Monday, September 29, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 244- Palates and Pills

Hey folks.  We've been naughty lately - hanging out on the human crate and such.  Sometimes naughty can be awfully comfortable.

I guess we're allowed to do this since the duvet cover is away being cleaned and the temporary blankie is cocker spaniel-friendly.  What my humans don't realize is that they'll have to spend the next 2 months teaching us that the bed is off limits again!  Ha!  The truth is that I know this but I pretend to forget when we're allowed a little wiggle room.  A whole bed's-worth of wiggle room!  You know what they say... give a spaniel an inch, and he'll thrash on your crate.  That's just what we did.  It was pretty sweet.  The bed smells like me now.

Over the weekend I got to take a one-on-one walk with mom and my buddy Hunter and his mom, and we went down to the SuperAmazingFunBeastly Squirrel Park to chase those little tree lobsters around for a while.  I guess there was a little lost baby all curled up at the base of a tree and it took me all of 0.2 seconds to locate that tasty nibble!  My Stinky McStinkFace mom yanked me back before I could really have at him and he ran away making little skretch skretch sounds and alerting all his fuzzy lobster friends that there's a beast on the loose.  I have no clue where squirrels go when they run away.  I think they zoom into some magical portal and disappear!  Big Pupi says that I need to look up once in a while to find the little niblets, but he doesn't understand that they just become invisible or something and there's no point in trying to climb trees.  He's wasting his energy!  Some day I'll figure out how they do it, but in the mean time their critter antics totally blow my mind.  

I'll sleep on this one.  When I figure out the squirrel magic I'll let you know.



Big Pupi is finally diaperless!

Hi folks.  As usual I came down with something that hit hard and fast and it left just as quickly.  Those delicious cheese-covered pills really worked their magic and now I'm back to my former territory-marking self.  The vet said that I had e. coli of the weeble which is actually quite common for boys with my um... condition... and it was probably picked up during my weeble-to-something contact as I was out "shopping" in my neighborhood.  "These things just happen sometimes," Doctor B. said.  No.  This will NEVER happen again.  I will make certain of that!

As part of my treatment I was prescribed Rimadyl, which is a common anti-inflammatory and pain medication.  As soon as mom realized what she had brought home she tossed it.  I guess she had known a pup once that had some serious complications on the stuff and after some research she found that big-time side effects are not uncommon.  Ever heard of B.A.R.K.S.?  It stands for "Be Aware of Rimadyl's Known Side-effects" and it is a consumer group that formed to educate humans on the issues surrounding the drug.  As with any medication, it is super important that you know and understand what you are ingesting - especially if you have a very sensitive system like mine or have a history of reactions or liver/kidney problems.  And since Rimadyl remains such a widely-prescribed drug, I will give a little background on it here.

Rimadyl (carprofen) was approved by the FDA in 1996.  By 1998, 39% of all Adverse Drug Experiences (ADEs) the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received were concerning Rimadyl.  That means that almost HALF of ALL health issues claimed were concerning the drug.  About 13% of these claims resulted in death.  CVM made Pfizer, the maker of Rimadyl, change the warning label on the drug and in all of their marketing they must mention that death is a potential side effect.  After receiving these new guidelines, Pfizer pulled their advertising.  (1)  Unfortunately, when pups are prescribed the drug from their vet, they are often given a dose in a prescription bottle - not the Rimadyl packaging - so none of that important information is passed along.

The most common reason for death in dogs on the drug is due to liver damage.  Of course there are the most shocking incidences where a human will lose their young companion suddenly to organ failure, and most often these are the cases in which necropsies are performed and reports are made.  However, Rimadyl is a drug that is mostly used for arthritic and elderly patients, and when these guys cross over the bridge there generally isn't any continuing investigation as to why.  Furthermore, when it comes to an effected elderly dog, sudden liver problems are often seen as a result of aging and other geriatric diseases.  These incidences are not reported.  (2)

There are certain breeds that have been found to be more reactive than others.  Labs, for example, have one of the highest ADE rates.  When the drug was tested on animals it was done predominantly on young beagles, while it is intended mainly for elderly dogs of all breeds.  (2)  The Senior Dog Project, an online group that is very active in educating about Rimdyl, has a list on their website of the most commonly mentioned breeds in Rimadyl ADE reports.  Just keep in mind that this list is most likely skewed by the popularity of certain breeds, but it's something to keep in mind.  We know that cocker spaniels are on there!

In 2006 the FDA issued new guidelines for prescribing NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) to dogs.  These additions include blood tests before and periodically during the prescription duration in order to identify a baseline blood reading and then continued testing to detect any changes.  It also allows gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcers and perforations to be associated with the drugs, as previously they were considered to be inconclusive - because these side effects were not seen during clinical trials.  (3)

The bottom line is that many dogs seem to have benefited from Rimadyl.  That being said, there have been many dogs that have suffered from the side effects of the drug, and at a much higher rate than almost any other medication prescribed.  So what do we recommend?  Just know your stuff.  The more information you human has in their head the better the decisions will be concerning you and your health.  Sure, there are always good and bad sides to everything, and education is the key to finding a balance.  I'm a sensitive boy with a history of iffy kidney numbers, and so the bottle of Rimadyl got a one-way ticket to trashland.  

Just a bit of education,

Big Pupi


1. FDA: CVM Update, December 1, 1999

2.  Most Arthritic Dogs Do Very Well on This Pill, Except the Ones that Die, Chris Adams, staff reporter of the Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2000

3. FDA: Veterinary Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, January 3, 2008

Further reading:

The Senior Dog Project, Rimadyl: News, Views & Advisories

Pawprints & Purrs, Inc., Dog Health Care: Rimadyl Timeline

Rimadyl Label Information

Rimadyl Official Website by Pfizer

The Senior Dog Project: Deaths Suspected or Being Caused by Rimadyl Toxicity

The Senior Dog Project: Ten Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Dog Has Had a Reaction to Rimadyl  -and-  A Review of Signs of a Potentially Life-Threatening Reaction to Rimadyl


BenTheRotti said...

Decorating the Human's crate with my beautiful black fluff is my favourite pastime, I'm not technically allowed to do that, but silly human rules bore me!

Glad to hear diapers are off the agenda and thank you for the alert about the pills, Mum will watch out for that one if I ever get prescrbed meds.

aaahhh squirrels.. sadly my Mum has a better nose for them than I and always manages to hoist me off in a different direction before i have barely registered they are there! She's no fun at all!

Hope you had a great weekend,

Ben xxxx

Hero said...

I'm happy to hear that you're recovering quickly, Big Pupi. It's a good thing that your mom does her research. My mom will watch out if ever we come across that particular drug. Stan, being that my island is isolated in the middle of the big big water, we don't have as many wild animals like squirrels. Do they make for a better game of chase and flush than birds do?

Petra said...

You guys look mighty comfortable in that human crate. My advice: stay there! Claim it as your own!

I haven't seen a squirrel yet but I'd most likely stay away from them, being the timid little thing that I am.

Paris said...

Hello Stani & BP!!

Stani I was so worried you would find another cocker lady while I was hiding from mean old Ike! I missed you!!

When we ran from Ike, we 3 poochies all slept on the peep's crate and it was super fun! I slept at the very edge of the bed and in true cocker fashion I had to snarl at anyone who disturbed my beauty sleep!

And thanks so much Pupi for the info on Rimadyl. Lilly takes it maybe once every other month because of her old age arthritis. We will have to find something else for Tia Lilly to take.
Bye guys,

Niamh said...

That was so good of you to put all your lovely spaniel smell all over your people's bed. I bet your parents are so happy. I'm glad to hear that Big Pupi has gotten over his infection of his guy parts and no longer has to wear the dreaded belly band. I have never had to take that Rimadyl drug and now I never want to. Thanks for the report.

Your friend,

Agatha and Archie said...

Well we TOTALLY agree with about squirrels....annoying creatures but eveil none the less. And we are glad that Big Pupi feels better and PL2 TOTALLY agress with you about the rimadyl...nasty stuff.......and used way too much.......We have to figure out a way to get on that human is TOO HIGH!!! Love and kisses A+A

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

I love to trash on my Mom's bed fact,I always trash on whatever's soft and comfy at home. =P

Glad to hear Big Pupi's alright now,and thanks for the heads up on Rimadyl! Will certainly keep an eye out for it should I need to pay a visit to the vet...=)


Girl Girl Hamster said...

You doggies look so comfy on that bed. ;)

~ Girl girl

Charlie Daniels said...

Hey Stan, when you find out the squirrel secret, let me know and I'll try it with the possums! :-)



Anonymous said...

Squirrel magic??? Maybe that's why I've never actually caught one, just spent hours chasing them out of my yard!

Thanks for the info on that medicine!


Emily said...

There certainly is a time and place for drugs.

Don't know if your aware, but Henry is having a very bad time lately. He had a cluster of 5 grand-mals this weekend. He's now back on all his drugs. =(

He's also incontinent from the meds. I'd rather Henry have the incontinence as opposed to the seizures and the in between seizures behavior.

I'm gonna fashion some sort of a belly band like you did for big-pupi.