Rimadyl Killed My Dog

Your vet had prescribed Rimadyl as the best pain killer for your dog, and you followed the prescription to the latter, but your dog still did not make it. It is saddening that the medicine meant to cure your dog ended up being the cause of his death. So, what might have gone wrong? What are the precautions for giving this medicine, and the side effects? All these questions and more will be tackled in this article.

What Is Rimadyl For Dogs?

 Rimadyl, known by its generic name Carprofen, is manufactured by Pfizer, the largest research-based pharmaceutical company. It was initially introduced in 1997. This medication is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID). NSAIDs are used to treat pain and inflammation. It is well known that inflammation results in redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. The primary purpose of NSAIDs is to prevent the formation of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause inflammation.

What Is Rimadyl Prescribed For

A veterinarian recommends Rimadyl if a dog suffers from osteoarthritis-related discomfort or has just undergone soft tissue or orthopedic surgery.

Rimadyl is given in caplets or tasty chewables your dog will probably eagerly consume. Ensure the bottle is securely tucked away so your dog cannot access it. There are three strengths available: 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. The dosage and timing of administration are based on the dog’s weight and identified medical condition. Usually, the effect is seen between one and three hours.

Read all of the accompanying information provided with the medication, then carefully heed your veterinarian’s advice. In addition, your veterinarian should always include a Client Information Sheet with this medication.

Reports of Adverse Effects and Death From Rimadyl in Dogs

An estimated 15 million dogs with osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, or pain have used such a prescription. Unfortunately, although NSAID drugs effectively reduce pain and inflammation, about 3,200 dogs have died after taking them, and nearly 19,000 dogs have experienced negative side effects.

Specifically, Rimadyl received more reports of adverse effects than any other dog pain reliever, with the FDA receiving about 13,000 of them from January to November 2004. After receiving numerous reports of dogs dying and the FDA’s request that the word “death” be mentioned in the company’s television and other media advertisements, Pfizer decided to stop airing these advertisements.

Edward W. Kanara, director of animal-products technical services at Pfizer, claims that as soon as reports began to arrive, “we acted extremely rapidly based on the knowledge we had.” In addition, Pfizer notes that less than 1% of treated dogs are involved in reported adverse events.

Still Approved

Despite these issues, the FDA maintains that Rimadyl deserves to be sold, providing that veterinarians follow the necessary safety procedures. Among these are warning dog owners about adverse responses and routinely performing a liver function or other lab testing.

How Much Rimadyl Can I Give My Dog?

It must be prescribed by your veterinarian, who will also recommend the best strength based on your dog’s weight. The dosage of Rimadyl for canines following surgery is the same as when it is used to treat osteoarthritis pain.

Rimadyl Dosage Chart For Dogs

 Daily Dosage For Caplets/Chewables

Weight RangeDaily Dosage For Caplets/Chewables
5-10 lbs0.5 Tab 25mg
11-15 lbs1 Tab 25mg
16-20 lbs0.5 Tab 75mg
21-30 lbs0.5 Tab 100mg
31-40 lbs1 Tab 75mg
41-60 lbs1 Tab 100mg
61-90 lbs1.5 Tabs 100mg
91-120 lbs2 Tabs 100mg

Rimadyl killed my dog?

So what’s the issue with this medication? As previously mentioned, Rimadyl and other NSAIDs prevent the synthesis of “prostaglandins,” known to aggravate inflammation in joints that have been injured or have aged. The Senior Dog Project notes that this is problematic because prostaglandins are important for several other bodily processes. For example, the digestive system, liver, and kidneys are affected when production is stopped.

Below are possible reasons why Rimadyl can cause death; 


A veterinarian should prescribe particular dosages of the potent medicine Rimadyl be taken. If you give your dog too much Rimadyl, it might have fatal results.

An allergic reaction

Rimadyl or one of its constituents may cause allergic reactions in some dogs, which could have catastrophic results.

Existing illnesses 

Rimadyl may not be appropriate for your dog if they already have underlying medical concerns like liver or kidney illness because it can have major side effects.

Giving it with other medication

Rimadyl may interact with other medications your dog is taking, which could have deadly results and unpleasant side effects.

Age-related sensitivity

Older dogs may be more susceptible to the side effects of Rimadyl, increasing their risk of death.

Misuse of the drug 

If Rimadyl is given to your dog improperly or for an unapproved reason, it could have a negative impact on their health.

Inadequate monitoring

It’s crucial to keep a careful eye on your dog while they take Rimadyl and to let your veterinarian know if they experience any strange signs or reactions. Serious repercussions could result if you don’t do it.

Lack of a proper diagnosis

A veterinarian should only recommend Rimadyl after a comprehensive examination and diagnosis. Without a thorough diagnosis, Rimadyl prescriptions might have detrimental effects on your dog.

Genetic predisposition

Due to a genetic predisposition, some dogs may be more vulnerable to adverse responses to Rimadyl.

Failure to adhere to veterinary recommendations

To protect your dog against unwanted effects, it’s critical to adhere to the prescribed dosing and administration instructions provided by your veterinarian. Serious repercussions, including death, could result from failing to do so.

Side Effects of Rimadyl

When taken as recommended, Rimadyl for dogs is considered to be generally safe. However, despite being useful for managing pain and inflammation, it has certain potential negative effects, just like any other medication. The following are typical Rimadyl adverse effects:

Gastrointestinal problems

Dogs on Rimadyl may experience digestive disorders, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a decreased appetite. Consult your veterinarian right away if your dog isn’t eating while on Rimadyl so they can get the nutrients they need to recuperate. If your dog takes Rimadyl for a prolonged period, GI side effects are usually of greater concern.

Liver & kidney problems

If Rimadyl has a bad impact on a dog’s kidneys, the dog may drink more water or urinate more regularly while taking the medication. Maintain a close watch on your dog and contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of jaundice, as this could be a sign that the medication is affecting their liver function. Although liver and kidney symptoms are uncommon, they can be severe and even fatal. For prolonged use, your dog’s liver will probably be monitored by your vet.

Neurological symptoms

Rimadyl use in dogs can have serious side effects, including seizures, loss of coordination or balance, and loss of fundamental motor function.

Why you shouldn’t give your dog Rimadyl?

Pregnancy or breastfeeding

Since Rimadyl may affect growing fetuses or puppies, it is not advised for pregnant or nursing dogs.


Rimadyl is not advised for puppies younger than 6 weeks old since their bodies might not be able to metabolize the drug adequately.

Pre-existing liver or kidney disease

Dogs that already have liver or kidney illness may be more vulnerable to Rimadyl’s potential adverse effects, so a vet should be consulted before beginning treatment.

Other Medication 

Other drugs, including NSAIDs, corticosteroids, or opioids, may interact with Rimadyl. To prevent potential problems, reviewing all the drugs your dog is on with your veterinarian is crucial.


Rimadyl or some of its inactive components may cause allergies in some dogs. Therefore, before giving your dog Rimadyl, it’s crucial to address any known sensitivities with your veterinarian.

Other health conditions

Rimadyl may not be suitable for dogs with certain medical issues, such as heart disease, gastrointestinal ulcers, or bleeding disorders. If you want to know if Rimadyl is the right medication for your dog, you must discuss your dog’s medical history with your vet.

Is Carprofen Safe for Dogs?

Rimadyl is generally considered safe for dogs, but you must always adhere to your veterinarian’s recommendations to keep your pet safe. Before giving your dog NSAIDs, your veterinarian will perform blood tests to reduce any negative effects on the liver and kidneys.  

It’s also advised to watch your dog and note any emotional changes. However, most pet owners see improvements when their dogs are more at ease moving around with less pain and inflammation due to Rimadyl use.

To ensure your veterinarian is prescribing something reasonably safe for your pet, it is crucial to discuss the drugs your pet is currently on with them. Vets should also be informed of any allergies or adverse drug responses your dog may have experienced.

Alternatives to Rimadyl

There are many natural alternatives for Rimadyl, but they might not be as effective or quick to work as a prescription anti-inflammatory drug, which is one of the reasons they aren’t popular. They probably won’t be very effective for serious injuries like a torn cruciate ligament. On the other hand, they appear to be more effective for chronic arthritis.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

This spice is frequently found in powdered form in supermarkets. People frequently use it for arthritis. Empty capsules can be purchased and filled with this spice to simplify administration. It can also be combined with food or sprinkled on top of it. Turmeric is usually mixed with bromelein because it is not readily absorbed.  

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplement

This supplement is extremely safe. This vitamin is extremely safe. Essentially, glucosamine comes from the shells of crustaceans, whereas chondroitin can be obtained from cow, shark, or whale cartilage—the supplement help to lessen discomfort and promote cartilage healing. Fortunately, the likelihood of negative effects is extremely minimal. Certain dogs occasionally experience vomiting and diarrhea. However, this is rare; these symptoms usually go away when the supplement is taken with food.

Once started, this prescription should be taken continuously, and fortunately, because of its safety, it is appropriate for long-term usage. According to studies, cartilage deterioration resumes within 4 to 6 months after supplementation is ceased. The best part is that glucosamine and chondroitin are conveniently available online, at veterinary clinics, and in health food stores. This supplement doesn’t need a prescription. However, it’s crucial to always consult a vet before introducing any new supplements.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Like glucosamine, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids need time to start working. Within eight weeks, expect to see changes. This supplement works by reducing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Some owners have found success using these supplements. However, the length of time it takes to start working is the only drawback.


For dogs with severe chronic joint disorders like arthritis, some veterinarians advise tramadol to help with pain relief. Since it’s a prescription drug, consulting your veterinarian is essential before administering it to your dog. It’s also a good idea to first try more natural solutions, like turmeric, before turning to medication.


Dogs who experience neuropathic pain or epilepsy may benefit from taking gabapentin. It functions by preventing the production of specific brain chemicals involved in transmitting pain sensations.

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic treatment entails physical manipulations of the spine and other joints that can help dogs move more freely and have less pain. It can be used with other treatments and is a natural medication substitute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Get Itchy From Rimadyl?

Dogs who use Rimadyl can develop skin issues such as itching, redness, and scabs. Get in touch with your veterinarian if you detect these symptoms after giving your dog Rimadyl.

Does Rimadyl Make Dogs Hyper?

No, there is no proof that Rimadyl causes hyperactivity in dogs. However, you should consult your veterinarian to be sure your dog is not experiencing an adverse response if he does start acting aggressively or exhibiting severe behavioral changes after taking Rimadyl.

How long can my dog take Rimadyl?

Rimadyl is regularly given to treat pain and inflammation for both long- and short-term use. The condition of your dog and the advice from your veterinarian will determine how long they need to take Rimadyl.

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