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Rimadyl for Dogs

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Rimadyl for Dogs

What is Rimadyl?

Rimadyl is a brand of the veterinary drug carprofen. Vets often prescribe rimadyl as an anti-inflammatory, making it the most widely used anti-inflammatory drug for dogs. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) help reduce inflammation while having less negative side effects than steroids. This makes them more suitable for long term use. 

Carprofen is the most commonly prescribed pain relief medication for dogs. It is safer for dogs than human anti-inflammatory which should never be used in their place. You may see carprofen under other names such as, Novox, DOlox, Kelaprofen, Austiofen and Vetprofen.

What is Rimadyl used for?

Rimadyl helps reduce pain and inflammation in dogs. Because they are safer than steroids, rimadyl is the drug of choice to help reduce pain in dog in the long term.

They may also be prescribed in the short-term following surgery or dental procedures to manage pain, reduce fever and keep your dog comfortable as they recover. The most common reasons vets prescribe rimadyl for dogs is:

Rimadyl Dosage chart for Dogs

Rimadyl may come in the form of chewable tablets, capsules or injection. The daily dosage of rimadyl for dogs is one 2mg per body weight(in lbs), once daily. See the dosage chart below for details.

Rimadyl dosing chart that shows what dosage of rimadyl your dog needs per lb of bodyweight

Always consult with your vet if you are unsure what dosage of rimadyl to give to your dog as dosages may be adjusted based on your dogs condition.

Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs

As mentioned above, Rimadyl is safer for dogs than both human anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids. Regardless, Rimadyl still comes with potential side effects which may be a risk to your dogs health. Long term use of Rimadyl will increase the risk of these side effects. 

Side effects of rimadyl include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Fluid Retention
  • Weight gain
  • Seizured
  • Abdominal pain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Liver and kidney problems

If your dog is experiencing any of the above as a side effect of taking rimadyl contact your vet immediately. Your vet may change your dogs dosage or seek alternative treatment.

Pros and Cons of Rimadyl for Dogs

The side effects of rimadyl can be serious when used to treat pain in the long term, but can also have a positive impact on the quality of your dog’s life. In cases such as arthritis in dogs, owners must weigh the risk of side effects against the relief and increase of quality of life that rimadyl will give your dog.   

Rimadyl Alternatives

Although Rimadyl is known to be one of the safest anti-inflammatory drugs available for dogs, there are alternatives to Rimadyl if your dog reacts negatively to the medication. If medication isn’t an option speak to your vet about alternative pain management strategies. 

Natural anti-inflammatory remedies may be a pain relief option as an alternative to Rimadyl. Some natural anti-inflammatories include:

Always follow your vet’s guidelines and consult them before changing your dog’s medication.