Hypothetical question: What happens if we give our dog more than one dose of Rimadyl by accident?
You might have, I dunno, mistaken the little liver-flavored lumps for treats and handed them to your pup by the mouthful.
Here buddy, catch!
Bit of a mistake.
Perhaps unsurprising, accidentally giving your dog double amounts of a painkiller probably isn’t the healthiest thing that you could do.
In fact, Rimadyl can have a pretty heavy impact on the kidneys and liver of your pup, resulting in symptoms like jaundice, changes in urination color and frequency, muscle twitching, bloody stools, and seizures.
Therefore, it’s usually a pretty good idea to take your dog to the vet immediately if you have accidentally given it a double dose of carprofen.
In this article, we’re going to take a quick but comprehensive look at what happens (and what to do) if you accidentally gave your dog a double dose of Rimadyl!
Rimadyl is a prescription medication that is commonly given to dogs for the management of pain and inflammation. It is one of the more well-known brand names of a drug called carprofen, which is also sold under names such as Zinecarp, Novox, and Vetprofen.
Rimadyl can help veterinary patients experiencing inflammation or pain especially as it relates to osteoarthritis. It works in three effective ways, namely:
- Reduces pain
- Eases fevers
- Minimizes inflammation.
While it can be used to treat a variety of other animals such as cats, birds, and reptiles, it is only FDA approved to treat dogs in the US.
While Rimadyl comes in three different forms ( tablets, chews, or injections), it is most commonly and readily administered as a tablet.
Its liver flavor makes it a welcome sight for most canines, who often gobble it up as if it’s just another treat from the snack drawer.
While extremely effective for its purposes, it is also one of the safest anti-inflammatory drugs available for dogs. Still, even though Rimadyl can be used long-term, there comes a time when too much is too much– especially if it’s given all at once!
The appropriate dose for your dog is dependent on its size or weight.
This means that what is too much for a ten-pound dog is not necessarily too much for a one hundred pound dog.
The proper single dosage for Rimadyl typically starts at one-half of a 25mg tablet (or 12.5mgs) for five pound dogs, to two full 100mg tablets (or 200mgs) for 90 pound dogs.
In exact terms, the recommended target dosage is 2mg/pound of body weight given once a day.
As you can see, canines need only a small amount of carprofen relative to their body size. It’s also just as easy to surmise that as a result of this, it’d be pretty easy for a dog to overdose. Even eating half a 25mg tablet more could potentially take them over the limit!
Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where you accidentally gave your dog a double dose of Rimadyl, it is quite likely that it may experience Rimadyl toxicity or even the aforementioned overdose.
Some dogs may experience Rimadyl toxicity without even being given a double dose! It all depends on their weight and exactly how much of the drug was ingested.
As such, the answer to “How much is too much?” isn’t a single set amount for every dog.
Your dog’s body size will likely have the biggest impact on how much Rimadyl is too much.
At the same time, it’s also pretty safe to assume that double dosing their prescribed amount is going to be an excessive amount of carprofen.
Therefore, you should contact your vet immediately for the next best steps! Do not wait for your dog to start showing symptoms of toxicity or overdose before you do something about it, as this will likely result in your dog already suffering in some way.
Just like a person becomes sick when they have had too much of something (let alone a medicine), dogs will also become sick if they’ve wolfed down double the amount that they were supposed to.
If you accidentally gave your dog a double dose of Rimadyl, here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Unusual stools (the color will be dark, almost black)
- Changes in urination or urine color
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Change in appetite
Note that this is not a full list of symptoms of Rimadyl toxicity or overdose. Other, more severe symptoms may indicate your dog is experiencing toxicity or overdose.
Here are some additional signs that your dog is experiencing Rimadyl toxicity or overdose:
- Muscle twitching
- Blood in urine or stool
- Excessive thirst and urination
It’s important that these signs are taken very seriously. Keep in mind that your dog does not need to exhibit all of these signs for them to be experiencing Rimadyl toxicity or overdose.
Make sure you contact your vet as soon as you notice them to avoid dangerous health complications!
Your dog will likely start exhibiting symptoms of Rimadyl toxicity or overdose within one to three hours of being given a double dose of the medication.
At this point, immediate action is necessary.
Rimadyl toxicity or overdose can cause severe health problems- and sometimes even death- depending on the amount ingested and the animal. Liver and kidney failure can occur as a result of the excessive ingestion.
If you accidentally gave your dog a double dose of Rimadyl, you should immediately contact your vet with no exceptions. Have the following information ready for them:
- The dose that was given
- The time it was given
- All of the symptoms your dog is currently experiencing.
Your vet will ultimately decide what is best to help your dog. Since Rimadyl overdose can cause many different health complications, make sure you tell your vet about every symptom you think your pet may be experiencing.
This will help your vet to determine exactly how the toxicity or overdose is affecting your dog.
Getting your dog to the vet as soon as possible is going to be the best way to get it the help that it needs. Do not wait for symptoms to appear if you know you accidentally gave your dog a double dose of Rimadyl.
Once you arrive at the vet’s office, they will typically:
- Assess your dog’s condition
- Observe their symptoms
- Ask you some questions regarding the symptoms
- Ask you for the time of the double dose.
Remember that the medicine peaks in your dog’s bloodstream around three hours after ingestion.
Depending on your answers to those questions and your dog’s severity of symptoms, your vet will then choose the treatment options that could be of the most benefit to your pet.
One of the more likely treatment options is to get rid of the medicine from your dog’s system. This is usually accomplished in one of two ways (or both): induced vomiting and activated charcoal administration.
Vomiting is usually induced through the use of a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. The liquid is fed either via food or through a syringe, and as it bubbles up inside it forces the dog to throw up its stomach contents.
Activated charcoal rids the body of the toxic particles through a different pathway. The porous material is again fed to the dog, where it then binds to any carprofen remnants and renders them ineffective.
No longer able to be absorbed into the bloodstream, the medication is harmlessly excreted along with the dog’s feces.
The vet may also give your dog protective medicine for any organs that might suffer damage from the Rimadyl overdose.
Antidotes like gastroprotectants, vitamin k1 or diazepam may be administered to stop seizures and other symptoms if the poor pup is currently experiencing them.
IV fluids are also a common part of treatment in order to restore fluids to the body. Since your dog has likely been having diarrhea or vomiting, fluids must be restored to avoid dehydration and other issues.
It is not uncommon for your pet to have at least one overnight stay at the animal hospital for monitoring. After they have been checked on the next day, they will then be released upon their body returning to normal functioning.
The most important thing to remember is that the sooner you get your pet to a vet after an accidental double dose of Rimadyl, the higher chance they have of survival and minimal long-term damage.
Rimadyl toxicity overdose are serious issues that can cause severe and sometimes irreversible damage to your pet’s vital organs. Acting quickly could save your pet’s life.
It is also crucial that you pay close attention to your pet when they come home from the animal hospital. Monitor any abnormal behavior or symptoms, and report them to your vet immediately if you do spot them.
Make sure to schedule in a few extra vet visits for the short term to have your pet’s levels checked more frequently. This will help to ensure that they’ve truly returned to normal and that no lasting organ damage has occurred!
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.