Natural Arthritis Care for Your Dog
by: Brigitte Smith
Rimadyl was once hailed as a wonder arthritis treatment for pets when it came on the market in 1997. By the turn of the century, due in large part to the aggressive marketing campaign by Pfizer, the manufacturer of Rimadyl, this drug had been prescribed for 5 million dogs.
And wouldn’t you think, therefore, that this drug had been thoroughly tested before being unleashed on no less than 5 million dogs?
Well, you’d be wrong.
According to statistics compiled by the FDA (Food And Drug Administration), in 1997 alone, Rimadyl was implicated in 30 per cent of all veterinary adverse drug reaction reports received!
Side effects reported by dog owners who had been prescribed Rimadyl for their dogs, included gastrointestinal, renal and liver problems, and even death.
Within the first three years of Rimadyl use, 10,000 dog owners had reported an adverse reaction to Rimadyl, and there were at least 1,500 deaths or euthanasias attributed to the drug.
What’s more, since it is generally accepted that many adverse reactions to drugs go unreported, the real statistics are likely to have been significantly higher.
How is this possible? How is it possible that a drug that was so widely acclaimed could have such devastating side effects? Why were these significant side effects not ascertained before releasing the drug on the unsuspecting public?
Well, unfortunately, that’s the nature of drug companies – they do some testing – often not enough, and then, in effect, test the drug on members of the public who have not consented to being guinea pigs, but are nevertheless treated as such.
It’s happened several times even more recently, with pharmaceuticals for humans, that are touted as almost a miracle, and then later even withdrawn from the market due to the devastating side effects they are found to cause.
Back to Rimadyl as a supposed wonder cure for arthritis …
You may possibly remember the Rimadyl ads depicting older dogs bouncing around like puppies. Yes, there were some amazing success stories, but at what cost to the dog population generally?
Those bouncing dogs were the lucky ones.
Have you noticed that you no longer see those Rimadyl ads? In fact, you haven’t seen them now for some years.
Why? Quite simply, because Pfizer was eventually forced to remove the ads which were found to be misleading, due to the over-abundance of adverse reactions to this drug.
But even though the Rimadyl ads have long since been removed, many vets still prescribe Rimadyl, and often without giving the dog owner ANY information about possible side effects that can arise, and the fact that many dogs have in fact died as a result of using Rimadyl.
Unbelievable, but true.
It also goes under a number of different names, so you may be prescribed a medication for your dog and not know that it is Rimadyl, or identical to or similar to Rimadyl. It happened to me.
When my vet wanted to prescribe a medication for my dog when she had injured herself (thankfully just a minor injury, but it bothered her considerably for a couple of days). I questioned the vet as to exactly what the medication was. The vet was, I thought, very evasive in her answers. She was a locum vet who was perhaps not used to be questioned by me (all the regular vets at our local veterinary hospital are well aware that I’m apt to question them relentlessly if I feel the need), but all vets should be prepared to answer all questions from pet owners.
Because of the evasive answers, I then asked the vet straight out – “Is this Rimadyl?” Answer: “Well,…. it’s ‘like’ Rimadyl.” I asked what she meant by that, and she said it was made by the same company and contained “a similar formulation” to Rimadyl.
I said I had no intention of giving my dog Rimadyl, or anything remotely like it whilstever there was any alternative available.
The vet then told me there was no problem with Rimadyl and that she was not aware that any dog had ever died from the drug.
Either the vet was lying (which I don’t like to believe), or was unbelievably misinformed in relation to an issue that she should have been aware of. Thankfully I never had to see her again as she was a locum.
Otherwise, I would never have gone back to that veterinary practice.
So are there alternatives to Rimadyl? Alternatives that can provide such a marked improvement without the possible side effects? Or should you just take the risk that your dog won’t develop side effects to Rimadyl?
The good news is that Glucosamine, a natural sugar produced by the body and found in some foods, plays an important role in the production, maintenance and repair of cartilage. Supplementation with Glucosamine can therefore provide not only the pain relieving effects of Rimadyl, but also helps maintain existing healthy joint tissue and aid in rebuilding healthy new cartilage.
So why hasn’t Rimady been removed from the market altogether? And should it be?
There are certainly some cases where the use of Rimadyl may be warranted – severe cases of arthritis which have been left untreated, or which have not responded to Glucosamine or other treatments.
The results of using Rimadyl can in fact be very worthwhile, particularly when used as a treatment of last resort – rather than being used as the first option for pain and arthritic conditions.
Many vets do not do this unless you ask for it specifically.
And many vets do not even advise that there is a natural arthritis treatment for dogs available. Not because it’s ineffective, but just because many vets, like doctors, are trained to treat symptoms with drugs.
And we shouldn’t be surprised by this phenomenon – the drug companies have huge budgets for pushing the benefits of their medications, both for humans and animals. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the drugs are better than the natural alternatives at all.
So ask for Glucosamine, unless your vet can give you a compelling reason why your dog should use Rimadyl. And you don’t even need a prescription!
For information on the most powerful Glucosamine formula, and why a liquid Glucosamine is by far superior to powder or tablet forms, check out the natural arthritis supplement for pets – with Glucosamine! – click here.