Uses for pet medication Rimadyl

Rimadyl is often prescribed to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis

Rimadyl is one of the most widely prescribed non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for dogs, being prescribed for either short term pain/inflammation relief, and in some cases long term pain and inflammation. It is most commonly prescribed for musculoskeletal joint (arthritis) or back problems, but is commonly prescribed to dogs for post operative pain, especially  as pain relief is being increasingly recognized and accepted as a standard of care in veterinary medicine.

The typical dose of Rimadyl is 1 mg per pound twice daily, but it can also be given as a single dose of 2 mg per pound once daily. It is not for use in cats. It is often important to have blood work and/or urine done before using this drug, especially in older pets to make sure there are no pre-existing liver, kidney or blood disorders that may contraindicate its use.

When dogs are prescribed Rimadyl long term, it is also important to monitor blood and urine every 3-6 months. While rare side effects of liver failure have been reported and got much overdone press several years back, most dogs tolerate Rimadyl fairly well, and I find that giving it with food tends to cut down on any upset stomachs.

Occasional side effects include:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting with digestive tract bleeding
  • rare liver/kidney side effects

Rimadul should not be given with aspirin or related products such as other non-steroidal anti inflammatory prescription drugs like Metacam or Previcox.  However, it is safe to use with certain other pain medications such as the recently increasing use of the safe mild opioid derivatives Tramadol.

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  1. I appreciated Dr. Dym’s article on rimadyl…our field springer spaniel was given this drug when he accidently injured one leg. I wanted to know more about this drug, and this article provided me good information.

    I am glad to know that pain relief is being recognized and accepted as a standard care in vet medicine. Our pets feel pain just like we do, even though they may not be able to express it us verbally.

  2. My dog was bit by a tick, which surprised me, because they are not common in the brush in our area. Our vet told us that they are becoming more common within our region. Fortunately, it wasn’t a deer tick. But nonetheless, we will be using Frontline from now on, or the other that the doctor suggested in his article…I certainly don’t want our dog to get lyme disease.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Front line is excellent product to use for tick prevention. Also try feeding natural diet like halo or natures variety from 1800petmeds which may also help strengthen her immune system.

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Hi Delia: You are very welcome for your kind compliments.

  5. My dog is 14 yrs. of age. She is a large Akita that I adopted at 6 months old. After getting her I found out that she had hip dysplaysia in both legs which the humane society did not disclose. The doctor opted to operate on one. She now has severe pain and has been on rimadyl, tramadol, and joint enhancers her entire life. Last month I added prednisone 1mg per day and she seems 60% better can you tell me how much harm could come from this combination.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Dose of prednisone sounds very low, however we try not to use pred and drugs like rimadyl at the same time due to increased risk of ulcers, etc. Monitor closely if you continue the prednisone

  7. I have a 7 yr old shepherd/husky mix. She injured the muscles/tendons not sure which jumping a fence going after a cat. Once at the vet and after X-rays they also found a spot on her back near her tail that was degenerating. Initially she was put on steroids and other medications but did not tolerate that well. For the last 6 months she has been on the following: Rimadyl 75 twice daily; amantadine 100mg once daily; 400mg gabapentin twice daily and 100mg of tramadol twice daily. She started out at 75 pounds but has put on 12 pounds. Does this see excessive. Not only is this expensive I worry about the amount of pain medication she is on. The muscles on the inside of her back legs have healed so supposedly this is preventive and help with the bad spot on her back

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 5, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Sounds like excellent balance of traditional pain meds but risk of weight gain is high with gabapentin and tramadol. Consider holistic supportive options as well such as chiropractic and/or acupuncture. To learn more see Also homeopathy may be an option as well. Learn more at as well as my website

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