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Dog Owners - Alert on possibly dangerous anti-inflammatory drug

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive May 2006: Dog Owners - Alert on possibly dangerous anti-inflammatory drug
By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 07:25 am:

Here's an article in the Washington Post about Deramaxx, a relatively new anti-inflammatory drug for dogs that appears to have caused many fatalities because of side effects:

This article also mentions Rimadyl, and Pfizer, the manufacturer, has settled with at least 300 dog owners for $1,000 each when their dogs died while taking Rimadyl. I know our Sascha had a very bad reaction to it and actually stopped drinking water. We had to sneak/force water into her after stopping the drug for about 5 days before she started drinking again.

There have been reports of at least 350 dogs that died after being given Deramaxx.

And here's a site for checking dog medications for reports of adverse reactions:

By Karen~moderator on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 08:35 am:

Thanks for posting this Ginny!

By Conni on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 08:38 am:

OMG!!! My Grandparents give their old choc lab one of those meds, daily, i think, for arthritis!!!! Yikes. :( We were *just* talking about ordering a med for our 9 yo black lab because he has trouble with his joints now. sniff I will be calling our vet and asking what is safe for him.

Thanks for posting this.

By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 09:04 am:

Do realize that the number of dogs suffering adverse effects is small compared to the number of dogs being given the medications (as was true of Vioxx). What this article underlines, and what is supported by the adverse reaction website, is that your dog should have a blood test for liver/kidney function before being given many of the anti-inflammatory medications, regular (3 to 6 month interval) blood tests while taking it, and the dog lover should be made aware of possible adverse reactions so that s/he can call the vet if a reaction is observed and go on from there.

If I hadn't done a little research on Rimadyl (on the spur of the moment and with some time to "kill" - waste - on the internet) we'd never have known of the risks, and our vet did do a blood test in advance and recommended regular blood tests. And, most dogs with chronic joint pain tolerate Rimadyl quite well and it is a blessing for them. Before we realized Sascha might be having an adverse reaction, Scott observed that physically, she was jumping and running around like a puppy - more active than she had been in the 2 years we've had her. So if she hadn't had a bad reaction, we'd be delighted to be giving it to her. She's on another med now with few side effect risks, and it does control her chronic hip pain, but she is by no means acting like a puppy.

Conni, the medication Sascha is getting now is Metacam (meloxicam). It also has some risks, and some dogs have had a bad reaction to it, but Sascha is fine with it. It is a liquid, and the best way to give it is with a needle-less hypodermic kind of thing, squirting it into the mouth. The dosage is by body weight. Sascha tolerates it well (both the medication and the giving of it), and it does definitely help with her hip pain, just not as thoroughly as the Rimadyl did for the week she was getting it before we stopped it. And Scott took her in for another blood test after she had been getting it for 3 weeks, to check on any possible liver/kidney function problems. He felt, given our experience with Rimadyl, it was safer to do the early test than to wait 3 to 6 months and then maybe find out there were really serious problems.

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 02:14 pm:

Yikes! I'll keep an eye out for that. Jasmine doesn't need anything like that, at this point.

One time I had to advils sitting on my tummy, waiting to get my drink to take them. Goofy mutt took one! I called the vet, though, and he said a 200 mg Advil in a 50-lb dog wasn't a lethal dose and she never suffered any ill effects. It taught me to be a little more careful!

By Reds9298 on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 02:18 pm:

Riff is currently taking Rimadyl a few times a week for the leg that had the ACL repair last fall. It makes it feel so much better when he's been aching with it...he does act like a puppy! :) But...he also has a sensitive stomach (on sensitive stomach food) and I notice that if he takes it every day he gets very gassy after a few days. I try to just give it to him when we're outside playing all day.

Thanks a lot for the article Ginny. We're headed to the vet next week, so I'll ask them about the blood tests, etc., and the possibilities for Rimadyl.

By Cat on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 07:33 pm:

Mr. Bean's on Rimadyl after getting fixed last week. He's been acting fine since the day after the surgery, though. Thanx for the link.

By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 07:52 pm:

Deanna, check with your vet to see if there is something other than Rimadyl, especially since Riff has a sensitive stomach. It is an NSAID, and all of them are rough on stomachs anyhow.

Rimadyl is the current "wonder drug" in the animal world, and I suspect it is being overprescribed and overused. But please, don't make any med changes without talking to your vet, and especially don't ever give "human" meds to an animal except on vet orders. (Example, aspirin is OK for dogs, in certain doses, but Tylenol can cause serious liver damage in some dogs and can be fatal.)

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