However, this danger also applies to our furry friends: our dogs, cats and other pets. In particular, one commonly prescribed arthritis drug which has been surrounded by controversy and has caused a lot of deaths in canines is RIMADYL. As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2000, Rimadyl had netted Pfizer Inc. tens of millions of dollars in sales in the 3 billion dollar pet-med industry. After numerous reports of dog deaths after taking the drug, however, the FDA said Pfizer must mention "death" as a potential side effect on their TV ads. Instead, the company opted to drop the TV ads altogether.
I had an experience with this drug and thought I'd share it along with pictures of my dog a few days after she started taking Rimadyl.
My dog Maxine was a beautiful girl. A Samoyed-mix who grew up in the mountains, she was with me nearly half my life and lived to a ripe old age of 18. During the course of her long and adventurous life, Maxine had a few close calls. One time she chased a cat down an alley and got lost for over an hour. I couldn't find her anywhere. Another time, while jogging on the beach at Newport late one night, she came across a seal and tried to pick a fight with it. That was a close call. But the worst thing that ever happened to Maxine was in 2007 when she was given the prescription drug Rimadyl by her veternarian for arthritis and joint pain. A few days after she starting taking the drug, my wife went into the kitchen late one night and and found Maxine unresponsive and lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Horrified, we rushed her to the emergency 24 hour pet hospital. After the examination, the doctor then came out and somberly told us that Maxine had terminal cancer and was going to die. This was devastating, because she had been perfectly fine, other than her painful joints, just days prior. How could she have developed terminal cancer overnight?!
We immediately ceased the rimadyl, sought a second opinion and took her to the Canine Cancer specialists in Tustin CA. They refuted the initial diagnosis, and confirmed that she didn't have cancer at all.
We were initially told that it was uncertain if Maxine would survive this ordeal. I took pictures to document the progress and healing. This garbage had nearly killed her! With a lot of care, rest and immediate cessation of the drug, Maxine had a slow but steady and eventually a full recovery. I was always leery of canine prescription medicine after that. Note that the FDA Fact Sheet about Rimadyl states "The most common NSAID-related side effects generally involve the stomach (such as bleeding ulcers), and liver or kidney problems." Here are some of the photos, from 2007. Warning, they are graphic:
Keep in mind that the first horrid photo was AFTER her visit to the second doctor, so you can imagine what it looked like when we first found her bleeding on the kitchen floor. The skin had literally 'died' on large portion of her stomach and had left her with huge gaping holes leaving open, oozing flesh wounds. Thank God she had a full recovery and lived six more years, dying in January 2013 of unrelated causes.
After the 2nd vet
You can see her skin healing, turning all black and scabbing up.
Later in healing process
On the way to 2nd vet- you can tell by the look on her face that she doesn't feel good.
In the final years of her life, we gave Maxine 'MOVE FREE' glucosamine chondroitin tablets. These were recommended by a veternarian in Mexico. I can tell you that Maxine loved her move free tablets and so did we. Never one to take pills, for some reason maxine loved to chomp down these move free tablets every day as if they were candy! It helped her a lot and when we didn't give her the tablets she had a noticably harder time getting around. Eventually she lost interest in eating the tablets and we bought a pill crusher and ground it up, and put it in her wet food.
The Senior Dog Project, 'Looking out for older dogs,' focuses on many issues including the dangers of Rimadyl. They note a recent story about a Seaford, NY, couple filing lawsuit against a veterinarian, claiming Rimadyl caused death of their 3-year-old labrador.
"VMCLI prescribed Rimadyl to Buoy without providing the Tischlers with any warning that the medication was well-known to cause serious adverse side effects in dogs, including kidney damage and death. Buoy allegedly suffered acute kidney failure as a result of taking Rimadyl and underwent several weeks of dialysis treatments in an attempt to save his life, which cost the Tischlers more than $25,000, according to the complaint. After Buoy's condition did not improve, the Tischlers had to have him put to sleep on March 2, 2013, the lawsuit states...."By filing this lawsuit, we hope to raise public awareness of the risks associated with this drug, so that other pet owners can make informed decisions before administering Rimadyl to their own pets. Buoy's passing has left a huge void in our lives that will never be filled."
Earlier this year after Maxine died, I wrote a tribute to her life and put together a very poignant tribute video with music, videos and photos throughout her life:
We Love You Maxine! A Tribute To A Great American Dog's Life September 1995 - January 2, 2013. I hope you enjoy
my tribute video to Maxine, it was a labor of love. :-)
See also the following links about Rimadyl:
You should read this information before you start giving your dog Rimadyl and review it each time the prescription is refilled. This sheet is provided only as a summary and does not take the place of instructions from your veterinarian. Talk to your veterinarian if you do not understand any of this information or if you want to know more about Rimadyl. What are the possible side effects that may occur in my dog during Rimadyl therapy? Rimadyl, like other drugs, may cause some side effects. Serious but rare side effects have been reported in dogs taking NSAIDs, including Rimadyl. Serious side effects can occur with or without warning and in rare situations result in death. The most common NSAID-related side effects generally involve the stomach (such as bleeding ulcers), and liver or kidney problems. Look for the following side effects that can indicate your dog may be having a problem with Rimadyl or may have another medical problem: - Decrease or increase in appetite - Vomiting - Change in bowel movements (such as diarrhea, or black, tarry or bloody stools) - Change in behavior (such as decreased or increased activity level, incoordination, seizure or aggression) - Yellowing of gums, skin, or whites of the eyes (jaundice) - Change in drinking habits (frequency, amount consumed) - Change in urination habits (frequency, color, or smell) - Change in skin (redness, scabs, or scratching) It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has a medical problem or side effect from Rimadyl therapy. If you have additional questions about possible side effects, talk to your veterinarian."
Here is Maxine when she was 16, so happy and running after a bath:
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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