Rimadyl Overdose: Is Rimadyl dangerous for my dog?

Rimadyl is a very common treatment for arthritis. The drug is typically prescribed by veterinarians for aging dogs who are finding it hard to run around as they used to without a lot of pain, but Rimadyl can also be given to dogs suffering from other joint problems such as hip dysplasia. However, in light of a great deal of negative publicity related to serious side effects in dogs after taking Rimadyl, what about a Rimadyl overdose: is Rimadyl dangerous for my dog?

The exact figures for the number of dogs negatively affected by Rimadyl is not known, but the figures are high enough to cause concern amongst pet owners all over world, especially since Rimadyl is routinely prescribed by many vets without necessarily offering any warnings about potential adverse reactions to the dog’s owner.

Rimadyl overdose: is Rimadyl dangerous for my dog?

Taking too much of any drug is never a good thing and giving an overdose of Rimadyl to a dog is no different. If Rimadyl is prescribed at the correct dosage for the dog’s weight, you are unlikely to have any problems, but if excess Rimadyl is given, the drug can cause a number of serious health problems including liver and kidney failure.

What is the correct dosage for Rimadyl?

Rimadyl dosage is based on the bodyweight of the dog: 1mg per 1Ib. Rimadyl comes in caplet or chewable tablet form and can either be given to the dog at the vets, or bought online and administered to the dog at home, although you are always advised to only give Rimadyl to a dog under veterinarian supervision because of the potential side effects.

What are the signs of Rimadyl overdose in a dog?

The signs of a Rimadyl overdose in a dog are virtually the same as those caused by an adverse reaction to the drug, namely vomiting, diarrhoea, black and tarry stools, dizziness, confusion, seizures, and ultimately death.

Never underestimate the seriousness of a Rimadyl overdose in your dog—taken in large amounts or in conjunction with certain other medications, including aspirin, Rimadyl is very toxic and will cause liver and kidney failure, gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding, and eventually, death.

Some dogs experience a bad reaction almost immediately after being given Rimadyl. When this occurs, the dog will require immediate veterinary attention in order to minimise the seriousness of the reaction and to prevent the dog from dying. In other cases adverse reactions caused by a Rimadyl overdose can take a few days or longer to show.

What should I do if I am concerned about a Rimadyl overdose?

If you have unwittingly given Rimadyl to a dog that is already taking a conflicting mediation such as aspirin or corticosteroids, you will need to monitor the dog closely and if you see any sign of a bad reaction, take it to the vets immediately. It can often take a few days for the signs and symptoms of liver damage to manifest, so be alert to tell-tale symptoms such as excessive thirst, lethargy, unsteadiness, jaundice, and eventually seizures.

37 Responses to “Rimadyl Overdose: Is Rimadyl dangerous for my dog?”

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  1. andrea says:

    all I know is that rimadyl should come with a warning of death. My darling dog died suddenly – from vomiting blood- on rimadyl. vet gave a 16 lb dog 25 mg a day- and for thirty days.

    • Joy says:

      So sorry Andrea, I thought I was going to lose my dog the other day when he developed seizures and we are travelling remotely in Australia where a nearest vet was 100’s of kms away. I was so scared but luckily stopped his medication immediately and he has come good, we are still a few days away from seeing a vet though. After reading what I have read I am very surprised and upset the vet did not take blood tests or give me any kind of warning, I told her absolutely everything and she let me wander off into the never never with this drug for my dog………I haven’t worked out the conversions yet my dog is 20kg and he was given one 50mg tablet per day

  2. Cindy says:

    My dog died suddenly from Rimadyl in my arms from a seizure,one dose 25 lb Jack Russell on VALENTINES DAY NITE. DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG THIS NO MATTER WHAT, I REPEAT……DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG THIS OR IT WILL DIE IN HOURS. IAM HEARTBROKEN SICK.

  3. Nancy Manning says:

    I agree, Andrea. Our 12 year old dog was running on the beach in May. She was prescribed Rimadyl two weeks ago and died suddenly this Wednesday. We are devastated by her passing and I wish that I never gave her this drug under the guidance of her vet.

  4. Laura says:

    My 11 1/2 year old boxer, Jax, passed away the morning of 8/7/12. He was given Rimadyl for pain and swelling after having surgery for an ear hematoma on 8/1/12. Before the surgery, he was happy and healthy and full of life. I was never told about the side effects and blindly trusted my vet. I wish I would have checked the drug out before I gave it to him. I am beyond devastated and feel like I have killed my boy. Shame on vets who give it to trusting pet parents without informing them that their pets could die. I’m guessing it must be a drug they can get cheaper than the safer ones. Please, if you are reading this before you give this to your pet…DO NOT give it to them and if you have…STOP immediately! And if you have lost your pet because of this drug…I am deeply sorry for your loss. 🙁

  5. Katherine Picard says:

    My 10 year old American Bull Terrier who suffers from Arthritis in her hips has been prescribed 100mg Rimadyl in a chewable tab per day and I am scared to death to give her the dose. After reading these sad, sad stories of lost pets I don’t think I want to give this drug to my sweetie pie.. Or, should I cut the tabs in half and give 50mg per day? I want to help take her pain away so I am really torn between trying with this drug or living with watching her slow down a little more every day..Her poor hips just hurt..

    • Tami R says:

      My 11 yr old,100 lb husky mix has blown his acl’s and I was started with 100mg rimadyl twice daily. I found shortly thereafter that he did ok with 50mg/twice daily and my vet said that is perfectly fine. He’s been on this for over a year now and doing very well. I struggle with the question, am I killing my dog with this med or am I helping him live pain free for the remainder of his life…?

      • Melissa Denzer says:

        I have a 120 lb cane corso Italian mastiff, and at only a year old he tore both his ACLs. Before starting Rimadyl, my vet ran extensive blood testing to make sure my boy was healthy enough to handle the medication. He went back after a month of taking 100 mg tablet chewables twice a day, and had his blood levels checked once again to make sure he was tolerating the medication. He’s now been on Rimadyl for over a year, and every six months he goes in and has his blood checked to make sure there is no organ damage and that he’s still tolerating his medications. After about eight months of Rimadyl, he was unable to sleep at night so my vet added gabapentin to his medications. I give him this only as needed such as when the weather affects his joints or he has an overly active day and he’s very sore. Honestly, I’ve had no problems with Rimadyl for my dog, but if the blood tests ever show there is damage, I may have to revaluate it’s usefulness. Unfortunately, my dog is not a candidate for surgery, so if his medication is unable to aide him on his pain, I will have to consider putting him down. If it weren’t for this medication, I would have had to put my boy down about a year ago. He’s a little over two years old now, and I know every day I get with him is a blessing. But I agree with you when you are thinking to yourself “is short term pain relief worth long term damage to my dog?” I know, in my dogs situation, he wouldn’t have a long term if I couldn’t make his short term mostly pain free and enjoyable. I’m so sorry to hear that people have lost dogs to this medication, and all I can think is maybe if you are thinking about this medication for your dog, have blood tests ran to make sure your dog will tolerate it.

    • alli p says:

      dogs are like people. they do not all react the same way to a drug. i normally halve the dose the vet prescribes at first to see if it’s tolerated. i have 5 large senior dogs in my rescue right now. they all take rimadyl for arthritis. it’s lke any drug. there is no one size fits all.

  6. Stevel says:

    My 12 1/2 year old Rott / Lab mix is on Rimadyl and has been for about 1 .5 years and it has helped him alot, I thought we were going to lose him before he started taking it. My vet does do bi yearly blood tests though.

  7. My dog Cowboy is going on 14.
    He has chronic arthritis in his back legs.
    I started giving him Inflapotion from Glacier Peak Holistics.
    Within 48 hours I saw a HUGE difference
    It has been over a month now and he acts like a puppy!
    I highly recommend this product.
    The best part is it is made 100% from herbs!
    http://www.glacierpeaholistics.com

  8. olene mccoy says:

    vet prescribed 100mg yesterday, she tore her nail off to the quick, now that I read this, no more, she acted awfully hyper last night and out of breath, no more. tks.

  9. Carolyn says:

    We nearly lost our boy after giving him the Rimadyl he was prescribed for tendoniitis. For whatever reason it is literally toxic to his liver (as with many other dogs). Rimadyl also caused permanent damage to his kidneys.

    There is no knowing whether or not Rimadyl will poison your dog. Everyone should know this before administering it to their pet, we wish we had been informed before we gave it to him, and also what side-effects to look for (…and told about a blood panel…). Pfizer lost a class-action law suit because Rimadyl has snuffed out so many dogs and that point should not be taken casually by prescribing vets. We were horrified to learn all this as our dog’s life was hanging in the balance and angry that we didn’t know just how contentious the drug is prior to using it.

    We were lucky our boy lived. It cost us a few thousand dollars to see him through that awful time and this will continue to cost us moving forward. Supplements, special diet, and regular blood tests, have all become necessary due to the permanent kidney damage Rimadyl inflicted on our poor dog at only 3 years of age. While he survived, Rimadyl likely cut his life expectancy too…all to help with a bout of tendoniitis that hasn’t been a problem since.

    It is absolutely horrifying to see your beloved companion deathly ill and know that you literally poisoned him with every dose you fed him – and for some dogs one mere dose = death.

    • Samantha says:

      So sorry. I feel the same way.
      To everyone I say: DO NOT GIVE THIS MEDICATION TO YOUR DOG!!!!!!!!
      My dog was prescribed to it for a minor issue. After 2 days, he could barely walk. He staggered when walking when he could get up. His back legs kept buckling. I took him off the medicine 2 days ago and am already seeing improvement, but not normalcy like before. His back legs are still very lame and weak.
      THIS DRUG IS POISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate Rimadyl and the makers need to take this poorly designed drug off the market. WHY IS IT ON THE MARKET AFTER THIS MANY SIDE EFFECTS? THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      The quality of my 3 year-old bichon’s life should not be determined by a drug that is supposed to FIX a problem. Instead it causes more pain and problems. I cried for 2 straight days thinking my dog was paralyzed and might possibly die. It made me wish I never went to the vet to begin with. My dog was a very happy, playful, and youthful dog. He has now lost that and is having to be crated until he hopefully has a full recovery from this poisonous drug.

  10. Kinga says:

    I have 5 years old beautiful chow-chow that just recently got hit by the car. He suffered a radial nerve damage and after the accident was swollen a bit but alert. I rush him to the vet and all x-rays were taken – nothing broken. However, in a right paw no nerve feeling. The doctor give him some pain medication and instructed to visit a neurologist in the morning. We put ice bags over him over nite that reduced the swelling and give him pain pills. The neurologist prescribed Rimadyl. I was smart enough to read it about the drug before we give him any. I did not used any and it was a God sent based on what I am reading here. Instead by dog have been getting COCONUT OIL everyday since he was a pup plus we give him home cooked meals, meats and vegetables. As a result he was never sick or any problems. Now, returning to Coconut oil – that is a natural reductor of inflammation and removes arthirisis pain completely. I buy only this brand – SKINNY COCONUT OIL (look on google you can buy this only online and I guess in some stores but I never seen that brand in any store)- it is the best coconut oil that you can buy. I am not endorsing any product here – since I am just a customer for over 2 years now. Read about coconut oil – not the one you buy in the store it honestly have to be pure, nothing added and extracted without any heat. Now, my dog recovered in 2-3 days after the accident, no pain, started walking around, eat well, drinks water and gets one tea spoon in every home cooked soup we give him (twice a day tat is). I also give him vit B Complex, and Boiron Hypericum perforatum, Nerve pain 80 ea (nerve regrow St.John ward, look on e-bay) into every meal. Also, he gets accupuncture every Wednesday. He had 3 sessions so far and nuckling completely stopped. He is walking quite well not using the paw that was hit yet. He is on his way to full recovery. I still have Remadyl in my kitchen drawer and I am going to trow that in a garbage. I am posting here for other pet owners so they can beware that they are other ways to treat nerve pain. Natural way with coconut oil. Read about various uses of that product you will be amazed. It helped my dog tremendously. I am European myself and we in Europe feed table food to dogs. They eat what we do and honestly I never had any dog with any health issues. We had dogs that were 20-25 years old. Insane that is but because we did not nor we had any dry or dog food to give in 1980. Dog food produced in USA is the worst poison you can give to your animal and that is why dogs have all the issues there. I feed my dog home cooked soups, meats, raw eggs, bones, vegetables, raw eggs and even he likes salads with dressing on them. I never give him any potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms etc. If they are in the soup then very small amounts. This is my third chow-chow and 2 before him lives to be 22 and 24 respectively. I never bough any dry food in my live and never give to any of my dogs. This is pure business people and making money but in a way you killing your own animals. Switch the food, give him coconut oil and you will see your dog will recover from any issue he has. Coconut oil had so many uses for viruses, arthiritis, bacteria, stomach problems plus change the food and your problems and vet bills will stop immediately.

    • Kathy says:

      THANK YOU. YOU ARE RIGHT. MY BABY JUST HAD HER FIRST SEZURE THIS MORNING FROM THAT TERRIBLE DRUG RYMADIL AND IF GOD WILL JUST HELP US I WILL NEVER BE GUILTY OF GIVING HER ANOTHER ONE. COCCONUT OIL IS THE WAY TO GO. I HAD NO IDEA. THANK YOU SO MUCH

  11. Karen Roberts says:

    My dog Daisy is 15. She was prescribed Rimadyl 100mg a day for arthritis in her hips. Unfortunately while I was out yesterday visiting friends Daisy got the bottle off the kitchen table and ate 11 all at once. Not realizing until the next day after she had raging bloody diarrhea I realized that the med was gone. Now she is at the animal hospital. Her blood work that was done right away was actually normal . I hope and pray she pulls through this. And by the way I love my vet but was not told about side affects and how dangerous this med is

  12. Lauren Gossett says:

    My dog was prescribed rimadyl for an injured leg and she got to 5 pills. I called the emergency vet who treated her and they just told me to give her Pepcid AC for one week. She now has diaherra a day later and I’m concerned reading everything about rimadyl. I don’t know if I should take her back in

  13. meliss says:

    Please do not use this drug for your pets. We lost our fur baby . The side effects were terrible. The vets prescribed this for a bad inner ear infection. He lost the ability to walk . He had a terrible seizure. We know for sure Rimadyl was the cause because our other dog had the same side effects after using this drug prescribed by our trusted vets. They did not tell us how dangerous this drug could be. Why do doctors still prescribe this for pets? We are so devastated.
    I want to help others now so they don’t have to endure what we went through.

    • Samantha says:

      I know!!!!! I am so sorry for your loss. This medication is crushing human’s spirits. Doesn’t the company know that pets and their owners have such strong bonds. They are continuously jeopardizing that. My pet has been injured by this drug as well. I am considering legal action.

    • Kathy says:

      After my 8 year old Boxer had a SEZURE this morning that I suspect Rymadyl was the CULPERATE my vet has just called me — AND I QUOTE— RIMADYL HAS NEVER CAUSED A SEZURE IN ANY DOG AT ALL NOT ONE. IT MAY ON RARE OCCASIONS EFFECT THE LIVER BUT IN NO WAY HAS IT EVER CAUSED A SEZURE IN ANY DOG”—— I said are you kidding me!!!! After I have literally just read hundreds of people’s reviews on where RIMADYL has caused many to even DIE ALONG WITH TERRIBLE SEZURES. YOU MEAN ALL THESE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE WRONG??? She said YES THEY ARE. IT HAS NEVER CAUSES A SEZURE IN ANY DOG!!!—— so needless to say… I am looking for my baby a new vet. I will not be done like this by any idiot that does not believe this drug has in fact caused so many to loose their beloved pets!!! People don’t just make up tails on MEDS. People KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR PETS AND I REFUSE TO GO TO SNY VET THAT IS THAT BRAIN DEAD. MIGHT AS WELL TREAT HER MYSELF. SHE WOULD BE LOTS BETTER OFF I KNOW THAT!!! So to all of you out here reading this… El Dorado Arkansas doesn’t know what the effects of RIMADYL will really do to pets. Stay away from vets like that. They cannot help your pet only their pocket book!!!
      My deepest sympathy to all that has lost their babies due to this horrible drug and vets that perscribe it

  14. Jenny Smith says:

    We just lost our beloved dog Molly A 13 year old black lab mix.
    It started with coughing and the vet started her on a diuretic since vet told us she had early changes in her heart and pulmonary congestion. She also started Molly on generic Rimadyl for her weak and arthritic hips. Though the coughing completely stopped and pulmonary congestion resolved, Molly started to go downhill over the next 6 weeks. No energy, listless, no appetite but drinking large amounts of water and frequent urination. She started at 68 lbs but lost weight and was down to 56. The vet dx renal dysfunction and gave her IV drips, they we took over with subcut drip. therewas no saving Molly and her BUN skyrocketed to over 80 and Creatinine 10.6. Complete renal failure.
    we had to say good bye to our beautiful dog. COULD the Rimadyl have caused this? Jenny

  15. Jeff says:

    My 12 year old Aussie needed a tooth extracted 2 weeks ago. I was prescribed Rimadyl and Tramadol. Shortly after, he can no longer jump on the couch. He then ripped the stitches and had to go back in and redo them. More Rimadyl and Tramadol. I really think the Rimadyl and /or Tramadol has caused his sudden weight gain plus the muscle weakness in his rear legs. I’m stopping now and hoping we can reverse this. I’m also hoping we can control his pain level with Wobenzyme and Coconut Oil. And switching off kibble has cleared up his bad breath almost completely. I think the Rimadyl has also caused his constipation or not having the urge. Could be the lack of kibble and all those fillers or the switching of the diet to home made cooked meals or the Rimadyl/Antibiotic/Tramadol cocktail. Sorry for the ramble.

  16. Tina says:

    My 13 yr old chocolate lab/Aussie mix was tested for acceptable organ function then put on 75 mg of Rimadyl two times a day about a year ago for help with arthritis. I only gave him one a day but the last month or so he is really declining in mental status. When left alone or with his buddy, he seems to get anxious, going from corner to corner, chewing door frames, boxes, or anything he can get his teeth on. He has a distant look in his eye, his hearing is failing him and once he snapped out at someone taking his bone away. He seems to settle in a crate when we are gone. This prevents a lot of mischief and keeps him safe. I’m not sure if the Rimadyl is the culprit but I am stopping it to see if there is an improvement in his behavior. All this coming from a dog that has not done 1 thing wrong in his life. Now all of a sudden he is ripping the house apart. Toxicity or just old age?

  17. Alexandra says:

    Two days ago my newly adopted black labrador retriever female got into a bottle of Rimadyl that had been prescribed to my previous dog who died of cancer six months ago. The previous dog, a shepherd mix, was on Rimadyl without any side effects for over a year.

    I have a box of old pills from various previous pets, unfortunately took it out to find something and forgot to put it away. Because Rimadyl is flavored to be palatable to pets, my girl picked THAT bottle to pull out of the box and rip open.

    I was lucky that I found the mangled bottle within 10 minutes of her doing that … and got her to the vet right away. I don’t even know how many pills were in the bottle, could have been up to 30 (75 mg). But I think more likely around 13 since my previous dog had been receiving one a day between prescription and the day she died 17 days later. They induced vomiting and found 13 fragments in the vomit.

    This was the night of 4/12, 36 hours ago. They checked her in to the ICU and are giving her IV fluids, charcoal to absorb anything in her stomach contents…. unfortunately she had not eaten for 10 hours so her stomach was empty and possibly the drug absorbed faster (I hear it absorbs fast). But hopefully she only got a dose roughly equialent to 7 pills when 1 pill is a normal daily dose.

    I had heard that labs are particularly susceptible to Rimadyl toxicity. But get this – at the SPCA where I adopted her three months ago, we had a free wellness checkup … her spay incision was a bit red and lumpy and the vet there IMMEDIATELY suggested Rimadyl and when I mentioned the lab/toxicity connection he completely discounted it and said that he had prescribed it for thousands of dogs.

    I think he was *far* too quick to prescribe Rimadyl to a dog with a reddish spay incision just 5 days post-spay. I declined the prescription.

    They’re going to do bloodwork today to check her kidney and liver function. If it looks OK they’ll discharge her to me today and I’ll go back for another blood test in a week to see if her kidneys and liver are functioning without the supportive fluids.

    What I learned in the meantime is that just because her kidney values test normal doesn’t mean that the Rimadyl didn’t damage her kidneys. Dogs can have normal bloodwork even with damaged kidneys. The danger is that as they age and their kidney function becomes more impaired … they have less kidney function to start with so they are more susceptible to kidney failure years later.

    I will never know if her kidneys were damaged so I feel like I’ll be living with a ticking bomb.

  18. 80 lb lab 225 mg instead of 160 prescribed in 24 hrs what to look for in overdose

  19. I left my 15 yr old dog’s Rimadyl on the kitchen island where my dog could not reach it. I was dogsitting and the young dog jumped up, chewed off the lid and ate the whole bottle. Luckily i came home and saw and rushed her to an ER Vet. She might be ok. If it would have been a work day she would be dead. I am getting a fireproof mtal locking security box. Just like u would do for children. Pleas don’t re-live my horror. Share!

  20. Nikki13 says:

    I suspect my 6 year old Maltese died from Rimadyl last month. I gave her half her prescribed dose for back pain. Within a few hours her breathing was labored. She wouldn’t eat or drink. I went to pick her up and she had bloody stool coming out. She wouldn’t acknowledge me or anything. I rushed her to the emergency vet and could feel and hear her heart thudding the whole way… When I put her on the table she stopped breathing. They couldn’t bring her back. I have no proof it happened because of Rimadyl but I will never give it to a dog again. Do research before giving Medicine to your furbabies!

  21. M Oliver says:

    Never use Rimadryl. Get natural anti inflammatory supplements, homemade organic food/healthy treats and coconut oil.

  22. Casi says:

    My 5 yr old lab mix has been taking Rimadyl for about 2 months, 75 mg twice a day. He has felt much better and is playing like a puppy again. I don’t think it affects every dog the same way. My vet said she gave it to her dog from the time he was 5 yrs old and he lived a great life until he died at 15. It is a god send if your dog has torn his ACL and you can’t afford $5K to get it fixed. I tried all the natural stuff, nothing worked.

  23. Melinda M MacLean says:

    We just lost our 10 year old Golden. He was on rimadyl for about 2 months and it really did seem to help his arthritis. He did throw up his dinner and had diarrhea the night he died. The vet said most likely he had a ruptured spleen or tumor that ruptured. He is going to do a minimal autopsy to see if there was a tumor. After reading this though, I will always wonder if the drug killed him. So sad. We are heartbroken.

  24. Heidi Hargrove says:

    Today I lost my wonderful English setter. He was a robust, beautiful happy dog. Last week he went for a normal check up and a lump was found. The vet suggested the lump should be removed and our beloved dog had the operation. For the next four days we took our dog back to the vet every day because our dog was lethargic and miserably sick but the vet just did not understand way my dog was so sick. After blood tests it was recognized that my dog’s liver was so damaged. My dog was given Rimaydl during the operation – three injections, and was so out of it when I went to pick him up. I should have known something was wrong. Then the vet told me to give him Rimaydl twice a day for seven days. I realized my dog was getting worse from the meds after the second day and stopped. That was yesterday. I rushed my dog back to the vet only to watch suffer and try to breathe his last breath to. It

  25. Karl Hass says:

    Sat perfect checkup and blood work. Rimadyl prescribed and taken by Monday a string of seizures that have left us with no choice but to put her to sleep. Still shows perfect blood work and vet won’t admit even with the mounting evidence this will kill her. No trouble with Meloxicam but they didn’t have any so she will now Die from Rimadyl

  26. Gloria O.Hammer says:

    I took my Lhasa Apso Teddy 13 years old but full of life to the Veterinary less than 2 weeks ago because he fell down the steps from my place. The doctor never gave him a blood test before he gave a Rimadyl inject caplets 50 mg. also caplets to take home 25 mg. Gave him 3 -12 hours apart This week Teddy started to act rather strange getting very thirst lots of water and not
    going to the bathroom not wanting to eat. He died last night April 29,2017
    Teddy was my life he saved me! I deeply feel that he should have never died,

  27. Tanisha says:

    Seeing all these posts on the evil drug makes my h art hurt for those who have lost their fur babies. My Mia is 6 months old. She’s a Boston terrier.After being spayed she was given rimadyl she’s currently being treated in ICU for ” possible drug reaction ” the vet never told me the side effects or even listened when I said a week later something was wrong. I’m looking for a new vet and will be considered taking a legal action against both this is so heartbreaking and seeing all the posts I’m moving forward this should not be happening to our fur babies!

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