What Is the Dog Medicine Named Rimadyl?

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Rimadyl, Novox and Vetprofen are brand names of Carprofen specially formulated for dogs. Pfizer Animal Health created and released this drug for dogs in 1997 in the U.S. to answer the need for a safe drug for canines only. Rimadyl is the No. 1 osteoarthritis drug prescribed by veterinarians for pain and inflammation relief in canines.

What is the Significance of Rimadyl?

Rimadyl is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug created specifically for our canine friends who cannot safely take over-the-counter NSAIDs of ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen as humans do without severe side effects and possible death. This form of pain-relieving drug is much safer for dogs than any other. Aspirin destroys cartilage while relieving pain in dogs and is not a good drug for dogs suffering with osteoarthritis, which is partially due to loss of joint cartilage.

What Dosages are Available?

You veterinarian will prescribe the correct dosage for your pet determined by his weight and condition. Rimadyl is available in 25, 75 and 100 mg chewable tablets or capsules. Dogs love the taste of the chewable tablets so they are easy to give to your pet as a "treat."

What are the Side Effects?

The side effects of Rimadyl are the same as with human NSAIDs, but occur rarely in about one in 1,000 dogs. Stomach ulceration, bleeding profusely and lack of kidney function are the side effects that are possible, but not likely in canines. Dogs who have liver disease, or reduced kidney function should not take this drug. NSAIDs reduce blood flow to the kidneys.

What Type of Veterinary Monitoring?

Your veterinarian will do blood work on your pooch before this medication is prescribed for arthritis to make certain he is a good candidate for it. Routine checkups and tests will be required while on the medication to make certain there are no ill side effects for your pet. Monitor your dog closely and if he has appetite loss, diarrhea or vomiting, discontinue the drug and call your vet for an appointment immediately. Some dogs may be intolerant of Rimadyl.