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
) 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.
- 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.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford