Rimadyl is the brand name for the drug carprofen, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, used for pain relief. Generally, NSAIDs haven't been used for pets, as they carry potentially dangerous side effects. Rimadyl, or carprofen, was developed specifically for dogs, providing safe pain relief, though it still carries possible side effects.
If Pal's suffering from arthritis, don't give him your pain medicine -- it could kill him. Instead, your vet must prescribe him Rimadyl or another version of carprofen to give him relief. Pal needs an exam, including a blood panel, to ensure he doesn't have any medical conditions that could be made worse by the carprofen. The potential side effects of carprofen include decreased kidney function, stomach ulceration and bleeding. According to Veterinary Partner, there is about a one in 1,000 chance Pal could develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. Some dogs experience liver disease in response to carprofen. Even if no side effects appear, have his blood checked a couple of weeks after starting the drug to see if his values have changed from his previous test. If all is well, Pal needs the vet to monitor his blood work every six months if he's using Rimadyl long-term. Dogs with liver and kidney function issues shouldn't use carprofen, and if Pal takes other medicine, let the vet know to ensure there won't be any conflicts.
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