Monday, July 26, 2010

Thoughts on Rimadyl & Thanks

Amber, Nala's Mom here. :)  First, I want to say how AWESOME you dog bloggers are!  It makes me tear up just thinking about how understanding and great you all are.  I know you understand the love for a dog in ways people without will NEVER get and I am grateful for all of your well wishes for my sweet Nala.  She brings me so much joy and it is so incredibly heart-wrenching to see her like this.  Ever since Friday she has been very stiff and it is noticeably hard for her to get up on her back legs and she is very careful when laying down as well.  When she goes to lay down her back leg muscles seem to me to tremble a little.  As most of you who we have known for awhile are aware, Nala has always been an extremely active dog and one of the most hard-core players I know.  She used to literally run laps around her friends trying to get them to play.  Now, she can barely go on a short walk it seems and she just wants to lie down.  She doesn't even get up and come running to the door with her tail wagging when me or her Dad get home.  She just lays there looking at us and it seems there is so little we can do to help her.  So, this morning I called the vet and told them this and asked if there was anything we could do to help her while waiting for the results.  He told me to come down and he gave me some Rimadyl.  She's had Rimadyl before and seemed to do ok with it, but I wanted to get your thoughts on this drug.  There are so many bad side effects and horror stories out there, in addition to the success stories, and it's making me crazy.  I want to help Nala feel better and give her some pain relief but I also don't want to give her something that will harm her in the long-term.  Any thoughts or personal stories would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again for really means alot to me. :)


Tessa the Maltese said...

Hi Amber,

Tessa's Mom, Blu here. I had a horror story with my Sheltie. BUT she was on Rimadyl for over 1 year. My Sheltie girl passed many years ago.

What I think is important to remember is that Rimadyl is OK and does NOT cause damage or cancers if only used for a short time. She NEEDS this pain med and it is for only a short time until you find out the results. I say a few days or weeks is SAFE!

Good luck with Nala, we all hope that she gets better real soon.

Good luck, Blu and Tessa too

mayziegal said...

I totally understand your misgivings. I had the same when we had to have Ranger on it for awhile due to a back issue. You're right - it can be scary stuff. But like Blu said, if used for a short period of time, it should be fine. And it will make such a difference for Nala in the short term.

Of course, only you can decide in your heart what's right for Nala. You'll make the right decision!

The Other Amber :-D

Honey the Great Dane said...

I have also heard of the horror stories and I know a lot of people are really against it. But I agree (like a lot of human drugs) that I think it is OK if used for short periods.

Just to let you know, Honey has been on Rimadyl several times in her life - we joke that it is her middle name - because she is a "rough girl" - she always seems to be pulling tendons and ligaments and things and getting things inflammed. Our vet back in Auckland always prescribed Rimadyl and Honey has always done very well on it - no side-effects whatsover. She is normally put on a 5 day course.

I do think that when there is severe inflammation, then this hinders the body from repairing itself and healing - so to use some anti-inflammatories to "help" may not be a bad thing. I guess it's the lesser of 2 evils - because without them, it may take Nala a lot longer to get over the pain enough to start healing. But of course, if she does suffer any side-effects, then that would counteract any's a hard one and only you can make the decision. We have no hesitation i giving Honey Rimadyl but that may only be because she has never shown any side-effects in the past.

Thinking of you and Nala - having a very "active girl" myself, I can really sympathise and imagine how heart-rending it must be to see her so subdued.

Hsin-Yi (& Honey the Great Dane)

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

I have used Rimadryl many times on several different pups, and never had a problem. But again, it was always for short terms. It may be what you need right now to tone her inflammation down. Once you get the results and your options, you can talk to the vet about your concerns and what alternatives you might have to choose from.

Lots of luck from all of us at the OP Pack.

brooke said...

Oh Amber, and Nala, I feel for you. It's like when we couldn't figure out what was wrong with Darwin and she was totally not herself.

We tried Rimadyl for Darwin and she had bad reactions to it (major diarrhea) so we stopped giving her that and she was taking Metronidazole. When I was Googling Rimadyl when Dar was on it I was really concerned about the long term effects of it, but as many others have said, as long as its just for a short period it shouldn't be a problem (unless she gets crazy diarrhea like Darwin).

The holistic vet we're taking Darwin to for her acupuncture and chiropractic has suggested a bunch of Chinese herbs and other supplements that I think have helped as well. I wouldn't be able to tell you what they are since they are all Chinese herbs, but it's another option you could try to look into if you're worried about the Rimadyl.

We're thinking about you guys! It's so heart breaking when your normally energetic dog is not herself!

Priscilla said...

It must be tough going through this with your beloved Nala. Unfortunately, all these hip problems, usually derive from genes.

Do you have slippery tiled floors were Nala lives?
One thing you could do is make a fenced up area with rubber mats, or something with a good grip so she won't be sliding.

mum of critters said...

Oh my gosh! Amber and Nala I am heartbroken that you are going through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you are able to get into a med routine and / or get the surgery to clean out some of the cartilage so Nala is feeling a bit better. Since it's floating cartilage it doesn't sound like glucosamine with msm will help but check into it, maybe it will.

I have only used rim short term and my dogs often got sick on it. The other pain med my doc would use for my pups and fosters is Tramadol (sp?) you might check into that. How does she do on aspirin? It's an anti inflam that dogs can use too. See what your vet says about rotating so she's not on something too long to affect her negatively.

I remember when Oliver tore his left knee he was just a pup and then his right knee started to go. The vet assured me it wasn't painful to him but his knees would pop out of joint and he'd come to me to fix em, then go back to playing. I got the surgery on both knees which helped but it did cause arthritis too. I can't imagine how Nala must feel not being able to play.


Dana Orsborn said...

Hi Amber and Nala!

We heard about you from Clovers blog,
and wanted to stop by and let you know we are thinking about you.

It's never easy when your furry
children are facing health issues, but we are sending sexy healing vibes your way.

-Dana & Daisy

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Lukhkily fur us, we don't have any advice but we are furry glad woo've shared the issues here -

There are so many resources among 'us' to help!


nancyturtle said...

My white GSD mix has been on Rimadyl almost constantly since she was three due to bad genetic issues with her joints. We check labs every year to make sure her liver is OK. I only give it once a day unless she has a bad flare-up or acute injury. She's doing fine and had her eleventh birthday in April.

JD and Max said...

Hi sweet Nala and your mom,

We can't offer any practical advice as we are our human's first dogs and they've been lucky enough to not have to experience this sort of thing first-hand. So we'll obviously let the gretat knowledge from around the blog-world 'do it's stuff' - we're reading the coments with interest so that we'll be more knowledgable ourselves.

We CAN however offer you endless pawsitive thoughts and ALL our support. We can really appreciate how difficult it must be to see your active Nala going through this - we just wish there was something we could do for her to make her better.

We're thinking of you every day Nala and family and we hope you get better - or at least find a solution to this - real soon.

Big schnauzer snuggles to you - JD, Max and Clare.

Beaudor said...

Dear Amber,

It's horror to see your baby suffer,We had the same with our first Princess Sally.
You want to help but there's nothing(at least in our eyes) you can do.
Gonna check on all dutch R.rforum for help ,will give your adres for reactions in the meanwhile a very big hug from Beaudor and Me,

Beaudor said...

You have to take care for the kidneys with Rimadyl,glucasomine is an advice I got.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Neither one of us has ever taken Rimadyl before, Nala. We continue to send you TONS of AireZen! We hate to hear that you hurt!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Lina, James o Billy said...

Hey Amber,

Our precious Alih was on Rimadyl for a loooong time after both his TPLO surgeries (for torn ACL) and he experienced no side effects as far as we could see.

Don't stress over Rimadyl. Take one day at time, and know that the vets in the States are awesome. In LA there were a large amount of specialists to choose from. We were recommended a great orthopedic specialist who was truly amazing with Alih. What I'm trying to say is, it's very important you find a vet that you have complete confidence in.

I know you are going through hell right now, I know because I have been there myself. But be strong, and I truly believe everything will work out for your precious little girl. :)

James & Billy are sending LOTS of stinkin' kisses to super cute Miss Nala. :D

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

Rimadyl. my dogs best friend. i did not read the other comments. Saige would be in constant pain and poor quality of life without it. The way i see it is her qulity of life is so good right now on a low daily dose of rimadyl that if it shortens her life span a little it is well worth the sacrifice. she would not be able to stand up and walk without pain without it. so for me--a no brainer. large breed dogs don't live as long anyways, so obviously you have your head around that one already...most important to give her the best quality of life she can have in the present. i would also urge you to please ask your vet about CARTROPHEN. another life saver IMO.

we had saiges liver and kidneys tested to see if there was damage from the drug and there was none at all--so you might want to consider that as well if you decide to put her on long term rimadyl.

Mango said...

Both my mastiffs as well as little Dexter have taken Rimadyl with no side effects. My pre-Mango mastiff even took it for a long time and it did not do anything other than provide much needed relief from her pain.

Mango takes a liquid metacam now and then when he turns his ankle. That works really well too and doesn't make him as sleepy as the Rimadyl.

My Raja had very bad problems and she had to keep switching medication every few months. As her pain worsened we went to increasingly aggressive meds because the side effects were less problematic than her pain. Hopefully you will find something that helps Nala feel better.

Mango Momma

Cupcake said...

I had a dog on rimadyl for a long time and always did blood work and she was fine. My friends Labrador is has been on it everyday for almost a year and is doing great. It is so heartbreaking when your baby is ill. We are sending good thought and wishes your way. Nala is so beautiful and I hope she gets to feeling better soon.

Love, Cupcake and Mommy

Asani said...

Our Asani (RR) was diagnosed OCD on both knees when he was about 1 year old. he was operated on 2 months later. The loose particles cartilage were removed. After a few months is showed that there was no real improvement.After physiotherapy he was doing a lot better, but after a while again he was limping and had troubles getting up. New X-rays and MRI showed there was no cartilage left and he had the beginning of Arthrosis. The only thing left was operation and 'plastic'cartilage implants. This is very expensive and also no guarantee for improvement. So...first we had him on a daily dosis of Previcox. This helped him a great deal. He can play and run as he pleases, only not too long ofcourse.
The last 4 months he is on Trocoxil.
This is the same as Previcox, but you only have to give him a dosis once a month. Officially you can give this medicine for 6 months, but we intend to give it to him for the rest of his life. We will see how long this is. Asani is now 3 years and 2 months.
So our not set all your hopes on the removement of the particles cartilage.

We wish you the best with Nala, we know exactly what your feelings are when you see her strugle.

The Army of Four said...

It's a hard choice; I've heard the horror stories, too. BUT she'll be on it a short time AND will be monitored by your vet. I'd go with it - but that's just me. Your vet knows the risks as well - but must think it will give Nala great relief. Did you run your concerns past him? He may have something else he can prescribe.
GOOD luck; we're all praying for Nala!

Mindy Lu said...

BARK! My brother Max was on that stuff, for the last month and half of his great life. He did not have any noticable side effects, and it sure helped him stay away from pain. For short term for your doggie we vote "yeh" for it, to make her better quicker.
We will keep you and Nala in our prayers.
BARK! Sasha the Princess

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I know my wife wanted to avoid Rimadyl for Tucker because of the side effects, but he would have been on it indefinitely. If it will significantly improve Nala's quality of life for the short term it is worth a try.