Rimadyl is a pet painkiller, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which was first rolled out on the pet health market in 1997 and which is manufactured by Pfizer. Since then, the pet painkillers market has reached a value of $130 million, with yearly increases of 13%. But why is this product so trusted by veterinarians and pet owners alike? First of all, because it works. No pet owner likes to see their trusted companions in pain and suffering, so they will look for the best product on the market. By September 2010, almost 16 million pet owners in the United States of America have used it as a painkiller.
The drug is only sold on prescription, some delivery companies making it easier for owners by taking over the order and then checking with the veterinarian to see whether the drug was prescribed, so as to speed up the process of purchase. It is prescribed for pets with osteoarthritis or joint pain and for pets recovering from surgery. The signs of osteoarthritis are easy to spot: the dog is not walking right, cannot get up, is no longer excited by taking walks and is reluctant to jumping or climbing. If your dog is acting like that, then your veterinarian will most probably prescribe Rimadyl for him.
In case of surgery, the most severe pain is felt by the patient in the first 24 hours after the medical intervention – then the swelling decreases, when the anesthetic wears off, and the wound begins to heal. In most cases, doctors will start administering Rimadyl (through injection) two hours before the surgery so that the pain management process can already be in place by the time the animal starts to wake up. After this, it is the job of the dog owner to tend to the post surgery needs of the animal, and give him the pain killers in other forms.
Rimadyl is available on the market in the form of caplets or chewables and are usually administered 2 mg per pound as calculated for a single daily dose. However, the dosage and administration is generally decided by the veterinarian, as well as the length of the treatment. The duration of the treatment will mainly depend on the animal’s response to the drug, but after 14 days, a new set of blood tests should be done. Special care must be given to the fact that prolonged usage of painkillers can lead to liver damage and stomach problems.
Painkillers, though needed, cannot be administered just to any dog. There are some restrictions which must be discussed with the veterinarian. Dogs with allergies to aspirin or other anti-inflammatory pills or with stomach, liver or kidney problems, and dogs with heart diseases, high blood pressure and pregnant or lactating will not be given this drug. Also, just like any other drug, Rimadyl may have unpleasant reactions when combined with other drugs, so the veterinarian must be consulted whenever you plan on giving the dog other medication.