Opinions on Rimadyl, long term use

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Postby iluvk9 » July 29th, 2011, 8:04 am

Would you or do you keep your dog on "maintenance Rimadyl", knowing the side effect that it may cause to the liver?

Erin, I think you have mentioned that one of your dogs are on it long term, so I would like your input.

Vet techs (Mallika and Suzanne and whoever else sees it prescribed), what do you think? I have heard of other products (metacam?) but don't know the side effects of long term use.

How about those of you with dogs that are involved in sports or strenuous activities?

I wonder about discussing it w/my Vet for Truman and his sporatic limping. It was determined he definitely has developed arthritis in his knees and then there is his size (although he IS on a diet and losing a little) and his big body structure. He will be 8 in October.

Thanks. :wave2:
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 29th, 2011, 1:40 pm

I don't use it long term, I just keep a supply around (along with 81mg aspirin) for the odd strain or sprain or ouchie thing. I've heard bad things about long term use, and I've seen studies done...but I don't have any details handy.
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Postby hugapitbull » July 29th, 2011, 5:50 pm

Trouble was on it for about 9 months. She had regular blood tests to check the liver enzymes. We gave her the minimum amount to keep her comfortable. When we started, I'd give her 1/2 a tablet a couple of times a week. As time progressed and the arthritis progressed we increased the dosage. We went to 1/2 a tablet every day and then eventually 1/2 a tablet twice a day. Her tablets were 100mg. I would have preferred not to give it to her at a maintenance level, but ran out of options. When weighing her age against feeling better it became worth it to us.

If you have a good relationship with your vet, you should be able to keep it on hand as Erin does and give it when needed. Dr F trusted our judgement for assessing what Trouble needed and dosing her accordingly. Of course if I was ever unsure, he knew I would call and ask.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 29th, 2011, 6:16 pm

Thanks, Erin. I thought you gave someone Rimadyl all the time.

hugapitbull wrote:If you have a good relationship with your vet, you should be able to keep it on hand as Erin does and give it when needed. Dr F trusted our judgement for assessing what Trouble needed and dosing her accordingly. .


Thanks for your input. I haven't asked him yet about using it sporadically when he limps. Last time Truman was limping, he was going to get his knee surgeon to come back (he is a "roving surgeon, so to speak) and look at it.

I really don't want to have the expense again of opening his knee up.

Like I said, he isn't limping now, but I am like an obsessed Mother Hen with my dogs and I watch every move he makes. :rolleyes2:
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Postby Malli » July 29th, 2011, 8:53 pm

As I understand it, all NSAIDS ( Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories; rimadyl, metacam, deramaxx, etc) have the potential for liver, kidney and most commonly gastrointestinal side effects.
I have been working on trying to get Oscar on Metacam - had to wean him off the Prednisone and see how he does plus I wanted some initial basic bloodwork with I think I have to save for, and the side effects have also been something I have been considering.
In the end, I think with the constant pain that arthritis can inflict apon it's sufferers, it becomes a question of quality of life vs. quantity; I think the discomfort can be so significant that the dog may truly start to lose enjoyment of the things that they once did. The reason I think so many people (including myself) have difficulty with this, is that the pain can be sneaky, so the increasing pain can accumulate so slowly that the owner kind of just gets used to the new behavior (or lack of) or the increasing amount of sleep, or the less interactive animal.
For us, I think the risk is worthwhile for Oscar - so that he can feel better and be less cautious about totally being himself.

hope that helps :)
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Postby iluvk9 » July 29th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Yes, it clarifies some things for me, Mallika. Thank you.

I am sure my next smart move is to talk to my Vet. He understands me and my relationship with me dogs and that isn't easy. 8)
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Postby airwalk » July 29th, 2011, 10:26 pm

I have two dogs on Rimadyl. Doogie is long term and Scooter will be.

I agree with Mallika, for me it is a matter of quality over quantity. Without pain relief for his displaysia and his DJD Doogie would be in constant pain and unable to have a reasonable quality of life.

Scooter is now on adequan and rimadyl, again, without it he has difficulty moving, is stiff and "stoved up".
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Postby plebayo » July 29th, 2011, 10:46 pm

Have you considered trying adequan?

Lilo has arthritis in her hips, even though elevated liver enzymes is usually reversible by stopping the medication it still freaks me out especially having to deal with sofie getting kidney failure and how not fun that was. I give Lilo Rimadyl as needed for soreness but do not give it everyday.

Although adequan can be pricey it really works. LILO gets an injection every 3-4 weeks she still gets sore sometimes but not like she was before the adequan.

I agree it's quality of life that matters so if he needs to go on it long term to not be in pain so be it. Also as you know already if you can get his weight down and keep him active that will help :)
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Postby iluvk9 » July 30th, 2011, 6:15 am

airwalk wrote:I have two dogs on Rimadyl. Doogie is long term and Scooter will be.

:doh: I knew someone here had a dog on it long term.

plebayo wrote:Have you considered trying adequan?

Never heard of it, but I doubt I would go for the monthly injections.

plebayo wrote:I agree it's quality of life that matters so if he needs to go on it long term to not be in pain so be it. Also as you know already if you can get his weight down and keep him active that will help :)


I am seriously getting his weight down. :)

As I said in the other thread somewhere, he could have been limping recently because of a bruise, since the Rimadyl helped. He's been off it about 2 wks and no limp. I am just thinking ahead (or maybe overthinking). I can't imagine having surgery again to see if his meniscus tore in the repaired knee. :sad2:
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Postby hugapitbull » July 30th, 2011, 9:25 am

iluvk9 wrote:
plebayo wrote:Have you considered trying adequan?

Never heard of it, but I doubt I would go for the monthly injections.


We had started Trouble on the adequan, but not soon enough for it to make a difference for her. We had been holding out to use it as our last resort. Hindsight being what it is, I shouldn't have waited so long to begin the treatment, we may have had better results earlier on. You can give the injections yourself. They do a loading dose, twice a week for two weeks and then drop it to the 3-4 week schedule. The people I know who use it are very satisfied with the results. It is pretty pricey.
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Postby amalie79 » July 30th, 2011, 12:23 pm

Simon was on Rimadyl for a couple of years. We checked his liver after the first week or two, and then again every couple of months, or more frequently if the vet felt it was warranted. For us, it was definitely a quality over quantity issue. But Simon wasn't old or elderly-- he was geriatric. Ancient. We knew we didn't have a long time with him, so we wanted him as comfy as possible. He also took adequan-- first every month to 6 weeks, but then every 2 weeks toward the end. It was one of the best things I did for him. And Dasuquin was an improvement over regular cosequin. I think I posted a lot about his experience with adequan/rimadyl/tramadol on Suzanne's posts when she was looking into it for Lilo.

No NSAID is "good" for long term use in animals or people. My father took 800mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours for 25 years because his RA was so debilitating (he'd get flare ups even in immobile joints like his sternum :shock: ) and it was the only thing that worked for him. It took 25 years before he had an ulcer/liver problems, and that was all more than likely due to metastasized bile duct cancer. Simon never had any problems with the rumadyl. There was a study that suggested labs were more prone to issues (Simon was a lab mix, so I was cautious) with it, however, I also recall reading that the study was flawed because there was a disproportionate number of labs in the study in the first place (or something like that-- the data set was skewed, in other words), but I don't have the specific info on hand. And yes, the adequan is something you can give at home-- it's usually an intramuscular injection-- but we popped into the vet's office whenever he needed another shot. Sometimes the techs or the vet would just come out to the waiting room to give it. Simon had to be muzzled at the vet the last few years of his life, so we just popped the muzzle on in the car, walked it, took the shot, and walked out. It was quick and easy and I know our vet has a lot of clients on it. Virtually no side effects, other than Simon would get a little nauseous and not want to eat if we got the shot right before mealtime. By the next morning he was like a new dog. Literally. A new, younger dog running to meet us at the door. It made him so much more comfortable (and it made my life better getting to see him so happy and feeling so good.).

So that's my 2 cents. :wave2:

ETA- Our vet now suggests starting adequan early-ish in treatment because side effects are so minimal; it's similar to glucosamine, just a different "building block." We started it the same day we started rimadyl long-term. It's about $25-$30/dose, but if you do it at home, you can save quite a bit. It was worth every penny of a dollar a day for how well it worked.
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Postby iluvk9 » July 30th, 2011, 12:54 pm

Thanks, Shanna and Amalie.

I will have to see if his limp comes back. Hopefully, I am just gaining knowledge I won't have to use.
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Postby plebayo » July 30th, 2011, 5:30 pm

Just since we're on the subject of adequan, it was meant be given into the muscle but is just as effective sub-q/under the skin. All of lilo's injections have been sub-q, the specialist I met with is the one who suggested doing it that way so for anyone thinking of giving it you wouldn't have to worry about giving an intramuscular shot.
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Postby call2arms » August 30th, 2011, 11:59 pm

Cartrophen: not carprofen (Rimadyl). http://www.cartrophen.ca/

Injectable, initially once a week for 1 months and then once monthly, and we see great improvement in dogs that use it. A coworker's 10 year old GSD now plays so well with the puppy at home, when he used to growl at her when she got too rough, her parents say he's a new dog. This stuff also kept my sister's lab (RIP Plume) a bit more comfortable for an extra couple of months before she euthanized her.

I don't know if it's available in the U.S, but it's got very minimal side effects (it's not a NSAID) and it seriously works wonders. It was a true help for my sister's dog who got bloody diarrhea on 1/4 tablet of rimadyl and couldn't even be in the same room as metacam (but she was a pretty extreme case - she was on NSAIDS for years and years due to early-set hip and elbow dysplasia).

Side note: use omega 3's - they help retain joint health. Glucosamine and chondroitine are pretty good, around here we have Flexadin, that has devil's claw in it that's supposed to hekp with pain as well. It's the local orthopedic surgeon's "favorite" gluco/chondro supplement: http://www.vetoquinol.ca/en/index.asp?page=184
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Postby call2arms » August 31st, 2011, 12:07 am

Can't edit my previous post, but it appears that Cartrophen is the same as Adequan, just by different companies, although Cartrophen is "approved" to be given subcutaneously, and Adequan isn't but still works well that way.

Anyway, we've been seeing a lot of difference with that stuff, even in some pretty heavy cases. Maybe it's the placebo effect?
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Postby iluvk9 » August 31st, 2011, 6:54 am

Thanks for the info. :) Ironically, I have been discussing this topic with Mallika for a few days now.
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Postby call2arms » August 31st, 2011, 10:50 am

How is he doing?

I think there's no wrong in starting it early (adequan and/or supplements). It's an investment in his future comfort, and that has no price to me.

Also, I think that NSAID-wise, Previcox and Deramaxx may have less risks of gastro side effects, but more pricey than metacam or rimadyl.
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Postby Malli » August 31st, 2011, 3:32 pm

MORE pricey then Metacam!? :shock:
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Postby iluvk9 » August 31st, 2011, 3:45 pm

Truman has been on Cosequin for awhile. I don't see any results. While he could possibly be WORSE without it, I don't think so. When he was on rimadyl for that test period, (I mentioned it somewhere in this thread) he didn't have an odd gait.

It is not really a limp like when his cruciate was going out. It is more like stiffness going from lying down to standing up, and a slow start to his walking. I also notice when he is getting up and walking in front of me, his hips just seem stiff. Again, odd gait is the best way to describe it. No one else here seems to notice, but I do because I know my dogs very well.

When the Vet repaired his knee, he saw arthritis. I forgot how he diagnosed it in the other knee...maybe manipulation. (?)

Anyway, I am going to try Sashas Blend and Grizzly Salmon Oil. The Sashas Blend is quite the GOLDEN GOOSE in the USA and ordering it was an adventure. :dance:
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Postby Malli » September 1st, 2011, 2:40 am

I think I understand what you're saying about the gait, Joyce.
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