Rimadyl For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

Old Dog

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Rimadyl, which is a brand name for the drug carprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication used to relieve pain from arthritis and joint diseases in dogs.

It works by reducing hormones that cause pain and inflammation in the body, and because it has fewer side effects than steroids, vets often consider it safer for long-term use. It’s also considered safer than medication designed for human use, including ibuprofen and aspirin.

The FDA has approved this drug for veterinary use, and it’s available with a prescription. While it is safe for most dogs, use of this drug can result in side effects, some of which are quite serious, and there are safer, more natural alternatives that can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

You can easily order Rimadyl for your dog here with your vet’s prescription through Chewy’s online pharmacy.

You should always discuss options with your veterinarian to provide your dog with the best, safest care. If your vet does prescribe Rimadyl, follow their instructions for use closely.

Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of Rimadyl.

Uses Of Rimadyl For Dogs

elderly golden labrador dog

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Rimadyl is primarily used to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis in dogs. It may be used to treat other joint conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Because it’s safer than steroids, vets prescribe it for long-term use in chronic conditions more often than steroids.

Vets may also prescribe this medication for short-term use following surgical or dental procedures to reduce pain, and they may give it to dogs to reduce fevers. It can manage acute pain and inflammation, keeping dogs more comfortable as they recover.

Dosage Of Rimadyl For Dogs

very old cocker spaniel nearing the end of its days

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The following is a guideline for typical use of the drug in dogs and must not replace your veterinarian’s advice for your individual pet.

Rimadyl for dogs can come in the form of caplets, chewable tablets, or injections. You can find the caplets and tablets in dosages of 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg.

The usual prescribed dosage for dogs is 2 mg per pound of body weight given once daily, or it can be broken down to 1 mg per pound of body weight given twice daily.

Your vet may adjust the dosage based on your dog’s condition and response to the drug.

Side Effects Of Rimadyl In Dogs

This is taken of my elderly dog Cali riding in her Wagon. She had bad hips.

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Though Rimadyl is safer for dogs than steroids or human NSAIDs, there are some potential side effects, which can range from mild to serious. Long-term use of Rimadyl increases the risk for these side effects.

If your dog shows any of the following symptoms after taking Rimadyl, consult your vet right away:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stool
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Fluid retention and weight gain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Increased or decreased thirst
  • Urinary abnormalities (color, smell, frequency, etc.)
  • Jaundice
  • Liver or kidney problems

If your dog suffers from any of these side effects, your vet may wish to change the dosage of Rimadyl or discontinue use and seek alternative treatment.

Make sure your vet is aware of any other medical conditions your dog has or any medication they may be taking, even over-the-counter drugs, as these can react badly with Rimadyl.

As with all medication, there is a risk of allergic reaction, which could lead to anaphylactic shock. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, get to your vet immediately.

This drug should not be given to dogs that are pregnant, nursing, or under six weeks of age.

Has your dog ever taken Rimadyl? Did it relieve their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below!