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Greetings all,

I have a 50lb Australian Shepherd who is a little over 14 yrs old. Though she has naturally slowed down somewhat, her physical health is still pretty good. She had a back spasm or something some months ago, and...in consultation with our vet...we put her on Rimadyl, though we are aware that it can cause liver problems. The back problem healed up quickly, but we kept her on Rimadyl at a dosage of 50 mg per day. When we took her in for a blood test about a month ago, her urine was good, and blood was okay, but a couple things were elevated. Some actual numbers were:

PHOS was 3.7 mg.dl, and top of normal is 6.8
CREA was 1.9 mg/dl, and top of normal is 1.8
BUN was 27 mg/dl, and top of normal is 27
ALKP was 218 u/l, and top of normal is 212
LIPA was 1873 u/l, and top of normal is 1800
AMYL was 1480 u/l, and top of normal is 1500

We took her off Rimadyl since she was really only initially on that for the back spasm.

She definitely has a little cognitive dysfunction as of fairly recently, and we can manage that, but we wonder if part of her uneasiness nowadays could be related to arthritis that isn't showing up as limping, or anything obvious. She does often growl menacingly when we lift her, and she rarely used to do that. We take that as a sign of some physical discomfort.

So we are thinking of putting her back on the Rimadyl. Someone mentioned two other drugs to us...Previcox and Meloxicam; do they pose less of a threat to the liver than Rimadyl, or are they all about the same?

Also, given the blood test numbers above, and the age of our dog, and the dosage, feel free to suggest either going back on the Rimadyl, or...since our dog doesn't show obvious signs of pain...staying off the Rimadyl. I know that will forever be a point of controversy and speculation, but I would appreciate any insight!

Thanks!

Chuck
 

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I have a 12 year old Aussie mix with arthritis in one of her front legs.

My parent's vet really pushed the Rimadyl. It didn't really seem to help with the pain, though, and I wasn't loving the idea of potential side effects. The vet then suggested aspirin, which again did nothing.

I asked Chisum's vet what she would do, and she suggested to stay away from both of those and start with Cosequin and fish oil pills. She's been doing them for a few weeks and already she's a bit better, and better than she was on either of the meds the other vet prescribed/suggested. Lexy takes one Cosequin and one fish oil pill 2x daily.

The vet also mentioned we could bring her in and start on some kind of anti inflammatory if need be, but we haven't crossed that bridge yet.

I just...I don't like Rimadyl. Could you ask your vet what else she would suggest, if that weren't an option?
 

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My dog (Britney) has been on Cosequin DS for a few years now (twice a day), but I had not heard fish oil pills would be beneficial. Will consider that. Thanks. The dog seems better...mentally...when she gets two long walks per day, but we are in a heat wave where I live now (100 degrees outside right now), and Britney is starting to get reluctant to go for walkies.
 

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all values you listed of little to no concern aside from the BUN and creatinine, with tell me little being one-time results... more interested are what these values will be in a few weeks or a month. Those are marginal kidney values, but could have been that way prior to Rimadyl use and therefore are not a big concern either. Since we don't know, you just have to wait and recheck someday soon. Not sure the reasons for people's dislike of this drug... it is a miraculous drug with an extremely low rate of side effects (most blown out of proportion or completely bogus)... but it CAN cause problems just as ANY drug can. So you if are against using drugs at all, then I might understand why you don't want to use this one since it's a drug. But it is one of the safer drugs around. However, if you recheck your pet's blood and the renal values are even higher (particularly the Creatinine) then I would probably fine something other than a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
 

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all values you listed of little to no concern aside from the BUN and creatinine, with tell me little being one-time results... more interested are what these values will be in a few weeks or a month. Those are marginal kidney values, but could have been that way prior to Rimadyl use and therefore are not a big concern either. Since we don't know, you just have to wait and recheck someday soon. Not sure the reasons for people's dislike of this drug... it is a miraculous drug with an extremely low rate of side effects (most blown out of proportion or completely bogus)... but it CAN cause problems just as ANY drug can. So you if are against using drugs at all, then I might understand why you don't want to use this one since it's a drug. But it is one of the safer drugs around. However, if you recheck your pet's blood and the renal values are even higher (particularly the Creatinine) then I would probably fine something other than a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
I think the dislike of it stems from people, like me, using it with an elderly dog. The dog ends up slowing down, losing appetite, or something else, and the Rimadyl gets the blame.

Here's my experience with it....

My dog was 17 years 5 months old when he was put on it for severe arthritis. The arthritis was diagnoised after he fell down the deck steps and I suspected he broke his leg. He was given an x-ray and the vet discovered that a piece of arthritis had been knocked off and lodged in his joint, the vet prescribed Rimadyl. Shadow did amazing with it, he was able to walk easily, was able to get up after laying down without much problem. Unfortunately after being on it for a few weeks he started losing his appetite, no matter what the vet and I tried he never really regained it and passed away from not eating around 2 months after starting the Rimadyl.

It would be VERY easy to start hollering that the Rimadyl caused the issues, loss of appetite is one of the side effects of Rimadyl. However my dog was very elderly, and while Rimadyl may have been the culprit, but it may not have been. I do not go around telling people that Rimadyl killed Shadow, or that it is a horrible drug. I believe it has it's uses, and that most dogs do fine with it. I'd use it with my current dog if I thought that it would help him.
 
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