What are the Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs?

Is your dog currently suffering from osteoarthritis or joint-related pains? If that is a yes, you might have heard about the medicine known as Rimadyl. There is a growing debate currently being discussed between pet owners and experts alike regarding its effects. Some believe it should not be used for pets due to its harsh side effects, while others say it is the perfect medicine for joint pains for pets. That’s why as a dog owner you should know what are the side effects of Rimadyl for dogs.

So, what exactly is Rimadyl and what are the effects of this drug for your dogs?

What is Rimadyl?

Rimadyl (Carprofen) is a form of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be used for dogs suffering from joint inflammation caused by arthritis and other effects. It was developed in 1996 as a replacement for other pain medication for pets like aspirin and it is FDA-approved.

How is Rimadyl used?

Rimadyl is mostly given to dogs to reduce the pain and swelling caused by arthritis and osteoarthritis. Pets with joint conditions like hip dysplasia can also use this medication to reduce the pain it causes. Since it is a non-inflammatory drug, it can be used as a long-term pain reliever for chronic conditions.

Rimadyl can also be used as a short-term pain-reliever if your dog has undergone surgery or other dental procedures. Some veterinarians even recommend it as a good fever reducer thanks to its analgesic properties.

Rimadyl can be taken either as an injection, chewable tablets or capsules. For capsules and tablets, Rimadyl has three dosages: 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. It is recommended that dogs are given 2 mg per pound of their body weight.

It can be taken by your dog once or twice a day depending on the prescription of the veterinarian. It is also fast acting, so pet owners can immediately see results once it is taken. Vets will also tell you which way is better to administer Rimadyl to your pets, but it is ideal if it is given to your pet orally since Rimadyl tastes like liver for your pets.

You also do not need to get a vet’s prescription should you wish to stock up on supplies.

How to administer Rimadyl

What are the Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs?

What are the Side Effects of Rimadyl for Dogs

For humans, NSAID medication has been reported to trigger several side-effects that range in severity and it can be deadly if it is not treated immediately.

NSAID medications also present the same risk for pets and the severity can be worst depending on the length of use. Experts also stress that Rimadyl should not be given to pets without prescription from the veterinarian because the wrong dosage can cause allergic reactions.

For long-term use and wrong dosages, it is possible that these side-effects can be seen in your pets:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loose, bloody or black stool
  • Weakness
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes
  • Extreme thirst
  • Urinary complications
  • Liver and kidney issues
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Ulcer

If your pet showcases any of these symptoms, you should bring them immediately to their veterinarian to see if you need to change the dosage of Rimadyl or stop the treatment. Make sure that your veterinarian is aware of your dog’s health condition, especially if they are drinking other medications. Rimadyl can cause a bad side effect if it is used alongside other drugs.

Pets with backgrounds of bleeding, high blood pressure, heart failure and those who plan to breed their dogs cannot use Rimadyl.

Pets may also develop allergic reactions when they take Rimadyl with or without other medication. If the allergic reaction is identified you can give them quercetin, or can call your veterinarian immediately.

For pet related problems Likeable Pets is the one to go to or your veterinarian

It is also prohibited to use Rimadyl on pregnant and nursing dogs, as well as for pups under six weeks old.

Alternatives to Rimadyl?

Currently, Rimadyl is one of the safest medicines in the market that can help with osteoarthritis and pain for pets. However, if you do not wish to risk your pets to side effects, there are alternatives available that work just as well.

Two of the notable alternatives are Vetprofen and Novox, a generic medication that can be used for pain and inflammation. Both are also non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications just like Rimadyl. However, unlike Rimadyl, which is a branded medicine from Pfizer, both Vetprofen and Novox are cheaper by comparison.

New medications are also being introduced as an alternative to Rimadyl such as Galliprant. Similar to Rimadyl, Galliprant can also help alleviate pain and inflammation for pets caused by osteoarthritis. However, Galliprant can target the affected area immediately and improve conditions faster in comparison to Rimadyl.

All about Galliprant

Galliprant is still being studied and is known as piprants, a new form of a drug. According to the current study, there are no major side-effects recorded for Galliprant except for a short period of vomiting. Some reports also said that softer stool may be observed with pets taking Galliprant as pets get used to the drug.

Aside from generic medications and new medications, you can also ask your veterinarian for alternative plans that can assist your pets. Your vets can recommend a weight management plan to help your pet stay active.

You can also edit their diet and feed them food that can help with joint pains and inflammation. Here are some good foods you can add to their diet:

  • Blueberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ginger
  • Coconut oil

Holistic treatments and supplements can also be a good alternative to pain medication. You can check pet acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and massages. Using these methods can assist in reducing pain and muscle stiffness.


Just like any other drug available in the market today, Rimadyl must be used with extreme care to prevent side-effects from affecting your pet. It is not bad to locate or seek treatments that would not cause your dog further pain than what they are experiencing right now. However, we should not immediately disregard it just because we heard there are side effects because it may be the only treatment available for your pet.

What is your opinion on Rimadyl? Let us know through our comments section below!