Rimadyl for Dogs

Rimadyl (sometimes misspelled Rymadil) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that many veterinarians prescribe to dogs in pain. One of the leading veterinary pain relievers, Rimadyl is generally safe, effective and is only available by prescription.

Uses of Rimadyl

One of the most common reasons for which Rimadyl is prescribed is to help relieve the pain that dogs feel from arthritis. Arthritis is a painful, degenerative joint disease from which one in every five dogs suffers. Rimadyl helps to reduce the amount of inflammation that can occur with arthritis, which ultimately lessens the pain.

Rimadyl is often prescribed when an animal has a soft-tissue injury, such as a pulled muscle or a sprain. Some veterinarians use Rimadyl as their choice of a pain reliever after surgery.  

Rimadyl Formulations

Rimadyl only needs to be given every 24 hours, and is available as chewable tablets, capsules or in injection form. The chewable tablets are liver-flavored and most dogs find them highly palatable. This can make administering Rimadyl easy, as many dogs will eat them like a treat. The chewable tablet is probably the most popular form of Rimadyl.

Capsules are prescribed when the dog has an aversion to the way the chewable tablet tastes. For dogs who don’t have many teeth or who have painful mouths, the capsule can be easier to take.

Rimadyl injectable is the only non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is approved for use in post-surgery and osteoarthritis pain management. The injectable Rimadyl is helpful because it can stop surgery pain sooner than the oral medication. The injection can be given while the animal is still under anesthesia, whereas the capsule or chewable tablet would need to be given after the dog is fully awake and is able to hold down the medication.

Rimadyl Precautions

There are some dogs who may have an intolerance to Rimadyl. If your dog stops eating, vomits or has diarrhea, stop the Rimadyl immediately and contact your veterinarian. Rimadyl has the potential to cause damage to the liver, kidneys and digestive tract. Before your pet starts taking Rimadyl, it's important to perform bloodwork that will check the conditions of the liver and kidney to make sure that they can sustain drug. If your pet is going to take Rimadyl long-term, it's essential to monitor the organs with periodic bloodwork every six months to a year, or as your veterinarian determines.

Stop administering Rimadyl and contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • Changes his drinking, bowel or urination habits
  • Yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes or gums
  • Behavioral changes

These could be signs of liver, kidney and gastrointestinal damage.

If your pet has any previous allergic reactions to carpofen, the active ingredient of Rimadyl, he should not take this medication. If he shown signs of being allergic to aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as etodolac or phenylbutazone, he should not take Rimadyl. Signs of an allergic reaction could include facial swelling, red or itchy skin and hives.