Rimadyl or Glucosamine?

Does your dog have Rimadyl? Have you ever thought to see if there are natural alternatives which would work equally well in place of the Rimadyl? The article below, from Chris Adams who is the Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, from March 2000, says that 1000 dogs died after taking Rimadyl, and 7000 had bad reactions to it, so even then it was known how potentially harmful Rimadyl is for far too many dogs – and yet now, 11yrs later it is still being used…………

Glucosamine, it is known, rebuilds cartilage and is a safer way of dealing with
arthritis, the main health issue Rimadyl is used for. Vet John Foster MRCVS goes a step further and says that where we see arthritis as a sign of old age, it is more a sign of poor nutrition, and if pets were fed a natural, more appropriate diet, and not commercial petfood, they wouldn’t get it………..worth a think eh? Article Courtesy of Chris Adams Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL March 13, 2000
"You might call it a made-for-TV drug. Approved for human use in the U.S. but not marketed that way, an arthritis medicine called Rimadyl languished for nearly 10 years in developmental limbo, then emerged in a surprising new form: Instead of a human drug, it was now a drug for arthritic dogs. And it became a hit.
With the aid of slick commercials featuring once-lame dogs bounding happily about, Rimadyl changed the way veterinarians treated dogs. “Clients would walk in and say, ‘What about this Rimadyl?’ ” says George Siemering, who practices in Springfield, Va.
Today, those TV spots are gone.
The reason has to do with dogs like Montana, a six-year-old Siberian husky
with stiff back legs, Montana hobbled out of a vet’s office in Brooklyn,
N.Y., six months ago accompanied by his human, Angela Giglio, and a supply of Rimadyl pills. At first, the drug appeared to work. But then Montana lost his appetite. He went limp, wobbling instead of walking.
Finally he didn’t walk at all. He ate leaves, vomited, had seizures and,
eventually, was put to sleep. An autopsy showed the sort of liver damage associated with a bad drug reaction. Pet drugs are big business — an estimated $3 billion world-wide — and Rimadyl is one of the bestsellers. It has been given to more than four million dogs in the U.S. and more abroad, brought Pfizer Inc. tens of millions of dollars in sales, and pleased many veterinarians and dog owners. But the drug has also stirred a controversy, with other pet owners complaining that nobody warned them of its risks.
Montana’s owner, Ms. Giglio, is among them. After she informed Pfizer and the Food and drug administration of her relatively youthful dog’s death, Pfizer offered her $440 “as a gesture of good will” and to cover part of the medical costs. Insulted by the offer and a stipulation that she agree to tell no one about the payment except her tax preparer, she
refused to sign and didn’t take the money. “There’s just no way in my conscience or heart I can release them from blame,” she says.
After reports of bad reactions and deaths started streaming in to the FDA, the agency suggested that Pfizer mention “death” as a possible side effect in a warning letter to vets, on labels and in TV ads. Pfizer eventually did use the word with vets and on labels, but when given an ultimatum about the commercials — mention “death” in the audio or end
the ads — Pfizer chose to drop them.
Pfizer’s director of animal-products technical services, Edward W. Kanara, says
that when reports started coming in, “we acted extremely promptly based on the information we had.” Pfizer points out that reported adverse events involve less than 1% of treated dogs.
Since Rimadyl’s 1997 launch, the FDA has received reports of about 1,000 dogs
that died or were put to sleep and 7,000 more that had bad reactions after taking the drug, records and official estimates indicate. The FDA says such events are significantly underreported.
While the numbers include cases “possibly” related to Rimadyl, it is hard to be sure. Many dogs given the arthritis drug are older, and few are autopsied after they die. Pfizer says it analyzed cases of Rimadyl treated dogs that died in 1998 and found a link to Rimadyl to be “likely” in 12% of cases and “not likely” in 22%; it says there was too
little information for a judgment about the others”.

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