How Quickly Does Rimadyl Work?
Watch closely how your dog walks, runs, and sits. If your dog has an altered gait including limping, moving slowly, losing balance, or is having trouble getting in the car or up on the couch or bed, or if your dog is in obvious pain, the cause may be chronic pain associated with canine arthritis, osteoarthritis, or hip dysplasia. We spoke with Dr. Shagufta Mulla, a veterinarian with a DVM degree from Colorado State University with 20 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian, about what to do if your dog has any of these symptoms. Dr. Mulla advises to ask your veterinarian if a prescription for the analgesic (pain reliever) Rimadyl for dogs might provide relief. Additionally, if your dog is scheduled for a surgical procedure, your veterinarian may recommend Rimadyl after the operation.
What is Rimadyl vs. carprofen?
Rimadyl is a common brand name for carprofen, and it's described as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Rimadyl is an FDA-approved prescription pain medication used for pain associated with canine joint pain or postoperative pain. Rimadyl works in a few ways: reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and reducing fevers in dogs.
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Steroids may be a short-term option for pain relief and reducing inflammation, but your veterinarian may prescribe Rimadyl as a steroid alternative better suited for long-term use. If you're not sure why your veterinarian is prescribing Rimadyl for your dog, it's best to call for clarification. Veterinarians are used to the dog owners they work with asking questions so don't feel bad about asking!
"Rimadyl is approved for dogs 6 weeks of age or older," says Dr. Mulla. "Dogs who are nursing or pregnant or who have a bleeding disorder, kidney disease, or liver disease shouldn't take Rimadyl. Dogs on certain heart, behavior, or seizure medications may not be able to take Rimadyl."
How to administer Rimadyl to dogs
If your veterinarian prescribes Rimadyl for pain management, decide on the best method of administering the drug. Rimadyl comes in caplet form and chewable tablets, or it can be given by injection.
This anti-inflammatory medication works around the clock and comes in various forms. "It may be administered once a day, or equally divided between a morning and an evening dose, so talk with your veterinarian about the best approach," says Dr. Mulla. Within three hours after administering Rimadyl, the drug reaches its highest concentration in the bloodstream.
Rimadyl can be administered to dogs via oral medication or injectable medication. An oral dose that is given twice a day acts more quickly than an injectable dose. "When given at the twice a day oral dose, the drug acts more quickly than the injectable," says Dr. Mulla. "But that doesn't mean your dog will be pain free by the end of the day. You may see improvement in your pet's pain as early as a few days after starting oral Rimadyl."
What is the dosage of Rimadyl for dogs?
The easiest method of administering Rimadyl meds is in the form of liver-flavored chewable tablets. "Chewable Rimadyl is very palatable to dogs and some dogs will chew through prescription vials to get to the tablets," warns Dr. Mulla. "This can result in a life threatening overdose. So keep Rimadyl, especially chewable, out of reach of dogs." To ensure the correct dosage and prevent a life-threatening overdose, keep Rimadyl and other medications safe from your dog's reach.
How much Rimadyl your veterinarian prescribes depends on your dog's weight. "The usual prescribed dose is 2 milligrams per pound of body weight every 24 hours, or 1 milligram per pound of body weight every 12 hours," says Dr. Mulla. "Rimadyl should always be given after a meal."
Rimadyl also comes in caplet form. In both forms, the drug will be eliminated from the dog's system within 24 hours. Injectable Rimadyl can be administered by a licensed veterinarian. When injectable Rimadyl is given before surgery, the drug starts taking effect within two hours.
Side effects of Rimadyl for dogs
Watch your dog for any signs of an adverse reaction or allergic reaction to the drug, which can appear as soon as one hour following a dose and for up to a few days. Potential side effects include gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, heavy breathing, and liver failure. If any signs of serious side effects or behavioral changes appear, discontinue the drug and have a veterinarian examine your dog immediately.
Just like human medications, Rimadyl can expire. Always check the packaging for your dog's medication for the expiration date. If the medication has expired or you can't find the expiration date, talk with your veterinarian. Giving an expired medication could impact the safety and effectiveness of the medication.
If you notice that your dog can't climb into the car or get into the bed as easily anymore, it may be from chronic pain. Rimadyl is a common brand name for carprofen, an FDA-approved prescription pain medication used for pain associated with canine joint pain or postoperative pain. Dogs love the taste of chewable Rimadyl, so be sure to keep the prescription vial well out of reach so your dog doesn't chew into it — that may result in a dangerous overdose.Watch your dog for any signs of an adverse reaction or allergic reaction to the drug, which can appear as soon as one hour following a dose and for up to a few days. Potential side effects include gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, heavy breathing, and liver failure.