Rimadyl for Dogs: The Culprit or Hero

Rimadyl for Dogs: The Culprit or Hero

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 25.02.2020

Most likely, you weren’t warned about the hardships of being a paw parent. When you first brought that tiny, cute fur baby home, everything couldn’t be more perfect. THE CUTENESS! However, as your puppy grows and grows into your everyday sidekick, problems start to arise, inevitably. 

These problems can be difficult and frustrating, for sure. You only feed your pup species-specific foods, raw foods, and you keep up to date on the latest natural foods and supplements. You always make sure they are getting plenty of attention, cuddles, and pets. 

Thus, when conditions develop and arise (unfortunately), it can be very scary for a paw parents (don’t forget it’ll probably cost a pretty penny too). A laundry list of issues that may eventually lead you to the veterinarian, without say. 




Many pup issues can be related to age or newborn issues that can occur and or worsen over time. So, as a wonderful paw parent, what can you do to minimize any issues your fur baby may experience? Well, we’re here to share with you that there things in your control that you can do to help.

An important aspect that is entirely in your control is knowing everything you can about prescribed medications for your pup before giving them to him/her (regardless of the medication). 

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing Rimadyl. It is one of the most popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for doggy inflammation and pain. Sounds wonderful, but is it really safe? Do the pros outweigh the cons? 

Let’s dive right into it. 


Rimadyl for Your Dog

Rimadyl for doggos is a commonly prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (referred to often as an NSAID). 



Vets typically prescribe this Rimadyl NSAID for pups needing alleviation from pain and inflammation after an operation or surgery. Often times, Rimadyl can be used for swelling, distress, and pain too. 


 NSAIDs like Advil or Aspirin are generally used to treat and alleviate pain for a short extent of time. 

Whether using Advil or Aspirin for short-term or long-term use for your doggo, the longer your pup uses them, the more side effects may likely arise. The same can be said to us humans too!



Most Commonly Prescribed Dog NSAIDs











    Vets may tell paw parents that giving their dog human NSAIDs is safe for short-term relief. However, we do not advise giving your pup your human NSAIDs.

    NSAIDs formulated for dogs have a whole slew of adverse reactions associated as it is - get ready for heart rate spike! We recommend our readers to stay away from giving your pup human NSAIDs, of any and every kind. 

     More so, you may not realize that all NSAIDs have the potential to cause irreversible damage in humans and dogs alike! Horrific damage like liver disease and gastrointestinal issues and bleeding. 

    Additional drugs may be needed to help with liver or GI issues, causing even more potential adverse effects. As you can assume, this is a rabbit hole for disaster. 


    Caroprofen for Dogs

    Carprofen and RImadyl are very similar NSAIDs. Paw parents may even hear the two medications referred to interchangeably. So let’s make sure you’re aware of both. 

    The only real difference between the two is that Carprofen is the generic name, Rimadyl is the brand name. It’s also commonly referred to as Carprofen RImadyl or RImadyl Carprofen. So, all in all, it’s pretty much the same thing. 


    The Infamous Talk Around Rimadyl

    Everything is peachy-keen so far, but hold on, here’s where it gets scary. Let’s begin. 

    Rimadyl was advertised as a magical drug - dogs who couldn’t walk were now running majestically through the dog park and catching every frisbee midair. Yeah, I’m being serious. 

    The magazines and commercial advertisements for Rimadyl had paw parents across the US wondering where they could get this magical drug with aims that it would help cure and heal their sick fur baby. 

    But, as you can imagine, these ads abruptly stopped showing up on commercials and magazines shortly after the initial craze because of horrible stories coming out of the woodworks. Out of thin air, stories of sudden dog deaths were brought forth, with suspicion of Rimadyl being the one to blame. 

    From internal bleeding and intestinal ruptures and burst to cancer and seizures, pet owners everywhere were tying together their dog’s health decline with Rimadyl for inflammation and pain. Talk about a real life nightmare. 



    I bet you didn’t know that the pet drug business is valued at an estimated $3 billion worldwide and who’s one of the top sellers? You guessed it - Rimadyl. 


    Vets have prescribed Rimadyl to more than 4 million doggos, in just the US alone. 


    Many paw parents may see positive results from Rimadyl, that isn’t where things got bad. Issues arose with Rimadyl because they were never told about the potential side effects. 

     As you can assume, this caused some major issues. In particular, paw parents demanded it be removed from vet pharmacies everywhere. But, it didn’t happen. 


    Uses of Rimadyl for Dogs

    With all the horrible stories out there, why is Rimadyl still being prescribed? We’re wondering the same thing ourselves. Well, Rimadyl works, until it doesn’t. 

    For many pups battling pain on a daily basis, Rimadyl may be the only thing that can help your pup feel their normal selves. 

    Rimadyl is typically used to treat a few issues. If you pup has any of these ailments or conditions, take note of these next few paragraphs. 


    1. Osteoarthritis in Dogs: Using Rimadyl


    Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a common condition for Rimadyl usage. Dog osteoarthritis occurs from the wear and tear of cartilage and joints, especially as your pup ages. Eventually, hopefully later than sooner, this condition will cause your pup to be in a lot of pain on a daily basis. 

    Symptoms commonly seen with osteoarthritis are stiffness, limping, and or lameness. If your pup is showing any of these symptoms or if they are having trouble moving around like normal, you’ll want to see your vet for a proper diagnosis in order to get your pup feeling better. 

    Rimadyl is not a cure for osteoarthritis. 

    2. Treating Hip Dysplasia: Using Rimadyl


    Hip dysplasia usually occurs when the dog’s hip joint(s) aren’t correctly formed. The hip joint(s) grind on each other rather than gliding as the dog moves. Over the years, your dog’s hip function may reduce drastically and can cause them to be in severe pain. 

    This condition affects large dogs, like Great Danes, German Shepherds, Labs, and Saint Bernards, generally. But, small breed dogs have a chance of developing the condition too. 


    3. Post-Op Pain: Using Rimadyl


    Wanting to ease your pup’s post-surgery pain? Vets typically will prescribe Rimadyl to ease pain associated with a range of procedures or surgeries. It may help reduce fevers too.


    Rimadyl Dosage for Your Dog

    Rimadyl typically comes in chewable tablets or caplets (25, 75, 100 mg). Typically, the dosage appropriate for your dog is as follows: 

    2 mg per pound of weight 


    Rimadyl can be given once a day - either in a single dose or broken up into twice a day. 


    How to Administer Rimadyl for Your Dog

    When consulting with your vet, they will decide which is the best way to administer Rimadyl to your pup, based on the condition/issue the medication is aiming to help alleviate.

    3 ways that Rimadyl can be administered:



    Rimadyl caplets 

    Rimadyl chewable tablets

    Rimadyl injection





      Rimadyl Interactions

      Make sure to let your vet know about any of the following issues before starting Rimadyl:

      • Allergy to any NSAID
      • Allergy to Aspirin
      • Liver or kidney disease
      • Bleeding disorders
      • High blood pressure
      • Heart disease
      • Congestive heart failure

      Carprofen Without Prescription

      Pet owners are able to purchase Carprofen (also known as Rimadyl) and other over-the-counter drugs without a prescription, thanks to the internet. 

      However, does this mean you should buy Carprofen or Rimadyl online? Yeah NO. 

      Your vet should be the only one who gives you accurate information regarding your dog’s condition/ailment and the appropriate dosage for him or her. 

      The potential side effects of a drug like Rimadyl or Carprofen can be terrifying. Side effects including the sudden death. 

      We understand that ordering medication online and in the comfort of your own home is easy and may even be cheaper, but it’s definitely not encouraged or recommended. 


      Side Effects of Rimadyl

      The side effects here mirror those of all NSAIDs. Side effects typically seen for Rimadyl are:

      • Vomit
      • Diaherra
      • Black stools
      • Change in skin
      • Change in urination
      • Refusal to eat

      These signs may become apparent within the first couple of hours of taking Rimadyl. 

      Rimadyl Overdose Signs

      The chewable version of Rimadyl is liver-flavored which dogs go crazy over! If they can get their paws on it, an overdose is likely to occur. 

      Overdose signs include:

      • Excessive vomiting
      • Excessive diarrhea
      • Blood in vomit or stool
      • Lethargy
      • Excessive thirst
      • Excessive urination
      • Seizures

      Side Effects of Carprofen

      • Diarrhea
      • Changes in appetite
      • Vomiting
      • Loss of coordination
      • Muscle weakness
      • Paralysis
      • Changes in urine
      • Blood in stools and vomit
      • Seizures
      • Skin issues or irritation
      • Increased agitation

      Looks similar to the side effects of Rimadyl above? Well, they are practically the same, that’s why we’ve reiterated here. 

      Natural Alternatives to Rimadyl

      Over-prescribing certain drugs aren’t always the way to go. Even as humans we get accustomed to taking the same medications over and over again, with aims to fix whatever issue is bothering us. 

      However, it’s not always healthy to go to the same medications for treating an issue, in doggos and humans. 

      Again, Rimadyl may work for your doggo and help relieve pain. But, before giving it to your pup, be sure to understand the risks and potential adverse effects of it. 


      CBD for Dogs

      With hearing all of the ways that CBD can benefit us humans, it’s only a matter of time until you start wondering if CBD can help your four-legged friend too. 




      This magical, healing herb might be just what you’re looking for to help your doggo. The benefits are quite awesome and comparable to those found in us humans. 

      Promotes relaxation

      Helps ease aches and distress

      Enhances focus and brain function

      Helps maintain normal inflammatory responses


        As you can read, CBD is safe and has virtually no harmful side effects. When used consistently, CBD works best. Thus, we encourage you to continue products of your choice to ensure your pup can continue to feel good. 

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