Rimadyl Side Effects in Dogs

Learn the common Rimadyl side effects in dogs. Rimadyl, also known as carprofen, is given to dogs to relieve pain. It's most commonly used for arthritis in dogs though can be used in other situations, such as post-surgery pain.

Rimadyl comes in three forms:

  • Caplets

  • Chewables

  • Injections

Liver flavored chewables are usually the preferred form of the NSAID pain reliever because dogs love them. There's no fighting to get your dog to take his medication.

Rimadyl Pain Relief

Rimadyl is a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication. You get it by prescription only. It is one of the most effective drugs on the market for treating arthritis. It is not a steroid, so you'll find fewer Rimadyl side effects.

Rimadyl is used in millions of dogs throughout the world. There are few Rimadyl side effects. Potentially dangerous effects of the drug are usually found only in dogs using high dosages of the medication for lengthy periods. This does not mean that dogs on low dosages will not have averse side effects. It's the pet owner's responsibility to pay attention to how their dog reacts to the drug and seek veterinary assistance if they have questions or concerns.

Rimadyl Dosing Information

Rimadyl chewables are the most common form and come in three strengths that are safe for dogs six weeks or older. The safe dosage for Rimadyl is two milligrams per pound of body weight. The medication is given once a day. The daily dose provides a full 24-hours of pain relief. You can only get this pain reliever with a veterinary prescription.

Rimadyl caplets are coated for easy swallowing. They come in three strengths:

  • 25mg
  • 75mg
  • 100mg

Again, the medication is given daily and dosing is two milligrams per pound of body weight.

Injectable Rimadyl is generally only used at the veterinary office. Should your vet send you home to administer the injections yourself make sure you give the dog no more than two milligrams per pound of body weight daily or one milligram per pound of body weight twice a day.

Rimadyl Side Effects

The most common side effects involve the kidneys, liver and stomach. In some dogs, use of NSAID medications can cause stomach ulcers and liver and kidney problems. Therefore, it's worth knowing signs of serious Rimadyl side effects.

  • Behavioral changes (aggression, depression, etc.)

  • Blood in feces

  • Darker urine

  • Decreased appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Excessive thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Jaundice

  • Red, itchy skin

  • Vomiting

Pay extra close attention to your dog's urine while giving Rimadyl. Dark urine or urine with a strong odor can be a sign of kidney troubles. If you suspect there might be a problem, stop using Rimadyl and contact your vet.

Contraindications for Rimadyl

If your dog has ever had a reaction to an NSAID, avoid Rimadyl. Dogs with a history of liver, kidney or bleeding ulcers should also avoid the medication.

Never use Rimadyl with another NSAID medication, including aspirin, or any steroid. If your dog is on any other medication, make sure your vet is aware of those prescriptions. This is especially important if your dog sees more than one veterinarian or veterinary specialist.