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4157 Dogs Reported Dead From Rimadyl

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Rimadyl3Modern medicine and modern medication can do some pretty amazing things – it can instantly deal with parasites, or give immediate comfort to a dog or cat in pain.

There is a but here…These conventional medications can have a host of side effects that can seriously harm your dog or cat. There are also the unquantifiable effects of chronic medication use on your pet’s immune system or organ function, and how that may make them more likely to develop serious disease such as cancer.

Consider the FDA reports on this common anti-inflammatory drug, Rimadyl.

Cumulative Veterinary ADE Reports 1987 to January 22, 2014
Species: DOG


This NSAID ( non steroidal anti-inflammatory), has numerous reported and under-reported side effects, from permanent organ damage, to even death. It is in your pet’s best interest to avoid this medication, and similar medications if possible.

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

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Topics: Dog Health, Pet health | 87 Comments »

87 Responses to “4157 Dogs Reported Dead From Rimadyl”

  1. Leigh Says:
    January 18th, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I have a pup. Lab/mastiff she almost 4months old. Went to vet for booster & fecal test #2 , firtunately the fecal came back no worms/eggs. But, she had UTI and vet gave Clavomax. At last minute Vet said heres Rymadil to ease inflammation . ? Dang!! She was prescribed only 5 days worth but WHY? She seems perfectly fine and her last dose was this morning . I read this article after. Am i going to run into problems now?! Shes a baby and this med wasnt really necassary? 🙁

  2. Doug Hall Says:
    January 18th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    My seven year old Rhodesian Ridfeback was prescribed Rimadyl for some minor hip inflammation. I gave her one dose at 2pm. She had one seizure at 5:15 pm. Another more intense and longer one at 11pm and then one that started at 5am that she never really came out of. She had never had a seizure prior to these incidents. After doing lots of tests and X-rays/mri, the vet said she was 95% sure Zula had a brain tumor and I ended her suffering 21 hours after that one dose of Rimadyl. I had always wondered if the medicine had anything to do with her rapid decline in health.

  3. Paul Evans Says:
    January 19th, 2016 at 3:37 am

    This is scaremongering! It’s obvious it affects diff dogs in diff ways if at all. The same way as some painkillers affect humans in diff ways.

    My 12yr old golden lab crossed with a gsd was put on Rimadyl in October 2015 due to a bleed an the brain and a bleed in the spine caused through lungworm. He was unable to even stand and I was ready and expecting him to be pts at the vets. After extensive scans and tests he also has arthritis and hip dysplasia. Now he’s been on 2 tablets a day since October and now he can walk, yes only a few hundred yards, play like a puppy but get tired quick(12yrs old it’s expected) and can actually come upstairs.

  4. Jason Says:
    January 19th, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Absolutely ridiculous! Those numbers are over a period of 27 YEARS and they include other drugs because Rimadyl only came out in 1997!!!!! 4127 deaths over 27 years! Divide that by the MILLIONS of dogs who have takden the drug over that time period and the percentage would be so minute it would go completely unnoticed. 16,500 people die EVERY year from the same type of drugs. Considering that about 30 million dogs have taken Rimadyl since it came out, your looking at a death rate of about 0.08% annualy. So this so called “STUDY” is simply here to sell you something else! Never take these internet studies at face value simply because they have a Doctor’s name at the top of the page. Do a little research first, and check the sources of that research.

  5. Dr. Andrew Jones Says:
    January 20th, 2016 at 5:47 am

    This is from the FDA- feel free to verify it here: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm055369.htm

  6. Laura Says:
    January 19th, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    well said jason… I noticed the same thing…also that the article title lists 4157 deaths and the chart in the article says 2332 deaths…hmmm this data is pretty useless given all of the missing information… its just a bunch of random numbers. I do think it is important to stress to animal owners allll of the potential side effects of a medicine so that the owner can be appropriately aware not to miss important signs of distress…but my goodness lets do some proper, respectable science in these articles please…

  7. Dr. Andrew Jones Says:
    January 20th, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Hi Laura,

    This is from the FDA showing 2332 deaths, and 1825 deaths from euthanasia- 4157 total deaths

    I would call that ..” proper, respectable science ”

    Dr Jones

  8. June de Wet Says:
    January 19th, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I show and breed Dalmatians. My old boy of 12 has been battling with Arthritis and Spondalosis.
    I live in South Africa. My sister who lives in the Us brought me some tablets which has made a huge difference to Tuxedo. He is bouncing around like a pup again. The product is Life Vantage Canine health. A Natural product. They are in Utah.No garbage in my guys.

  9. Trish Says:
    January 21st, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Dr Jones – so happy you are there to advise. I have a 6 yr old Newfie. He is due for a visit to the vet & they want to give him all his vaccinations. I am instead asking for titer testing in the hope he has sufficient antibodies to negate the need for vaccines. So against big pharma & I certainly don’t like giving meds to my boy.


  10. Anne J. Says:
    January 21st, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Folks, by my personal estimation, even one of our precious pets lost to these large corporations in the name of “pain relief” should not be happening today! We will never know for sure, but our beloved Miniature Pinscher was lost to liver cancer a little more than a year ago. After developing arthritis in a leg she had broken as a puppy, we put her on a low dose of Rimadyl (Carprofen) in hopes of avoiding any side effects of this, or other available pain killers at the time. We lost her at age 10, after developing a rapid-onset liver tumor. Was it the pain med? Was it vaccines? We’ll never truly know. And we will never get her back.
    One thing is for sure. Any time you can use natural pain medications, healing techniques, and ingredients in both animal, and our own foods – DO IT!!! This is only my own personal opinion, but if your pet came down with cancer tomorrow, wouldn’t you like to know that it wasn’t because of a pill, or a food, or a vaccine that was unnecessary? I am very thankful for Dr. Andrew’s Jones’ natural approach to veterinary care, and highly recommend his programs! Thank You, Dr. Andrew!

  11. Karen Says:
    January 22nd, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Really people???!? THAT’S what we’re gonna debate here, statistics?? Once again, the human race just had to prove what a source of utter disappointment & embarrassment it can be. I’m sure that all of the unfortunate people who had a pet die from using this drug at Dr. Whitecoat’s insistence won’t find this at all insulting. The loss of just ONE animal from the overuse & abuse of any drug is TOO MANY!! And no, Dr. Jones isn’t just trying to sell anything here. Speaking from decades of experience (as is he!) natural alternatives work and are much safer. All he is trying to say is, if these alternatives work, why kill your pet with a dangerous drug that is just being prescribed to help line the pockets of a corrupt industry? And if being EDUCATED regarding safer alternatives isn’t your thing, don’t come here for the information!!!

  12. Nat Says:
    January 22nd, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    My golden retriever has been on rimadyl for 3 years. She is completely fine. The vet needs to be educated on what dosage the dog should take and know that dog needs to come in 1 month after starting for blood work to check the liver. If everything is normal they continue use and come back every 4-6 months.

    My friends dog did die due to being prescribed an insanely high dose and he never had blood work done.

    It’s like every medicine.. It can disrupt another function in the body. Just take the correct measures.

  13. Kendra Says:
    January 23rd, 2016 at 5:13 am

    This study is vague at best. Rimadyl may not be right for every situation. Our 10 year old boxer who has arthritis in both hips, both knees and a torn acl has been on it for 7 days at its made a world of difference. He’s doing great.

  14. Chelsea Says:
    January 23rd, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Instead of jumping to conclusions and believing this guy who doesn’t even have proof he’s a real DVM why not ask YOUR VETERINARIAN!!!!! He calls himself the internet pet vet that’s shady as hell anyway! This isn’t even accurate! In dogs with underlying kidney and liver disease this drug can make it worse that’s why bloodwork is required every 6 months to continue on meds. My clinic and several others I know of have several patients on this and none of them have died from using it!! Don’t believe everything you read on the internet folks!

  15. Kim Miller Says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 7:35 am

    My old Shepherd at the age of 15 had such pain in her hips and could not even get up to walk. Was looking at having her PTS as she was in so much pain. This medication was a life saver for her. Had tried all the natural supplements without success. She only takes half the dose as prescribed every other day. No side affects thus far. If people read all the warnings on medication they would never take them but for her it has given her a good quality of life and for me worth the risk to see her playing and running in the back yard for however long God permits.

  16. Ree Ree Says:
    January 28th, 2016 at 4:02 am

    We use glucosamine for our 9 year old Cairn Terrier. Are there any know side effects from this??
    It seems to help when he begins to limp. Works one pill overnight.

  17. Jennifer C. Says:
    January 30th, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Using non-steroidal medications such as rimadyl and metacam to treat your dog’s chronic pain is not necessarily bad, IF they are prescribed appropriately and bloodwork is checked routinely to screen for any of these infrequent side effects. I feel this post is misleading. These medications definitely have their place in veterinary medicine. If the pain is responsive to glucosamine and chondroitin alone or Adequan injections, then that would be preferable. However, most arthritis progresses and as the pain becomes more severe, a multimodal approach for pain control often is necessary. That’s when the non-steroidal drugs such as rimadyl and metacam are important to provide a good quality of life for otherwise lame/painful dogs. Every dog reacts differently to each type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug so it is important for owners to be educated about the side effects and understand why routine bloodwork/exams are important but I don’t think it’s responsible to scare people about a class of drug that has its role in treating animals. It’s important to note that non-steroidal drugs should not be used at the same time as steroids and other non-steroidal drugs (eg/ they can’t take rimadyl and metacam at the same time or rimadyl and prednisone etc). Additionally, aspirin for its anti-inflammatory effects is not recommended in vet medicine anymore due to the higher risk of side effects and less pain control.

  18. Erik M Walker DVM Says:
    January 30th, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Carprofen has been used for many years in veterinary medicine and has relieved the suffering of countless dogs after surgery, injury, and arthritis from inflammatory pain. As with any medication, it is used with caution and the risks are balanced against the benefits it provides. Proper laboratory and clinical monitoring will avoid the overwhelming majority of potential issues associated with carprofen. Given that these numbers represent data collected over the course of over 20 years, and that the data represented here is of issues possibly connected with carprofen use but not necessarily conclusively caused by it, over likely hundreds of millions of doses administered, the number of adverse effects is minuscule and not even close to statistical significance. Of course, anyone with a casual grasp of statistics will already have realized as much. As always, watch your pets for signs of adverse reactions to any medication, and consult your veterinarian if you think they’re having an issue. And most of all, don’t depend on internet doctors for sound veterinary advice. They haven’t examined your pet and can’t legally provide you with medical advice anyway…

  19. Jeanne Werner Says:
    January 31st, 2016 at 7:05 am

    the vet put my 11 yr old dog on Rymadyl for his arthritis and within 24 hrs he developed a rash on his neck. At first I didn’t associate it with Rimadyl until a few days later he started to bleed from the rash and then his gums started to bleed. Needless to say I was terrified and rushed him to the vet. His blood platelet count was extremely low (20,000 when it’s supposed to be no lower than 200,000) my dog could of easily bled to death. Right now my vet bills are at $1,000 dollars and his treatment isn’t finished yet. This crap needs to be off the market. Who knows what lasting affect this will have on my dog. The only thing I can say good about Rymadyl is that my dog was pain free but it’s not worth his life

  20. Marina Says:
    February 2nd, 2016 at 11:28 am

    My mom’s not quite three year old, very healthy Bullmastiff was prescribed a one-week course of Rimadyl for a knee injury. It tore a hole in his stomach, causing sepsis and killed him in less than a week after every possible intervention was tried, including surgery, plasma infusions and dialysis. Poor labeling and instructions are part of the problem – in Europe the use instructions are very different.

    If your dog hasn’t suffered from side effects you really shouldn’t be posting here, because this isn’t about you and how wonderfully the drug worked for your pet. For those of us who have had to watch our pets suffer and die because of it it is 100% unsafe and all of the good experiences are irrelevant. The side effects are well known and documented, but greedy drug companies and uninformed veterinarians continue to prescribe it without proper warnings or alternatives.

  21. Lorraine Says:
    February 12th, 2016 at 5:08 am

    My dog had to be put to sleep because of this group of drugs NSAID it was called previcox he had one tablet within a few hours his back legs wouldn’t work there is a Facebook page about this drug I wish I had Googled first but I trusted my vet not any more though the drug companies just don’t want to know it’s all about money vets are not doing the necessary checks in my case my tablets were given in a plain envelope I now use another vet and ask lots of questions and Google

  22. Linda Says:
    February 12th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I have steered clear of medication for my 10 year old GSD. Even my vet is impressed with the effect of Turmeric Golden Paste! I’d recommend it to anyone…

  23. meg Says:
    February 13th, 2016 at 5:09 am

    I am actually quite distressed to see an article like this being promoted to drive people away from using drugs that could potentially assist in prolonging their lifespan. Yes, it is clear that Eimadyl has side effects,as do most medications available- for pet, livestock or human. Follow the link, check out the cyclosporine- a immunosuppressant, which has pages of side effects (also used in humans) or something widely used, such as neurological disorder, tachycardia, anorexia and death. If the drug was known for being risky & proven to be the actual CAUSE of these reported outcomes they would not be used. What commercial organisation would treat with something like ivermectin knowing there would be a risk of death etc across their herd.

    In saying this, vets are trained to understand what drugs should be used for what ailments & combinations of such. Should you be concerned regarding the side effects of any prescribed drug for your pet you should discuss it with your vet, just as you would with a doctor prescribing you any medication. Clarify the risk of side effects, check for alternatives.

    Any person or animal requiring medication such as Rimadyl is already suffering an ailment, therefore requiring treatment. Thus study in no way

  24. caninecare Says:
    February 13th, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I have to say I don’t think it’s the evil thing people make it out to be. It gave our dog 3 really GREAT years. Totally regained the use of his legs. We had a choice to either put him down or try Rimadyl. We went with the Rimadyl. But he was on a very low dose and he had blood work every 3 months. He wasn’t on any other medications. I feel part of the issue is many may be using with too high a dose, mixing with other meds or maybe not doing the blood checks every 3 months. Let’s face it many drugs are used more than they should be but I feel there is a place for it. And we were most grateful for the very good years it gave our dog that we never would have had.

  25. Rhona MacLeod Says:
    February 14th, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I, too, was wondering about Metacam . My last dog was prescribed a couple of short courses of this in the past in Australia with no apparent ill-effects. Vet in Scotland prescribed it last summer, but he was going on holiday so gave me a bigger container of it. I started to become concerned about using it for a longer period, then noticed his gums were bleeding and his stools were darkened. Local Vet was not taking my concerns on board saying bleeding gums were probably due to his age and dental caries – basically he was disinterested. Took him to Holistic Vet, whom we’d been seeing for Acupuncture, she did blood tests which confirmed what she’d initially thought – he had developed : Immune-mediated Thrombocytopaenia. A short course of steroids and another drug to try to settle his GI tract seemed to help at first – then he went rapidly downhill.

  26. Shirley Hendel Says:
    February 14th, 2016 at 11:18 am

    From what i have been told…….Metacam is fine as long as your dog has not renal issues. We had a dog in renal failure and our vet would not prescribe Metacam.

    Instead we used Methocarbomol for our dog as a muscle relaxant.

    I also have renal issues and my doctor says no to the “cam”medicines for humans.

    Our dogs will NEVER be given Rimadayl.

  27. Catherine Smith Says:
    February 14th, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    As a fellow veterinarian, I feel it is important to point out these numbers were collected over 27 years – look at the dates 1987-2014. Responsible doctors and owners report if something happens to a pet after giving a drug. 4100 dogs over 27 years comes out to about 151 dogs a year. Considering its one of the first NSAIDS approved for dogs and most highly prescribed when you think of all of the generics available now (any carprofen is Rimadyl), I don’t find those numbers alarming. Also, this does not say that the deaths were directly connected to Rimadyl, just that they died after taking it. It is possible that some of the deaths could have been horrible coincidences. I do not care either way what medication owners give their dogs but I do want everyone properly informed and I don’t like people turning down pain medication because of something they read on the Internet. All medications have side effects but often the side effects out weigh the risks or they wouldn’t be out there. Make sure to have regular veterinary visits and monitor lab work and risk of severe issues are usually avoided.

  28. Dragana Says:
    February 15th, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Hm. All drugs have side effects. Who can tell exactly no of dogs using Rimadyl. Statistical this no is small. This look like anti-commercial to me. I am grateful, my dog had more comfortable life and lived 15 years with Rimadyl, using it from 7…

  29. Vron Says:
    February 16th, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Every drug is a killer if used incorrectly. If you follow up and use the medication the way it’s supposed to be used your dog will be fine. My Bassett has been using Rimadyl for 4 years. Not constantly, always following the regimen the doctor gives you and getting bloodwork done in between prescriptions. Emails like this do more injustice than good!

  30. beth Says:
    March 31st, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I have had numerous dogs that I have used rymadil on and have never experienced any of these side effects. all have been old dogs who were in great pain from arthritis and almost couldnt even get up. with in 24 hrs there was a 100% difference and they lived at least 3 years and some even longer free from pain and all were playing like young pups again. I think people need to be cautious of any medication as there r nsaids that cause problems even in human medication. make sure ur vet does a blood panel on ur dog before giving this medication and make sure all kidney liver and heart panel comes back with no issues. a lot of these dogs may have underlying health problems not yet diagnosed and the med could have an effect on that. also just like with people u can have an adverse effect of any medication on the market. if u can do without the meds that is always the best thing for person or animal. all medications can cause damage to liver or kidneys as these are the two organs that process the medication. as for the immune system all meds and vaccines can harm ur immune system even for humans. This medication is very beneficial to those dogs who can take it. we could of put our border collie down at the age of 10 when she got to where she couldnt get up unassisted however we chose the rymadil and she lived to be almost 17. that would of been 7 years of her life we would not of gotten to enjoy her. she ran and played like a 2 year old again right up till the end. so do your research and make sure dog has a clear blood panel before taking this medication and watch for signs of distress just like you would with a baby they cant talk either to tell u the meds make them feel bad. and if u notice anything seek medical attention immediately dont wait thinking its nothing. i feel bad for those who have lost there beloved pets to this drug but I have to say I have seen it do more harm then good.

  31. beth Says:
    March 31st, 2016 at 10:22 am

    to correct my previous post i ment to say I HAVENT seen it do more harm then good. I recommend it to everyone who has a dog with issues this drug would benefit as long as dog has clear health panel and no other undeerlying conditions. rymadil still gets an A in my book and am still using it today.

  32. Angelique Mason Says:
    August 16th, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I’ve been giving my 11 year old dachshund a very low dose of Rimadyl for joint pain for about 2 months. 5 days ago she refused to eat and became lethargic. She had her bloodwork done 5 months ago and EVERYTHING was normal and she was cleared for her dental. Today she has pancreatitis and can barely move. This medication should be taken off the market. I’m not ready for her to die, especially not from trying to keep her pain free. I would sue that company but that won’t give her the use of her organs back. Instead I’ll be spending all my extra time watching her die a slow and painful death.


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM
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