animal, which on occasion may call for prescribed medication as part of a treatment plan. As a result, your dog could respond unfavorably to certain medications due to allergies, how he metabolizes the drug, or a bad combination of certain prescription medications with other drugs or foods.

What is Rimadyl for Dogs?

Rimadyl is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (commonly referred to as a NSAID). It is often prescribed to help alleviate pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis in dogs or is given post-surgery. Side effects of NSAIDs for dogs may include a decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or black, tarry stools, and changes in skin or urination habits.

If your dog has been prescribed Rimadyl, make sure you keep a close eye on his reaction, especially within the first several hours after administering the drug. Consult your veterinarian immediately should any of these side effects appear, as they could be indicative of more severe, internal problems like bleeding ulcers or kidney and liver problems in dogs.

Always ensure you understand the risks and side effects that come with any medication to prepare for any unfavorable results. When starting any new prescription for your pet, make sure to adhere to the prescribed dosage amount and time between administering the drug to avoid adverse reactions. Notate as much as you can if there are changes in your pet’s appearance or behavior, so you can describe them accurately to your veterinarian, if necessary.

Side effects may not occur right away or they may lessen over time. Schedule regular checkups with your pet’s veterinarian to confirm that the prescription doesn’t need to be changed or discontinued altogether. What works for some pets may not be the best course of treatment for your dog.

How to Avoid Side Effects of Rimadyl

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Prior to prescribing your pet medication of any kind, your veterinarian likely will confirm allergies your pet suffers from and ask about prior complications with medications, illnesses, and/or surgeries. Keep your pet’s medical records up to date to ensure all information is current and accurate. This is especially important if you decide to take your pet to a new veterinary clinic for treatment.

Dogs who currently suffer from or have suffered from liver or kidney disease may not be a good candidate for Rimadyl because of possible side effects. Additionally, if your dog has had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs, ask about alternative methods of care for your pet.

Follow prescription instructions closely to help your pet heal fully. And if your pet is recovering quicker than anticipated, do not discontinue use of Rimadyl without consulting with your veterinarian first. Missing doses or an abrupt stop to taking any medicine could cause further side effects in your pet.

Generally speaking, pain and inflammation should subside within a few days of your dog taking Rimadyl. However, if you discontinue use before the prescription is empty, it may result in the return of these symptoms and not allow full treatment and recovery for your dog. Every dog will respond differently to the medication so be extra cautious of other pets who may accidentally ingest it.  

Rimadyl for Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Rimadyl may be prescribed for your pet if he suffers from osteoarthritis. The condition is a result of wearing of the cartilage and joints, which may occur as your pet ages. Osteoarthritis can be quite painful for dogs. You may notice limping, lameness, or stiffness in your dog prior to being officially diagnosed with osteoarthritis. If your pet is having a harder time climbing steps, walking, or engaging in physical activity, schedule a checkup to identify and diagnose the problem.

Osteoarthritis causes pain, inflammation, and ultimately discomfort for your pet. In some cases, osteoarthritis or other joint pain may require surgery for your pet. In milder cases, Rimadyl can help alleviate these symptoms and provide your pet a more pain-free quality of life even as he grows older.

Unfortunately, Rimadyl is not a cure for osteoarthritis. It may be a drug that your dog must continuously take over the years to help with pain. If your dog must take Rimadyl for an extended period of time, your veterinarian can discuss with you other routes of care. Review the pros and cons of the medication with your dog’s veterinarian to determine what is best for your dog both in short-term, and long-term situations.

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Rimadyl for Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia may affect certain dogs, usually larger breeds, and become quite painful over time. Hip dysplasia in dogs occurs when the hip joint does not develop correctly. This causes it to grind rather than glide when there’s movement, eventually causing significant wear over time and loss of function.

Certain breeds are predisposed to hip dysplasia including Great Danes, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers; although, smaller breeds are not exempt from developing the condition. Side effects include decreased range of motion, decrease in activity (due to pain), stiffness, and lameness. If you notice your dog is in pain as he walks or favors one side more than the other, he may be suffering from hip dysplasia or another joint disorder.

Rimadyl may be prescribed to help lessen the pain and discomfort from hip dysplasia. If your dog is overweight, this can exacerbate the condition. In addition to medication, it may be recommended that you change your pet’s diet and exercise to promote weight loss. While joint pain may not make your dog eager to run and jump around, you can take short walks or find other ways to keep your pet as active as possible. Typically, a veterinarian is going to recommend these changes prior to the option of surgery.

With the right lifestyle changes and proper treatment plan, you can provide your dog a good quality of life for years to come.

Alternative Types of Treatment for Dogs

Medications like Rimadyl may not always be a pet owner’s first option when seeking treatment. Regardless of if your veterinarian recommends Rimadyl for your pet, you can always ask about alternative treatments or consult a second opinion. Regardless of any specific type of medication that’s prescribed, your dog’s ongoing health and wellness routine is important.

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