Rimadyl For Dogs



We know how important your dog is to your family. Pet owners hate to see their pets in pain or discomfort, and at times, administering any kind of medication to them can be a dreary experience in and of itself! That’s why we’re here to calm your fears regarding Rimadyl for dogs!


If you want to learn more about this often prescribed pain medication, keep reading! We will cover all the little details about Rimadyl in depth. Don't worry; we're professionals.



What Is Rimadyl For Dogs?

Carprofen is an anti-inflammatory veterinary medication more commonly known under the brand name Rimadyl. This prescription medication is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation in dogs. Rimadyl is more suitable than steroids for most dogs' long-term use due to fewer side effects.


Veterinarians prescribe Rimadyl and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to dogs as part of a chronic pain strategy to treat severe joint issues or pain and inflammation after a surgical procedure. Carprofen is safer to use in dogs than human NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.


Rimadyl is one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers for dogs. Never treat your dog with painkillers out of your own medicine cabinet. Before dosing any medication, always consult with a vet about what is best for your pup!


Rimadyl for dogs is available in three forms: caplets, chewable tablets, and injections. This prescription drug works in three ways:


  • Treats inflammation
  • Reduces fevers
  • Relieves pain


Related: Tylenol for Dogs



happy senior dog looking at field



Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a common issue in dogs. The condition causes progressive and permanent deterioration of a dog's joints by breaking down the cartilage that cushions joints. This causes your dog's bones to rub against each other, exposing your dog's small nerves and causing stiffness, pain, and lameness.


Dogs are more likely to develop DJD as they get older and have decreased mobility. While there are no known causes, certain conditions can leave dogs more vulnerable to developing DJD.


Some of the underlying issues that can lead to DJD include:


  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Trauma
  • Cruciate ligament injury
  • Dislocation of the knee cap or shoulder




It is important to note that the following is a guideline for typical use of Rimadyl in dogs and must not replace any advice given to you by your veterinarian for your pet.


You can find caplets and tablets in dosages of 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. The usual prescribed dosage 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.




Regular Dosing Schedule

Rimadyl must be given to your dog under the strict guidelines prescribed to you by your vet. As we previously mentioned, your dog’s dosage of Rimadyl is typically given once a day or split for morning and evening dosing. Your dog may look forward to taking Rimadyl since the chewable tablets are sometimes liver flavored.


Treatment of Overdose/Toxicity

Unfortunately, Rimadyl toxicity can happen even if the prescribed dosage is given. Sometimes after being on the drug, your dog may develop a sensitivity and exhibit the same symptoms as an overdose. If and when you miss a dose, it's better to completely skip it than to potentially administer more than one daily serving in a single day.


Take your dog to a vet if any of these symptoms of overdose or toxicity are observed:


  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: May include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, melena (black, tarry stools), and abdominal pain.
  • Kidney Damage: May cause signs of acute kidney failure, including increased thirst, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
  • Liver Damage: Includes jaundiced skin, gums, inside of ears, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.


Depending on the timing of the overdose, you may give your dog medication to vomit, followed by activated charcoal to absorb any remaining medication in their stomach. The main concern of this drug is damage to the kidneys or liver. Multiple blood tests are performed over the length of your dog’s hospitalization to evaluate red and white blood cell counts.


It is important to act promptly if and when you suspect that you might have accidentally given your dog more Rimadyl than their daily dosage. Remember, Rimadyl is not a treat! I'm sure you and I are on the same page. As for your dog, well, he can't read!



Side Effects of Rimadyl For Dogs

Sometimes we treat our dogs better than we treat ourselves. Suffice to say that you may want to know any side effects when giving your dog Rimadyl.


Though Rimadyl is safer for dogs than steroids, there are some potential side effects. They range from mild to serious. Long-term use of this drug may increase the risk for these side effects.


Here are a few symptoms to look out for:


  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stool
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fluid retention and weight gain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Urinary abnormalities
  • Liver or kidney problems


Risk Factors

Rimadyl and many other NSAIDs do not come without their own list of risk factors. These medications have been known to cause adverse reactions, particularly in older dogs or those with pre-existing conditions. This is why it is very important to only administer this drug with the guidance of your dog's veterinarian.


Suppose your dog has pre-existing medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, kidney disease, or liver disease. In this case, your vet will not prescribe Rimadyl or any type of carprofen for your dog. If you think your prescription Rimadyl is reacting negatively with your pup, take them to a vet immediately.


Lab Tests

If your dog is getting any extensive lab work done, remember that Rimadyl can affect lab results! It can skew liver enzymes, blood cell counts, and kidney values. This can lead to misdiagnoses and the inaccurate prescribing or adjusting of medications.


Most vets will likely ask you if your dog is on any medication before administering any lab tests. Be as accurate as possible when conveying this information. It may also help to take any medications your dog is taking with you to the vet!


Cost Of Rimadyl

Only a licensed veterinarian may prescribe Rimadyl. The cost of Rimadyl can range depending on where you get your prescription filled. Online services often deliver the medication to your doorstep at a decreased cost. The average cost for 30 pills is $33 to $50, depending on the strength that your dog needs.


If you are on a budget and wondering if there is a generic version of Rimadyl, you're in luck! Rimadyl is just one of the brand names of the drug carprofen. Many dog pharmacies will carry carprofen which is a lot less expensive!



Interaction With Other Drugs

Like any other medications we've taken in the past or are currently taking, we always want to make sure there are no potential drug interactions. If your dog is already on Rimady, use caution with any additional medications.


Some of the medicines that might conflict with Rimadyl include:




  • Anticoagulants
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cyclosporine or other Nephrotoxic medications
  • Dacarbazine
  • Insulin
  • Loop diuretics


These are just a few medications that may produce an interaction with Rimadyl. Though we listed some of the most commonly used medications given for dogs, this is not an exhaustive list of all medications that may interact with Rimadyl.



two dogs rubbing noses



Ingredients In Rimadyl

Rimadyl is part of the propionic acid class, including ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. Its makeup is similar to ibuprofen, so avoid using them in conjunction due to possible interaction.


The main ingredients in Rimadyl tablets typically contain:


  • Carprofen (Active ingredient)
  • Lactose
  • Dibasic calcium phosphate
  • Sucrose
  • Corn starch
  • Microcrystalline cellulose


Just because you may find some of these ingredients in both tablets for humans and animals doesn't mean they are identical. There is a difference in dosage, and the inactive ingredients may differ in kind and amount.

If and when you suspect that your dog may be having an adverse reaction, it is important to immediately take them to the vet and not try to diagnose them yourself. Over-the-counter drugs can't take the place of a prescription from a trusted veterinarian.



Rimadyl Alternatives

There is a world of natural alternatives to Rimadyl that may be effective for your dog. These alternatives may provide your dog with much-needed relief from swelling or soreness but also provide them with other health benefits as well. Let’s take a look at these Rimadyl alternatives!



CBD oil for dogs is hemp-derived and makes a great addition to anyone's everyday routine, including your dog’s! All mammals, including your dog, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This internal network of cell-signaling receptors is responsible for regulating key biological functions important to your dog’s homeostasis, such as mood, appetite, digestive health, and mobility.


While CBD oil may not be a direct alternative to Rimadyl or carprofen, it can help and aid your dog while they are recovering from either surgery or experiencing DJD. Besides CBD oil, there are many other options to give your dog CBD.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are necessary to balance your dog's dietary fats. Most dog diets contain a lot of Omega-6 fats, which can lead to slight inflammation, while Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties. Adding Omega-3s to your dog's diet provides their body with balance.


While most people will opt for giving their dog fish oil, it is not the best choice. Fish oil is oxidizes quickly, making it go rancid. Heavy metals and toxins also often contaminate it. A few alternative sources of Omega-3s are cod skins, salmon skins, and wild Alaskan salmon treats for dogs. Additionally, CBD oil contains hemp seed oil, a nutritious superfood rich in Omega fatty acids.



Turmeric's active compound is curcumin, which has potent healing properties. A longstanding homeopathic remedy, turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties!


As an anti-inflammatory, turmeric is a great choice for dogs suffering from DJD or joint stiffness. A study found that it worked just as well as ibuprofen in patients with knee problems.


Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM)

NEM is the membrane that lines an eggshell. You can either peel it off (which is a lot of work) or purchase it as a supplement. NEM helps reduce pain and improves mobility in animals with arthritis.


There's research on dogs regarding NEM’s potential benefits! In a six-week trial on 51 dogs, there was a 23.6% improvement in pain and discomfort compared to those taking a placebo. Learn more about dog medications here.




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