What are the Rimadyl side effects in dogs? Rimadyl was released by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 1997 as a new “wonder drug” treatment for arthritis and joint problems in dogs. However, although Rimadyl is very effective in reducing inflammation and pain in affected dogs, it is now known to cause a number of potentially serious side effects in dogs, particularly the Labrador retriever breed of dog.
Before being prescribed Rimadyl, it is very important that a veterinarian runs blood tests on your dog to rule out any underlying health problems that could lead to a reaction with Rimadyl. If the results indicate that the dog might already have impaired liver function, use of Rimadyl should be ruled out immediately as it could lead to serious illness or death. Dogs with kidney disease or bleeding disorders should also not be prescribed Rimadyl.
What are the Rimadyl side effects in dogs?
The majority of dogs suffer no side effects from taking Rimadyl, but a small minority unfortunately DO experience serious side effects as a result of taking the drug, so it is very important that you are vigilant at all times and monitor your dog for signs or symptoms of a potentially life threatening reaction to Rimadyl. For reasons as yet unknown, Labrador retrievers are particularly at risk of serious side effects cause by Rimadyl and should not be prescribed Rimadyl.
Side effects of Rimadyl include:
- A loss of appetite and unwillingness to drink
- Changes in urination patterns: sweet smelling urine, blood in the urine, and/or urinating far more than usual
- Vomit or stools containing blood
- Changes in skin, including scabs, redness, itching
- Change in normal temperament: lethargy, drowsiness, restlessness, aggressiveness, hyperactivity
- Stumbling, staggering, partial or full paralysis
- Jaundice: yellow whites of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes
The side effects of Rimadyl are mostly attributable to liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal problems: in some dogs, Rimadyl causes ulceration and bleeding in the gut, damage to the kidney function, and liver failure, all of which are potentially fatal.
Side effects of Rimadyl can occur with hours of taking the drug, which is why pet owners must be extremely vigilant once Rimadyl has been administered to their dog. In other dogs, adverse symptoms do not appear until a few days have passed. Initially the dog might seem a little off colour—perhaps off its food and more lethargic than normal.
What should I do if my dog appears to be suffering from Rimadyl side effects?
If your dog has been given Rimadyl and you suspect it has had an adverse reaction to the drug, there are a number of steps you should take without delay. Firstly stop giving Rimadyl to your dog immediately, and then take the dog to your veterinarian clinic and tell them you suspect Rimadyl toxicity is the culprit. If the adverse effects of Rimadyl are caught quickly enough, the right course of treatment can be given and the dog should recover. However, it is a good idea to keep accurate records of your dog’s symptoms and treatment in the event that you need to make a claim against Pfizer for a refund of your veterinarian expenses.