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Rimadyl for Dogs: A Medication Used for Canine Arthritis & Other Types of Pain Relief

February 28, 2019

Relieving pain is one the most important things a dog owner can do for their dog. Pain in dogs can occur for many different reasons. Common causes are:

  • degenerative diseases such as arthritis
  • trauma, causing injury to bones, joints or other body parts
  • surgical recovery
  • cancer

Methods of Pain Relief in Dogs

There are many different methods of pain relief which can be used for dogs. Among these are:

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • non-NSAID drugs, such as tramadol
  • neutraceutical supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin
  • alternative medicine modalities, such as acupuncture and acupressure
  • physical rehabilitation

Rimadyl as a Potential Source for Pain Relief for Dogs

Rimadyl is an NSAID medication which is commonly used in dogs to control pain. Rimadyl contains a medication known as carprofen which functions as an anti-inflammatory medication, in effect reducing pain by reducing the inflammation associated with injury or degenerative joint changes.

Rimadyl is labeled for use in pain caused by chronic arthritis in dogs and in reducing pain associated with surgical recovery. However, it is commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat pain from many different sources. The anti-inflammatory effects of Rimadyl make the drug ideal in treating any injury or medical condition in which swelling and inflammation is present.

How is Rimadyl Used to Relieve Pain in Dogs?

Rimadyl is available as a tablet or a flavored chew. There are also generic forms of carprofen available which provide similar results to Rimadyl in relieving pain.

Rimadyl is generally given once or twice daily and is dosed depending on the weight of the dog. Rimadyl (and other forms of carprofen) are prescription medications, so your dog will need to visit your veterinarian in order to begin taking Rimadyl.

Your veterinarian may recommend routine blood tests to make certain your dog is a candidate for receiving Rimadyl. If your dog is placed on Rimadyl on a long term basis due to chronic pain, it is likely that your veterinarian will recommend periodic blood testing to make certain that your dog's liver and other internal organs are functioning normally.

What are the Side Effects Expected when Administering Rimadyl?

Rimadyl is a reasonably safe medication. However, as with any other medication, side effects may be seen. The most common side effects seen with Rimadyl are vomiting or diarrhea. The stools may become dark or black in color. A decrease in appetite and/or activity level may be seen as well. If any of these symptoms are noted, you should discontinue the Rimadyl medication and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Less commonly observed side effects are incoordination and seizures, aggression, increased thrist and water consumption, icterus (a yellow coloration seen in the gums), and skin rashes.

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