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Dog Acting Weird on Rimadyl: Tips for Proper Care

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Caring for a dog who is in discomfort or suffering can be something that is challenging for pet owners. When our four-legged companions exhibit signs of anxiety, we often resort to drugs like Rimadyl to help them feel better.

Rimadyl, a well-known nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID), is frequently administered by veterinarians for dogs suffering from pain or inflammation. However, observing your dog behave strangely while on Rimadyl might cause alarm and leave you looking for explanations and correct care advice.

In this blog post, we’ll look at why a dog might show weird behavior when on Rimadyl and provide important tips to protect your pet’s safety while taking it.

We’re here to walk you through the fundamentals of handling these unusual reactions effectively, ensuring a happy and healthy life for your four-legged companion, whether your pet just started taking this drug or you’ve noticed an unexpected change in behavior.

Let’s get right on.

What is Rimadyl?

What is Rimadyl

Rimadyl is a medicine brand referred to as the drug carprofen, a group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Rimadyl is used to provide relief from pain and inflammation in dogs. Dogs suffering from osteoarthritis are commonly provided with Rimadyl, as it is known to be the most effective drug in that condition.

Rimadyl has anti-inflammatory characteristics, which are arthritis, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and post-surgery pain in dogs.

They are very sensitive drugs, and their dosage should be carefully administered. Only a veterinarian can prescribe such drugs. When you think your dog is in pain and needs some medicine or NSAIDs for pain relief, always consult a veterinarian and refrain from providing medicines on your own.

What are the Side Effects of Rimadyl?

What are the Side Effects of Rimadyl

Medicines are made to provide relief from pain and discomfort. But there is always some risk associated with high-powered medicines, and Rimadyl is no exception.

It has some side effects, but not every dog will necessarily be affected as all dogs react differently to the same amount of medicines.

Some are allergic to certain medicines due to their ingredients or health conditions; some stay normal, or some may act weird, or in some cases, medicines seem to have an after-effect or prolonging effect, which varies from dog to dog.

If your dog is a long-time consumer of Rimadyl, it is most likely that side effects will take place in your dog sooner or later.

Common side effects of Rimdayl include

1. Vomiting

The first and the most common side effect of Rimadyl is vomiting. When your dog can no longer process the medicine or has GI distress, these medications will cause vomiting.

2. Ulcers

Another side effect of NSAIDs is that it will cause ulcers in your dog’s stomach or mouth. It is not very pleasant, as your dog will have trouble eating or drinking.

3. Diarrhea

If they are unable to eject it through their mouth, they will excrete it, causing Diarrhea, which is another side effect of Rimadyl.

Other Side Effects of Rimadyl

Here are some of the other side effects, other than the ones mentioned above, that may be caused by rimadyl.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in stool color and odor
  • Seizures
  • Itchy or irritated skin
  • Yellow gums

If you see any of these signs, you should immediately contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. These signs can escalate quickly and may cause some serious issues.

When Rimadyl is used for a longer period, it may cause liver and other organ failures in dogs.

When is it More Common to See Side Effects?

When is it More Common to See Side Effects

There are certain times when signs of side effects of Rimadyl (carprofen) may show in your dog. This may be during or after the treatment or the medications.

Let us see when it is more common to see side effects on dogs.

  • Higher Dosages: Dogs that are prescribed higher doses of Rimadyl may be more prone to side effects. The risk increases if the dosage is not carefully adjusted based on the dog’s size, weight, and individual needs. It’s essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommended dosage.
  • Long-Term Use: Prolonged use of Rimadyl, especially when given beyond what is prescribed, can increase the likelihood of side effects. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for monitoring your dog’s health if they are on long-term medication.
  • Pre-existing Health Conditions: Dogs with pre-existing health issues, especially those affecting the liver, kidneys, or gastrointestinal tract, may be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects. Your veterinarian should conduct a thorough examination and consider your dog’s overall health before prescribing Rimadyl.
  • Age: Older dogs may be more susceptible to side effects because their organs, such as the liver and kidneys, may not function as efficiently as they did when they were younger. Veterinarians may need to adjust the dosage accordingly.
  • Combination with Other Medications: Rimadyl should not be used concurrently with certain medications, such as other NSAIDs or corticosteroids, as it can increase the risk of adverse effects. Ensure your veterinarian is aware of all medications your dog is taking.
  • Allergic Reactions: While relatively rare, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to Rimadyl, resulting in more severe side effects like swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing. Such reactions can occur shortly after starting the medication.
  • Incorrect Administration: Giving Rimadyl without food or not following the administration instructions can increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Overdose: Accidental overdose of Rimadyl can lead to severe side effects. Ensure the medication is stored safely out of reach of pets and children.

How can I Avoid the Side Effects?

How can I Avoid the Side Effects

It is always better to prevent than to repent. Certain things can be done to avoid the side effects of Rimadyl.

Always administer the dosage precisely if it varies from the prescribed amount; it can cause side effects in dogs.

When getting the diagnosis, let the veterinarian know about any prior or underlying health issues. It will help the veterinarian understand the dog’s health condition and what medicine should be given at what dosage.

Keeping the medicine outside your dog’s reach is very important. Dogs are sometimes very notorious, and if they get hold of the Rimadyl packet or bottle and consume it, it may cause overdose and other side effects.

In some rare cases, dogs may have some reaction to the medicine itself; if it ever happens to your dog, call a veterinarian and seek help.

If your dog shows any abnormalities, discomfort, or signs of side effects of any medicine, please do not take it lightly and seek medical attention, as things escalate rapidly at times.

What Should I do if My Dog has Symptoms of Rimadyl Poisoning?

What Should I do if My Dog has Symptoms of Rimadyl Poisoning

If your dog is showing signs of Rimadyl poisoning, stop the Rimadyl dosage immediately.

If signs are severe, then you should contact a veterinarian straight away. Let the veterinarian know the symptoms your dog is showing and any other relevant details.

A vet will probably ask to bring the dog in for a check-up and let the vet know about any underlying or prior health condition your dog has.

You can start different recommended therapies as per your dog’s condition, which would provide comfort to your dog and help prevent another disease, such as liver failure or organ damage.


Is a prescription mandatory to buy Rimadyl for my dog?

Yes, without a prescription, you can not buy Rimadyl. It has to be prescribed by a veterinarian, and in some stores, they even want the dosage to be mentioned.
Do not interchange or use the prescription of another dog, as Rimadyl is prescribed depending on a dog’s breed, age, weight, and medical condition.

Why is my pet losing weight after taking Rimadyl?

Loss of appetite and vomiting are the common side effects of Rimadyl. If vomiting is very frequent, it can cause severe illness, including dehydration and malnutrition. If your dog is feeling discomfort and showing signs of Rimadyl’s side effects, you should contact your vet as soon as possible.

Can Rimadyl be given to dogs on an empty stomach?

No. It would be best if you refrained from giving Rimadyl to your dog on an empty stomach as it may cause gastrointestinal distress and illness in dogs.
Always try and give the medication in the meal or after the meal.


Rimadyl is a drug from the group of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) known to cause some trouble in dogs if administered for a long time. Take precautions and proper care if your dog is being prescribed a Rimadyl.

Take this as a guide to learning when do side effects of Rimadyl occur in dogs, which will help you know how you can avoid the side effects of Rimadyl on dogs and what you should do further if your dog is showing Rimadyl poisoning.

Meta Description: Rimadyl is a serious medication, and if your dog is acting weird on Rimadyl, it may be an emergency. Click here to learn everything about Rimadyl poisoning.

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