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Animal Health > Rimadyl

Rimadyl is a popular drug prescribed for pets which in America has had devastating effects reported. Read here various reports and clinical evidence in this long page.

Most Arthritic Dogs Do Very Well On This Pill, Except Ones That Die
By CHRIS ADAMS
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL March 13, 2000.

You might call it a made-for-TV drug. Approved for human use in the U.S. but not marketed that way, an arthritis medicine called Rimadyl languished for nearly 10 years in developmental limbo, then emerged in a surprising new form: Instead of a human drug, it was now a drug for arthritic dogs. And it became a hit.

With the aid of slick commercials featuring once-lame dogs bounding happily about, Rimadyl changed the way veterinarians treated dogs. "Clients would walk in and say, 'What about this Rimadyl?' " says George Siemering, who practices in Springfield, Va.

Today, those TV spots are gone. The reason has to do with dogs like Montana.

A six-year-old Siberian husky with stiff back legs, Montana hobbled out of a vet's office in Brooklyn, N.Y., six months ago accompanied by his human, Angela Giglio, and a supply of Rimadyl pills. At first, the drug appeared to work. But then Montana lost his appetite. He went limp, wobbling instead of walking. Finally he didn't walk at all. He ate leaves, vomited, had seizures and, eventually, was put to sleep. An autopsy showed the sort of liver damage associated with a bad drug reaction.

Pet drugs are big business -- an estimated $3 billion world-wide -- and Rimadyl is one of the bestsellers. It has been given to more than four million dogs in the U.S. and more abroad, brought Pfizer Inc. tens of millions of dollars in sales, and pleased many veterinarians and dog owners. But the drug has also stirred a controversy, with other pet owners complaining that nobody warned them of its risks.

Montana's owner, Ms. Giglio, is among them. After she informed Pfizer and the Food and Drug administration of her relatively youthful dog's death, Pfizer offered her $430 "as a gesture of good will" and to cover part of the medical costs. Insulted by the offer and a stipulation that she agree to tell no one about the payment except her tax preparer, she refused to sign and didn't take the money. "There's just no way in my conscience or heart I can release them from blame," she says.

After reports of bad reactions and deaths started streaming in to the FDA, the agency suggested that Pfizer mention "death" as a possible side effect in a warning letter to vets, on labels and in TV ads. Pfizer eventually did use the word with vets and on labels, but when given an ultimatum about the commercials -- mention "death" in the audio or end the ads -- Pfizer chose to drop them.

Pfizer's director of animal-products technical services, Edward W. Kanara, says that when reports started coming in, "we acted extremely promptly based on the information we had." Pfizer points out that reported adverse events involve less than 1% of treated dog.

Since Rimadyl's 1997 launch, the FDA has received reports of about 1,000 dogs that died or were put to sleep and 7,000 more that had bad reactions after taking the drug, records and official estimates indicate. The FDA says such events are significantly underreported.

While the numbers include cases "possibly" related to Rimadyl, it is hard to be sure. Many dogs given the arthritis drug are older, and few are autopsied after they die. Pfizer says it analyzed cases of Rimadyl treated dogs that died in 1998 and found a link to Rimadyl to be "likely" in 12% of cases and "not likely" in 22%; it says there was too little information for a judgment about the others.

Still Approved
Despite these problems, the FDA says Rimadyl deserves to be on the market, provided vets take the proper precautions. These include advising dog owners what bad reactions to watch for and periodically doing liver-function or other lab tests.

Within a few weeks, Pfizer will begin affixing a safety sheet directly to packages of Rimadyl pills. It is the first time either FDA officials or Pfizer can recall such a step being taken in the world of animal drugs.

Rimadyl -- generically carprofen -- is an anti-inflammatory medicine. Developer Roche Laboratories expected to market it for people in 1988 and received FDA approval, but shelved the plan after concluding the market for such drugs was too crowded. In addition, some outside experts expressed concerns; a commentary in a pharmaceutical journal noted unusual liver-function readings in 14% to 20% of test subjects and opined that "until additional data on carprofen are available, older compounds should probably be tried initially."

The idea of switching the product to the animal-drug track soon arose. A couple of corporate transactions later, it ended up in the hands of Pfizer's animal-drug unit.

There, it was treated to the kind of sophisticated marketing Pfizer does well. A survey of 885 dog owners was done. Besides shedding light on favorite dog names (Jake, Ginger, Lady), the poll revealed that one-fifth of dog owners would be willing to spend "whatever it took" to buy an aging dog an extra year or two of life. No fewer than 53% agreed that "my dog is a better companion than other members of my family."

The FDA requires safety and efficacy testing for animal drugs just as for human ones, but animal-drug tests are smaller. Pfizer says about 500 dogs got Rimadyl in various trials, which is no more than a fifth of the number of subjects in comparable human-drug trials. Some dogs showed unusual liver-function readings and one young beagle on a high dose died, but for the most part, the FDA and Pfizer didn't find side effects alarming. The drug was approved for an early-1997 launch.

That same year, the FDA made it easier to market drugs directly to consumers on TV. Soon, Pfizer was running commercials in which a once-stiff yellow Labrador retriever named Lady bounded over a fallen tree as she fetched tennis balls beside a lake. In another ad, a dog leapt through a window and slid down a banister.

There were also full-page magazine ads and a public-relations campaign, whose results, the PR firm later said, included 1,785 print stories, 856 radio reports and 245 TV news reports "generating 25.5 million positive impressions on the product."

Early on, vets were floored by the drug's effects. "The results in some cases have been pretty darn close to miraculous," says David Whitten of the Hilldale Veterinary Hospital in Southfield, Mich. "I'm using this drug on my own dog. It has been effective. But as with all medications, side effects are certainly a problem."

The First Complaints
Indeed, within months of the launch, vets at Colorado State University in Fort Collins noticed troubling reactions. Labrador retrievers seemed particularly affected. Since the safety studies for Rimadyl had emphasized testing on young beagles, Pfizer went back to conduct another, small test just on Labs; it says that test showed no particular problem.

Bill Keller, an FDA veterinary-medicine official, notes that "any time you take a product from the investigation and put it into actual practice, you're going to see things you didn't expect." But reports about Rimadyl came in by the hundreds. The FDA had received just over 3,000 animal-drug bad-reaction reports in 1996, the year before Rimadyl's launch; in 1998, the drug's first full year, Rimadyl alone produced more than that many.

They swamped the FDA's tiny Center for Veterinary Medicine in Rockville, Md. Pfizer was scrambling as well. "Basically, their response," says Dr. Keller, "was 'Tell us what you want us to do. We love the fact that it's selling so well, but we don't know what to do with all these adverse reactions.' "

The FDA and Pfizer discussed a "Dear Doctor" letter to be sent to vets. FDA records show the agency found parts of an early Pfizer draft "unacceptable as they are promotional in tone... ." It was revised.

>The records also show Pfizer disagreed with the FDA's suggestion that the letter cite "death" as a possible side effect. To get the letter out, the FDA told Pfizer it was "agreeing to your exclusion of the 'death' syndrome from the letter at this time. However, we will revisit the 'death' syndrome issue and other potential side effects for possible inclusion in labeling at a later date." So the term didn't appear in the first warning Pfizer sent, in mid-1997.

Clear Benefits
Meanwhile, dog owners were asking for Rimadyl. "It was their advertising that sold me on the drug," says Michelle Walsh, a Phoenix woman who says her miniature schnauzer was given it and later died.

Not that vets needed much convincing. They saw clear benefits from the drug. On top of that, they could get points from Pfizer for each Rimadyl purchase they made; points were redeemable for PalmPilots, Zip drives for PCs and other equipment.

Although Pfizer's letter told vets to explain to owners the signs of a bad reaction to Rimadyl, such as vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea, it is evident that a great many didn't. The FDA's Dr. Keller says, "There are a lot of veterinarians who don't think they need to take the time, or who forget, or for whatever reason are not providing animal owners with this information."

Donna Allen, whose chow-mix, Maggie, started on Rimadyl last summer, says, "All my vet did was give me this little bag of pills, with no information." She says Maggie "didn't want to take it, but I made her."

After four weeks, Maggie began to vomit violently, Ms. Allen says. The dog vanished from their home outside Birmingham, Ala., and later was found lying in a ditch. Ms. Allen loaded her into a truck and sped 35 miles to a veterinary clinic, but the five-year-old dog died. Her vet wouldn't implicate Rimadyl in the death until Ms. Allen urged him to send the dog's internal organs to the University of Illinois vet school, where an examination showed liver toxicity.

Maggie was buried under a marker adorned with the figure of an angel. And Ms. Allen took to the streets, delivering a letter to all the vets in the area urging them to "understand that Rimadyl helps certain dogs, but it is poison to other dogs."

The D-Word
As the complaints poured in, the FDA told Pfizer it would have to revisit the label issue. Pfizer had referred to "fatal outcomes" on the label as a possible effect of the drug class to which Rimadyl belonged, but not specifically of this drug. Now the agency asked that Pfizer cite "death" prominently as a possible side effect of the drug. Describing the back and forth with Pfizer, the FDA's Dr. Keller says, "They did it. They weren't enthusiastic about it, but they have always been cooperative. And that's part of the nature of the game we play with industry."

But the FDA also wanted the word "death" in the audio of commercials. Pfizer indicated this "would be devastating to the product," FDA minutes of a February 1999 meeting show. A company spokesman says that "putting 'death' on a 30-second commercial and in proper context was something we didn't think was possible." Rather than do so, it eventually pulled the commercials.

Pfizer says it now will do traditional marketing to vets, making sure they know the proper way to use the drug. Another "Dear Doctor" letter will soon go out, and the company will start attaching a safety sheet to pill packages.

Pfizer acknowledges it has a perception problem with some dog owners; a consumer group, for instance, has mounted a campaign dubbed BARKS, for Be Aware of Rimadyl's Known Side-effects. The company is contacting dog owners who have told their stories on the Internet, and it is offering to pay medical and diagnostic expenses for some dogs who may have been harmed by Rimadyl.

But Pfizer stands firmly behind the value of the drug, of which it says sales have continued to grow. Most vets also remain bly behind Rimadyl. Owners, too, generally say they think the drug is important -- they just want to know the risks.

Atlantan Roger Williams gave his mixed-breed terrier, William, Rimadyl for more than a year and believes it contributed to the dog's death. "But if I had to do it all over, I would give my dog Rimadyl again," he says. "The difference is I would have known what to expect. Without Rimadyl, William was miserable. And what's the point of living another three years if you're miserable?"

The Truth About Rimadyl Side Effects - Dangerous & Deadly... A Potentially Life-threatening Reaction to Rimadyl

  • loss of appetite
  • refusal to drink
  • unusual pattern of urination, blood in the urine, sweet-smelling urine, an overabundance of urine, urine
  • accidents in the house
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • black, tarry stools or flecks of blood in the vomit
  • lethargy, drowsiness, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness
  • staggering, stumbling, weakness or partial paralysis, full paralysis, seizures, dizziness, loss of balance
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin, mucus membranes and whites of the eyes)
Ten Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Dog Has Had an Adverse Reaction to Rimadyl
  1. If any of the above symptoms appears, immediately stop the drug and take your dog to the vet. The earlier your dog gets appropriate treatment, the better the chances of complete recovery.
  2. Have the vet do a blood panel and CBC (complete blood count). This will help your vet to determine the supportive therapy your dog needs.
  3. If your dog seems seriously ill, and you cannot get an immediate appointment with your vet, go to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Explain that you believe your dog is having a reaction that is typical of a dog taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). If the clinic staff is unfamiliar with the potential side effects of an NSAID like Rimadyl, have them refer to the Rimadyl product description or package insert.
  4. Call and have your veterinarian call Pfizer. The Pfizer staff veterinarians should be able to offer guidance to your veterinarian for the necessary tests and therapy your dog may need: Pfizer: 1-800-366-5288
  5. If you have caught your dog's potential adverse reaction to Rimadyl in time, it is unlikely that the outcome will be fatal. Don't panic! However, whenever it becomes necessary to establish whether Rimadyl was a factor in a dog's death, a necropsy must be performed. The necropsy does NOT have to be done by a veterinarian appointed by Pfizer; it should, in fact, be done by an impartial third party. However, Pfizer should be advised promptly that the necropsy is being undertaken and that they will be entitled to some, but not all, of the tissue samples obtained.
  6. Try to maintain a diary of the events leading up to your dog's suspected adverse drug reaction. Make it as detailed as possible. Also obtain all medical records from all sources. Your diary and these records will be invaluable, should you decide to apply to Pfizer for reimbursement of veterinary medical expenses.
  7. Call and have your veterinarian call the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to report the incident. Report to the FDA either by telephone at: 1-888-332-8387 (or 1-888-FDA-VETS) or: You may also report an adverse drug experience using a form that is available on the FDA website.
  8. The distress of dealing with your dog's illness may make it difficult for you to attend to the practical matters of reports, procedures, and bureaucratic requirements. If you feel you need assistance or guidance, please E-mail LuSwinton@aol.com.
  9. You may wish to join the class action lawsuit currently being pursued against Pfizer.
The real experiences of the owners of pets on Rimadyl --
Yellow Lab Reacts after 10 Days on Rimadyl; Is Euthanized
From an E-mail received December 7, 2001:

Our beloved Yellow Lab Bayfield (Biff for short) was 11 years old when he started to slow down considerably due to arthritis. The vet had him on EtoGesic without much success. I asked about other options. Rimadyl was recommended. I immediately expressed concern, as I had heard reports of negative side effects of Rimadyl. However, I was assured that they had seen promising results and that he would be monitored. I eventually agreed to give it a try.

Within a couple of days of starting Rimadyl, Biff perked up and was moving freely. We were optimistic. However, within approximately 10 days, he started vomiting large quantities of blood. Alarmed, we took him immediately to the vet. The vet felt there was a pre-existing condition that was complicated by the effects of old age. We took Biff home and, within a month, he became lethargic, could not stand, became incontinent and could no longer eat or drink. Biff, who was just one, big, goofy Lab with a heart of pure gold looked so sad and as if he was in a great deal of pain. His condition deteriorated so quickly, we were at a loss as to what to do. Our vet could offer us no hope. We finally decided to have the vet come to our house and put him down.

The guilt I feel is tremendous. I wish I had known that vomiting blood was the 'classic' initial symptom of a reaction to Rimady. I wish I had known there was a possible 'treatment' for a reaction. I cannot believe that Pfizer can continue to dispense this medication. This just should not have happened. Other than the arthritis, Biff was in great health. Our other Lab, Jesse, is 13 1/2 years old ...also with arthritis. She will never go on Rimadyl. We have changed her diet to include holistic remedies, and she is doing remarkably well. I am writing this in the hopes that no one else has to go through what we did...."

Borzoi Dies within Days of Beginning Rimadyl Therapy
From an E-mail received November 23, 2001:

"I found your website after my Borzoi died suddenly following a course of Rimadyl. What alarms me is that it has been four years since the concerns about Rimadyl began to surface, and yet I was totally unaware of the most serious concerns (sudden, lethal adverse reactions), as was my veterinarian.

"Josh, my Borzoi, was 10-1/2 years old and slowing down considerably due to arthritis. We had him on coated aspirin and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for six months and then last week when I asked if there was more we could do for him, our vet suggested either Rimadyl or Metacam (not available in the U.S. yet). He said there could be potential problems with long-term use of either of these drugs, but that we would do regular blood tests to catch any such problems before they did any serious damage. I chose Rimadyl because he said he'd seen very good results with it and I thought it would be easier for me to administer a tablet than a liquid medication with Josh.

I went home with a sample 10-day supply to see if the product had any value before committing to a larger supply. Josh weighed 91 pounds and the dosage was two capsules at 100 mg each per day, in combination with the glucosamine and chondroitin. Within 24 hours the results were dramatic. Josh walked with greater ease and people commented on the new spring in his step. The very first day, he chose a longer route for our walk, where in recent weeks he'd deliberately sought the short cuts. But within three days, he started to slow down a bit. On the fourth evening, he seemed to have lost his appetite. The next morning I found him in great distress, panting and gagging. When I urged him to get up, his hind end totally collapsed and he couldn't move his back legs.

Our vet made a house call with an assistant and they carried Josh out on a stretcher. X-rays showed his spine was 'like that of a two-year-old.' Our vet said the symptoms suggested a central nervous system problem. Josh did not get any Rimadyl that day. With his condition deteriorating into lethargy and almost paralysis of the hind quarters by that night, our vet gave him a cortisone treatment. The next morning Josh was worse, clearly in misery. He didn't even acknowledge my arrival with any sign of hope or pleasure. Our vet could offer no further treatment suggestions and predicted Josh could be dead within a couple of days. I couldn't bear to see him in such distress and in the absence of any hope of improvement decided to euthanize him yesterday.

At no time was the subject of Rimadyl raised as a possible cause. Then I recalled a friend a couple of years ago telling me she had met a drug company rep at a conference and the rep had told her one of their canine arthritis drugs was killing dogs. Although I couldn't believe a drug that was known to be killing dogs could still be on the market two years later, I did an Internet search on Rimadyl today only to discover it was this drug she was talking about and that it was still widely in use and obviously still not as well understood as it should be by veterinarians.

My vet is a thorough, well-respected professional who spends all kinds of time with me and my pets during our visits to explain all the possibilities and options in great detail -- so he wasn't being negligent. We both talked with the Pfizer Canada vet, who kindly but adroitly seized on aspects of Josh's medical history -- a brief episode of neck pain four years ago, a 10-pound weight loss this past year (which may or may not be significant in a member of such a large breed who was a fussy eater) -- to suggest Josh succumbed to an underlying condition rather than Rimadyl. Of course, without an autopsy, there's no way to definitely implicate Rimadyl. However, my vet and I are still suspicious. He says he's 'on the fence' on this one and will definitely approach Rimadyl with far more caution in the future.

I hope you will pass this information on to people who should have it so as to prevent any more suspicious deaths. Josh's symptoms and story are similar enough to others on this site, that I feel their connection to Rimadyl is more than coincidence. I can't know for sure if the outcome would have been any different without Rimadyl, but if I'd known of all these other cases and the questions surrounding Rimadyl, I wouldn't have chosen to use it on Josh. Respectfully, Marylu Walters, Edmonton, AB Canada

Rimadyl Given Simultaneously with Prednisone; No Baseline Tests Done; Side Effects Warnings Not Given...Fatal Outcome
From an E-mail received November 28, 2001:

Our Tink was 13 years old....old perhaps in some people's mind but not in ours. On 5/8/01, during a routine exam of Tink, my wife asked our vet if there was anything we could give Tink for her slight limp and suspected arthritis. The vet gave us two sample bottles of Rimadyl. No blood test done. We gave her 75mg twice a day. When it ran out we decided to continue with it, basically because at that time we couldn't see that it was hurting her at all. The vet had already given his blessing to get more if we needed it.

On 5/30/01, we purchased a large bottle of Rimadyl right from the receptionist at the same animal clinic; we did not have to see the vet to do so. By 7/03/01, Tink didn't seem to quite herself; among other things her energy level had gone down somewhat. So back to the same vet she went. This time he prescribed Prednisone because he said she had an enlarged heart, and he took some x-rays. No mention was made of the Rimadyl.

On 8/29/01, she was back to the vet because she had been coughing and gagging quite a bit. A different vet at the same clinic saw her and prescribed Cephalexin 500mg. The Rimadyl was almost gone, so my wife asked this different vet about getting another bottle. She also informed this vet (in case he hadn't seen it on Tink's chart), that Tink was also on Prednisone for her enlarged heart. This vet was somewhat puzzled to learn that Tink was taking both medicines at the same time....not because he said they were not compatible with each other but because they both contained anti-inflammatory agents that were basically doing the same thing. He suggested we cut back on the Rimadyl a little. Still no blood tests done on her. We then decreased the Rimadyl to one 75mg a day and most of the time she only got about half of that a day.

About this time she was also showing some signs of incontinence....a dribble here and there, whenever she got to her feet. Getting to her feet was also becoming much harder. We thought that the incontinence and struggling to her feet were just signs of age. By 11/12/01, we started to noticed to notice a red tinge to some of the urine drops on the floor. So we took her to the vet again. This time, the first vet saw her and said she had a bladder infection and prescribed SMZ TMP Double S, an anti-biotic. We gave her the medicine for a week, along with the other two she was already taking and didn't notice an improvement with the blood in her urine.

On 11/19/01, when the antibiotic ran out, we called the vet and he said to get some more and try it for another week. Also on this morning she vomited and just didn't want to get up. We were reluctant at first to call the vet because we both had the feeling from talking with him that he would suggest bringing her in and 'putting her down.' By 11/21/01, all she wanted to do was lie down, though she was able to still go outside (after we got her on her feet) and do her business. I think pride in herself was the energy that enabled her to do even that. I called the vet and described the symptoms and his answer was 'She's old.....she's got a lot wrong with her...I had to think about doing the right thing.... he could try and drag out her life for her if that's what we wanted, but it probably wasn't fair to her.' And on and so on.

On 11/24/01, we stopped the antibiotic because we weren't finding as much blood as before and because I thought she might be having some kind of adverse reaction to the stuff. For the next two days ,we spent all the time with her. She looked so weak and sad, and so very pathetic. The only thing that brought her to a sitting position during that time was if you offered her a snack, which by this time we were giving her all her favorites foods and treats. Once encouraged she would also drink a little. We made an appointment for 3:00 PM last Monday, 11/26/01. I carried her to the car, held her little head in my hands while my wife drove to the clinic. Once there, we still hoped for a miracle. We described again the symptoms that we thought had come on very quickly. But the vet told us that 'her time had come....we were doing the right thing.' He also commented on what we had also noticed, that her stomach had became a little bloated and distended.

We held her and cried like I'm crying now and she went to sleep for the last time in our arms. I carried her back to the car and she came home for the last time. Yesterday, Tuesday, 11/27/01, trying to get a handle on the heartache and grief, I looked around the Internet at the different 'dog' sites. When I got to srdogs and read about Rimadyl, I was shocked. Tink had vomited, she did have the blood in her urine, she had become somewhat incontinent, she had become weak and lethargic, she was stumbling, struggling and having a hard time getting to her feet and maintaining her balance, and her appetite had decreased a lot.....all in a matter of a few months.

We have spoken to our vet about our concerns, and after repeating all Tink's symptoms to him again and saying that they seemed to match a lot of the side effects associated with Rimadyl, he said they also matched symptoms of old age in a dog too. He claims he didn't know she was still on Rimadyl because he wasn't the one who handed them to us when we went back twice for the refills.(Makes you wonder about her chart.) He also says that he never would have prescribed the Rimadyl and Prednisone together if he had known Tink was still on the Rimadyl. But he believes through all his 'experience' that the symptoms she had, that had come on so quickly, were not related to Rimadyl, with or without the Prednisone. 'She was just old and her time had come, and we were right in what we did.' When I asked why a blood test was never done during all of this, he said he didn't believe it was worth the money....and that he had dispensed a lot of Rimadyl without any tests. He said that Pfizer may recommend a test before and during, but it is not required. He was sorry that she didn't live to be 16, but "not all dogs do", he said.
Rick & Paula Card

Black Lab Begins EtoGesic Therapy for Arthritis; Is Switched to Rimadyl.....Then Dies
From an E-mail received August 13, 2001: "Our beloved Betsy, a Black Lab, had a slight problem with arthritis. On June 20, the vet prescribed Etogesic, which, within one week, caused vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. The vet recommended withdrawing the drug, and she immediately improved. The vet then recommended Rimadyl, telling us that there were some adverse effects, but that they were very rare. They tested Betsy's blood and liver, which were both normal, and told us that she was very healthy.

"Within two weeks of beginning Rimadyl, Betsy began vomiting blood. The next night she passed blood through the bowel and lost all energy; she was unable to walk. I took her to the vet, who kept saying it was probably intestinal cancer and that they would test for it. Each day, she became progressively worse. It was never mentioned that Rimadyl could be lethal to Labs. We were waiting for results of another cancer test when Betsy passed away at the vet's, two-and-a-half weeks after starting Rimadyl. An autopsy showed that both EtoGesic and Rimadyl were implicated in her death.

"Our hearts are broken. We need to do something more to warn others. I urge everyone to please let us know if this has happened to you. We need to get this information to the manufacturers of these drugs and to the FDA, and to get it out to the public, as well.
Sadly, Tom Adams in Memory of Betsy

Rimadyl Consumer Information Sheet NOT Distributed!! Dog Dies of Liver Failure.....
Report Received April 16, 2001: "Hello....I just lost my 8-year-old Lab yesterday. The cause was liver failure. We put her on Rimadyl exactly four weeks ago. She got sick the fourth week --- vomiting, not eating, lethargy.... all the indicators....indicators I subsequently found on the Internet. Unfortunately, I wasn't given a sheet to warn me what to look for. She appeared to have a seizure Saturday night, and we took her to an emergency vet to put her on i.v. meds and fluids. I put her down Easter Sunday morning. The more I read, the more I am sad and disappointed. I would have watched more carefully, had I known more about the risk I was taking.

I have a case number with Pfizer. They are paying (I think) for the autopsy. I still have many questions....... and have to wonder about liability on Pfizer's part. I'm sure Rimadyl is a very helpful drug. I am, however, also quite sure it is what shortened my dog's life. I feel a blood test should be required before the drug is prescribed, or as a follow up before long-term prescriptions are given. Can you give any suggestions? Where should I look? What should I do? I would like to prevent this happening to other dogs. I would like to do something for them, for their loving owners, and for Snickers.

2/14/00 -- "Our most beloved and cherished 14-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever (Manda) is dying as a result of being on Rimadyl for three weeks. The last three days she has been receiving IV therapy in order to stay alive. She has displayed every single symptom that we have read about on various websites as signs of Rimadyl poisoning. Up to this point, she was as healthy as a horse, with the exception of some stiffness in her right hind leg, which our vet originally diagnosed as arthritis and for which she was given Rimadyl. (It was subsequently re-evaluated as a torn ligament.) We are in desperate need of help from anyone who may direct us about treatment . We have read that dogs HAVE recovered from this horrendous plight, and need as much information as we can possibly obtain in order to restore our Manda.

2/10/01 -- It was when I had read the reactions to Rimadyl on the srdogs site that I realised how ill my dog was. Sadly, the outcome was an unhappy one; he was put to sleep on December 9, 2000. I was too upset to have a post mortem carried out and so can never prove it was about the possible side effects of this drug, which may have caused me to act faster than I did. He had a cruciate ligament operation and I thought the initial symptoms of lethargy and loss of appetite were due to the surgery. It was only when he developed wet eczema (hotspots in the US) that I became concerned it might have been something else. As I am in the UK, I have contacted Pfizer ( who paid some of the blood and stool sample costs) and, more importantly, I have lodged a complaint with the Vetinerary Medicines Directorate (an Executive member of the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food) as I was given no information with his prescription of Rimadyl and I feel this is unacceptable.




 

Index
Anal Fistulas
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis Types
Types of Pet Arthritis
Diagnosis and Treatments
Treatment & Prevention
A Vets View
Treating and Preventing Illness
Nutrition's Role
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Feline Hip Dysplasia
Glucosamine Products
Consumers Guide
Your Cat
Rimadyl

 
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