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Use Of Dog Arthritis Medication Questioned

Dog X-Ray

For dog owners, the information is quite revelatory.

It is a sad fact that many dog owners don’t realize their pet is suffering the pain of arthritis until it becomes advanced because dogs will often hide or compensate for it. Before following drug-related treatments for dog arthritis though, a must-read is a new and free ebook ‘The Risks of Prescription Medicines In Dog Arthritis’ by veterinarian Christopher Durin.

In his book, Durin challenges the over-use of anti-inflammatory drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) to treat dog arthritis, and explains the complications that can occur as a result of their use.

“Prescription drugs fall into two categories: pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, mainly the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. While prescription medication may be central to the treatment plans I suggest, I do not believe the NSAIDs are always ideal” explains Durin.

Durin believes that it is important for dog-owners to be aware of the potential pitfalls associated with NSAIDs so that they are able, in consultation with their veterinarian, to consider alternative, sometimes natural, therapies.

Durin’s book also talks of the link between the increased use of NSAIDS and the increase in reported cases of organ damage and toxicity. Because dog arthritis, very much like human arthritis, is a lifelong illness with no known cure, long periods of treatment exposes dogs to serious risks that veterinarians and pet owners must weigh before adopting a particular treatment plan.

‘The Risks of Prescription Medicines In Dog Arthritis’ does not deny the efficacy of drug medication for dog arthritis though. It does however, list the different types of drugs and details their documented their side effects.

These side effects can range from heart, brain, stomach and breathing problems to flatulence, agitation and sedation.

The report also reveals that health professionals and pet owners who are aware of the numerous side effects of NSAIDs, are now moving away from their use and testing other forms of medication, supplements and therapies to replace these drugs.
Durin believes that early treatment of dog arthritis is essential, and proposes a ‘No NSAIDs’ solution.

The non-medical components of this No NSAID treatment may include weight control, physical therapy, acupuncture, and surgery where necessary.

Story By Elaine Furst For Dog Files

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Deb
Deb
9 years ago

I had a Chow that died from Remydril (?sp). We had adopted her from the pound and they had her on it. She developed bleeding ulcers from it. She perferated and died shortly after we adopted her.

Jean Townsend
Jean Townsend
9 years ago
Reply to  Deb

Deb, I am so sorry for your loss. My chocolate lab, George, had to be put to sleep because of irreversible adverse side effects of Rimadyl. I had no idea the drug could harm my dog, and by the time I realized he was really sick, it was too late. That was in October 1997 – and I have been on a mission ever since to warn dog owners about the harm drugs like Rimadyl can do. In fact, I was one of the two named plaintiffs in a class action suit against Pfizer that was settled in 2004. You can find information on this by “Googling” – Jean Townsend Rimadyl Class action lawsuit –

Smog515
Smog515
9 years ago
Reply to  Deb

I’ve had 3 dogs that had horrible reactions to Rymadil…I would NEVER use it again…then when one of them went on one aspirin a day (another NSAID)..she developed nose bleeds…

Ruthbasie
Ruthbasie
9 years ago

My dog wouldn’t move anymore once a vet took him off Zubrin. It was cruel. At 12 the benefits of arthritis medications outweighed the bad. A shot of rimidyl once a while helped. Acupuncture might help a younger dog but hardly helped my older dog. The vets at the holistic clinic used him like a pin cushion & I had my doubts that they were hitting the proper points when inserting the needles in a rush. They didn’t believe in giving my dog too many acupuncture needles because it would upset his chi (?) Their agenda was to sell herbal remedies that were super expensive & didn’t work. Instead of using medication for a hot spot they made some herbal remedy that prolonged the recovery time tenfold.

Dogmom4
Dogmom4
9 years ago

This article was not helpful at all in the decision to use or not use arthritis medication. My 12 year old springer spaniel recently went on Metacam and seems to be moving more comfortably now. I have previously had two old dogs (12+) on rimidyl and it visibly increased their quality of life. I was hoping this article would be of better help in the decision whether or not to start a dog on a medication but it did not give any new information.

Smog515
Smog515
9 years ago
Reply to  Dogmom4

See my reply to Deb, above. I had a senior who was put on it and basically went into a coma..another suffered damage to liver and digestive organs..she was 10…another just had a bad reaction over all. I will never use Rymadil again…If you suspect the breed is prone to this problem, I would start them on other natural supplements…but organ damage with any NSAIDS is prevalent. I’m a human and have seen side effects to my kidneys and liver from Ibuprofen.

Nikkipotaka
Nikkipotaka
9 years ago

my dog now 11 was suffering from arthritis about 2 years ago….a combination of losing weight, regular exercise, bioptron colour therapy and natural remedies as a result she has no sign’s of arthritis any longer

Nikkipotaka
Nikkipotaka
9 years ago

my dog now 11 was suffering from arthritis about 2 years ago….a combination of losing weight, regular exercise, bioptron colour therapy and natural remedies as a result she has no sign’s of arthritis any longer

Chlorellies
9 years ago

These are the very reasons we began making our own healthy dog treats with the super food chlorella algae. Not only are the health benefits of chlorella too many to mention(one being joint and tissue repair) but we added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health plus brewers yeast as a natural flea repellant. All these things that our dogs need packed in a daily treat that they love. Chlorellies are good for your dog.

Smog515
Smog515
9 years ago
Reply to  Chlorellies

Do you just add these ingredients to a basic dog biscuit recipe?

dextersmom
dextersmom
9 years ago

My dog is already on so many medications to control his epilepsy. But, we are glad we tried the Adequan for his arthritis – it really helped.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

While of course NSAIDs are not for every dog, there is no reason for anyone’s dog to die from them if the recommended maintenance bloodwork is done when it is supposed to be done. More often than not, however, owners don’t want to pay for the blood tests and will do anything they can, otherwise, to get a vet to continue prescribing them including signing hold harmless waivers “opting out” of doing the bloodwork. So who’s fault is that? The veterinary hospital that I tech at is very aware of potential dangers and wont use it on a dog who is at risk, but with a non-compliant owner there isn’t much we CAN do. Bottom line, if you are offered trying any of these medications on your dog, bloodwork needs to be done BEFORE long-term use is started, and then a month or two AFTER to see if there are any changes happening… and then every 6 months thereafter. Same as in people. The medication is available to help, not to kill dogs. It’s just being used improperly.

Kenn Bell
9 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks for the great info!

KittenIN2002
KittenIN2002
9 years ago

I was also disappointed in this article. I was hoping for more information regarding alternative therapies. There are many out there that can help including acupuncture, Class IV laser therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, cryotherapy, ultrasound, MSM, Cosequin, diet modifications, high doses of Omega fatty acids, weight loss, the new Vet Stem procedure to inject stem cells into the joint to re-grow cartilage, etc. I believe you have to way the risks and benefits, the costs of different kinds of treatments, and medications. Personally, I believe in a combination of alternative therapies, supplementation and then medicinal support starting with Tramadol (a synthetic opioid) and a low dose of NSAIDS. Medication doesn’t need to be daily either as some pets will experience less pain during some summer months and increased pain during others colder/damp months. Owners can learn to assess their pets discomfort and gauge their needs for additional medicinal support. Both veterinarian and owner must work together to provide a good quality of life for whatever time the pet has left.

Kenn Bell
9 years ago
Reply to  KittenIN2002

We aren’t Vets. We can only give you the info we have. Sorry if it wasn’t enough. : )

Cjustpeachie
Cjustpeachie
9 years ago

We, (my husband and I,) would never give these kind of meds to our dogs unless they had reg. bloodwork performed to make sure all is well!!

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