Rimadyl Killed My Dog?

The controversial use of Rimadyl in dogs has caused many dog owners to ask “Can Rimadyl kill a dog?” The medication is prescribed for pain and inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis, a common degenerative joint condition in dogs.

Can Rimadyl kill a dog?

Since it was first introduced to the market, Rimadyl has been reported in hundreds of cases to cause adverse side effects and even death in dogs. The most common issues are gastrointestinal upset and liver damage.

Not all dogs suffer the same adverse effects from Rimadyl, and not all side effects are life-threatening either. However, any dog taking this medication should be monitored, and you should thoroughly research the drug before beginning your pet’s treatment with it.

“At first, everything seemed fine. After a few weeks of taking Rimadyl, my dog didn’t seem to feel as pain anymore with his arthritic joints. But then I noticed that he was walking strangely and he looked kind of drugged up. I took him back to the vet for a checkup and she said he was having some stomach issues, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. My problem wasn’t until a few days later when he started shaking out of control and wouldn’t stop no matter what I did. A few hours after that, he started bleeding from his nose and eventually collapsed in my arms. I rushed him to the vet…but they couldn’t save him. Rimadyl killed my dog.”

“My dog died unexpectedly after being on Rimadyl for less than two weeks. I have been in contact with other pet owners who have had similar experiences.”

Rimadyl dosing chart
How much Rimadyl is safe for dogs?

How much Rimadyl can my dog have?

The recommended daily dosage is 2 mg/lb of body weight or 1mg/lb twice daily, with ongoing evaluation by your vet for the desired effects.

Dogs that are prescribed Rimadyl for their arthritis pain should be monitored closely for any adverse reactions to this medication. Toxicity from Rimadyl can occur when dogs are given doses that are too high or when they take it along with other medications.

Rimadyl reviews

Reviews for Rimadyl are overwhelmingly positive for owners who have given their pets the medication, but some reviews do warn about potential side effects.

It’s not surprising that Rimadyl is one of the most prescribed medications for dogs in the US. The drug, which has been around since 1997, decreases pain and inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Rimadyl is the brand name for carprofen, which is prescribed for joint pain, inflammation, and fever in dogs.

The drug comes as a chewable tablet. It is usually given once daily, with or without food. In some cases, the dosage may be divided into twice-daily administration.

The most common side effects of Rimadyl include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. In rare cases, this medication may result in stomach ulcers or a serious allergic reaction. It should not be used in dogs who are allergic to carprofen.

Rimadyl can interact with other drugs such as steroids and methotrexate. It should not be used together because this combination could lead to severe adverse reactions which can be fatal if not treated quickly and properly.

“I am surprised you do not rate Rimadyl higher. My vet prescribed this for my dog who has arthritis and it works great. I tried several other meds and non of them worked. This one does and he also likes the taste so that is a bonus. I am very happy with it and will continue to use it for him.”

“I was a little hesitant to use Rimadyl since it is a prescription drug. After a week, I noticed a difference and I am so happy that I took the chance. My dog has been on it for 2 years and she runs now when we take her out and she is very playful. She is now 13 years old and I think the Rimadyl helps keep her active.”

“My dog has chronic hip dysplasia. He’s 10 years old and recently started limping because of the pain. After taking him to the vet, she recommended Rimadyl. Within 2 days, he was back to his normal self! What a relief! Thank you, Rimadyl!”

“This is a long-term solution and not a quick fix. My dog has been on Rimadyl for almost 2 years. He is now 13 yrs old and still plays with his toys, but only for a short time. He does not chase the cats anymore. He walks normally but will stop to smell and pee every few feet. He doesn’t have the strength to pull me when I take him for walks anymore. He cannot jump into the back of my SUV anymore, so I have to lift him up and put him on a raised platform so he can get in easier. As I said earlier, he does not play like he used to but he is still happy, loves to go for walks and I feel guilty when I don’t take him because he looks at me with those sad eyes. If you have an old dog that has been suffering from arthritis, this might be something you want to try. The side effects are minimal and you can always stop taking it if there are any side effects or if your pet is uncomfortable with it.”

How much Rimadyl is toxic to dogs?

The drug manufacturer does not provide an exact figure for the amount of Rimadyl that is toxic to dogs, but case studies have shown that dogs respond adversely to doses of 11 mg/lb. Additionally, long-term use at therapeutic levels can result in clinical signs of toxicity.

How long does it take for Rimadyl to get out of a dog’s system?

Rimadyl can be given every 12 hours and still maintain its full effectiveness. As with all medications, there are some side effects associated with the use of Rimadyl.

If your dog has been prescribed Rimadyl, be sure that you have read the patient information leaflet and discussed the risks and benefits of using this drug with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet.

My dog is acting weird on Rimadyl

In some dogs, the drug can have side effects that make your pet seem “weird.” These may include changes in mood and behavior.

“My dog has been on Rimadyl for about a year now. She is 11 years old and in pretty good shape but she does have some arthritis. Recently I have noticed her acting strange when she takes her Rimadyl. She shakes, drools, acts lethargic and sometimes just wants to lay down. My question is, will this pass? Or should I talk to my vet about a new medication?”

“My 11-year-old Lab is on Rimadyl for hip dysplasia. I am concerned because he has been getting up in the middle of the night to go pee, and then he comes back and tries to get back into his bed. He gets so excited to get in his bed that he jumps on it and rolls all over it, which has messed up the sheets (he is a messy dog). Is this normal or should I be concerned about my dog’s behavior?”

“My name is Jenna and my dog, Remi, is a 6-year-old Golden Retriever. He was diagnosed with hip dysplasia shortly after I adopted him from the humane society. Rimadyl was prescribed for his condition, but I have noticed that it makes his personality change drastically. Remi used to be very sweet and gentle but now he tends to bite me when I pet him and he has even growled at me a few times. I am afraid that this medication will make him more aggressive so I want to know if there is any way to treat his pain without using Rimadyl?”

This is a common question we get asked. The answer has to do with how Rimadyl works in the body of your dog. If you were taking a human NSAID like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), you too would experience side effects like tiredness, dizziness, and stomach problems if taken in high doses over long periods of time. But you wouldn’t turn into a raging maniac because these drugs don’t work on dogs the same way they work on humans.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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