The Senior Dogs Project
"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
FDA's Extensive Guidelines for Prescription and Use of NSAIDs for Dogs
The Food and Drug Administration has issued guidelines covering the prescription and use of NSAIDs such as Rimadyl, Etogesic, and Deramaxx. Please review them, and be certain your veterinarian has seen them, before administering them to your dog. Also see "Treating Pain in Your Dog," an excellent article published by the FDA.
The Food and Drug Administration has determined that certain drugs can only be used safely when patients and owners are provided with critical information on the safe use and potential adverse effects of the drug. For humans, this information is provided in the form of a "Medication Guide." The veterinary equivalent is known as the "Client Information Sheet."
Owners of pets who have suffered adverse reactions to veterinary drugs have reported to the FDA that they were not provided Client Information Sheets by their veterinarians. There is a long history of consumers' having appealed to no avail to state veterinary boards to mandate that vets provide this critical information. Hundreds of complaints have been filed against veterinarians for not providing them.
To remedy this situation in Pennsylvania, Senators Stack, Browne, Fontana, Rafferty, Boscola, Costa and Ferlo introduced legislation mandating that veterinarians provide clients with Client Information Sheets for the drugs that have them. It is hoped that similar legislation will be introduced in most other states.
Warnings about NSAIDS from a Veterinarian
We were recently forwarded a letter by Bob Rogers, DVM, Critter Fixer Hospital, Spring, TX, in which he states his policy on Rimadyl and offers a handout warning of the side effects of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Here is an excerpt:
"I have never used Rimadyl in my practice. I never buy drugs the first year they come out. I wait to see the number of reactions reported to the FDA. Unfortunately, most vets get all their information from the sales people. I have asked a Senator in Texas to introduce a bill to prohibit the approval of Continuing Education Credits for a seminar where the speaker is a paid employee of a drug company or where a conflict of interest exists. Speakers should reveal all financial ties to any products discussed. I feel this is central to the problem with Rimadyl and many other drugs."
Bob Rogers, DVM, Critter Fixer Pet Hospital, Spring, TX
Gathering Information on Veterinary Drugs
On this website, you will find extensive information about the NSAID Rimadyl. There is also information about EtoGesic and other medications used as therapy for arthritis. Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine and chondroitin are discussed, too, in the section on arthritis. For more information on Deramaxx, please visit: Understanding Deramaxx
The Senior Dogs Project recommends that you:
(1) Discuss with your veterinarian the potential side effects versus the benefits of any drug before deciding to administer it.
(2) Do an Internet search to get both manufacturer's information and reports from consumers and veterinarians.
(3) Request and read the package insert or Client Information Sheet that should always accompany any medication that your veterinarian dispenses.
(4) When the drug is being administered, observe your dog carefully and be alert to the appearance of any of the side effects described in the insert or sheet.
(5) Report any side effects to your veterinarian immediately and get veterinary attention for your dog.
(6) Follow up with a report of the side effects to the drug's manufacturer and to the FDA.