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December 13, 2011 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Rimadyl is pricey. Anyone have a cheaper source or experience with the generics, or with one of the other canine joint pain meds?

My Golden is aging...mostly gracefully. She's about 11.5 years old now, her mind is sharp but her hips aren't doing so hot. Took her to the vet a couple weeks ago and finally decided to try her on Rimadyl, otherwise she takes a weight-appropriate dose of Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM daily, and they seem to make a real difference.

She weighs right at 66 lbs, her dosage was 2, 75mg Rimadyl tabs a day.

36 hours in she was seriously a new dog, very much awesome. However---I can't begin to afford the pills from my vet. 14 pills (7 days) was $24, I can't afford day care for my 1 year old, much less $100 a month for pain meds. I tried her on 1 pill a day, and it helps but she's pretty sore in the mornings.

1800petmeds and Fosters and Grant both list cheaper per-pill prices (hardly, though), and petmeds offers a "generic equivelent" that's cheaper, but really not cheap enough.

Wondering if anyone out there has another source (Can I bet dog drugs from Canada?) or a recommendation of another, similar drug that may be cheaper?
posted by TomMelee to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use Metacam (supposed to be safer) in my 16 year-old pug, and the best site I have found is Valleyvet. They also have really low prices on heartworm preventative and other meds.
posted by bolognius maximus at 6:52 AM on December 13, 2011

My 11.5 yo pug is on SynoviG3 - also tried Rimadyl but found this controls her hip pain better and is about 1/3 the price.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:17 AM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the input so far. Metacam for her weight is $3/day, which is right where I already am.

SynoviG3 appears to be another Cosequin type product and she's already getting a heavy load of Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin, not sure how much I believe omega-3's and some creatine and some green lipped mussels are going to do a lot more than what she's taking for ~20 cents a day. Nifty product though. Would be interested in hearing more about your success.
posted by TomMelee at 7:51 AM on December 13, 2011

Talk to your vet too and raise your concerns, the vet won't be surprised if money is a concern and while they may not be able to offer suggestions on other places to get the meds, they might be able to offer suggestions on generics or cheaper alternatives. Having said that I have used Metacam (its an NSAID) on an arthritic dog and one on chemo with good results. Some larger vets have specialist pharmacists working for them so if your lucky enough that your vet clinic has one try talking to them, though they are rare.

There are also other ways to help dogs with arthritis which don't cost as much little things like making sure they have warm bedding and are not sleeping on the floor. I got a heated cat bed for my cat when he had arthritis and that really helped him not be so stiff. Keeping a coat on them that covers their hips when they go out that sort of thing. There are a lot of great websites out there with all sorts of tips and info. If you can make your dog comfy in other ways then you might not need as strong or as expensive a medicine.
posted by wwax at 7:55 AM on December 13, 2011

Coupons? Promotional codes from the Internet? And yes, talk to your vet about money and whether or not some human OTC might fill in the gap for a while.

FWIW, my vet had a dog of mine on aspirin until he thought she was old enough that something else would get her before the side effects of Rimadyl would be an issue. The aspirin dose was very specific - it wasn't as simple as weight. Aspirin is tricky with dogs.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:03 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: I have gotten NOVOX (generic for Rymadyl). 60@ 75mg non-chewable tablets, but you can cut them.

$33.99 plus small shipping from Pet Meds n More. They called my vet to confirm the prescription, but that was not a hassle. Good service, and my dog seems to be doing well on these.*

*My dog is old and the vet agreed that bloodwork is not really needed, as she is in her last year of life, likely. But still, she is tolerating them well and it returns a quality of life that had not been there.
posted by Danf at 8:08 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: I get the same generic, Novox, as Danf. I get them from 1800petmeds - 30 100-mg for $33. I haven't (yet) found a cheaper source.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 8:23 AM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Awesome, thanks. Novox was what I was looking at, 54 cents a pill @ petmets and Stearns and Foster. We didn't blood test either, I know she's in the autumn of life.

She's been on aspirin for about 3 years. I think we're past that point now---but I appreciate the input. Other nsaids may be an option, but she was seriously a new dog on the rimadyl. I want to have my cake and eat it too!

I do have a call into my vet too, he's in surgery.
posted by TomMelee at 8:29 AM on December 13, 2011

Please take your questions regarding an alternative medication to your veterinarian.

NSAIDs are tricky things, and trying one on the recommendation of someone on the internet could end disastrously for your dog. Our ER/ICU saw many geriatric dogs with NSAID toxicity, and it wasn't pretty, or cheap.

One should never give an animal an OTC NSAID intended for humans (ie. ibuprofen, naproxen). Aspirin is sometimes prescribed but it actually has a deleterious effect on joint cartilage, and is not generally used long-term. Aspirin can also cause systemic toxicity and should only be given as advised by your veterinarian.

WRT Rimadyl (carprofen), as others have mentioned, both Novox and Vetprofen are available as generic alternatives in the US. Norocarp is another generic formulation of that's manufactured in the UK.
posted by Seppaku at 8:48 AM on December 13, 2011

I don't see anyone suggesting that's head to the drugstore. TomM and the responders all see to keep the dog's vet in the loop.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:30 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: There is generic carprofen available, you do not need to buy brand name Rimadyl. Your dog should also be on an Omega Fatty Acid supplement.

That said, there are many pain management options out there which are both less expensive and with fewer potential side effects than the NSAIDs. Maybe consult with another vet? You can often use a much lower dose of an NSAID, or eliminate it altogether except for breakthrough pain, if you use a combination of other medications (and using a cocktail of meds normally means you get better pain management AND you can use lower doses of each). I work for a pain management vet, but this is not medical advice, etc.
posted by biscotti at 9:34 AM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks. Now for the whiny bit---we're in really pretty rough financial times right now, seeing any vet at all went on the credit card and no real idea when it's coming off. I'll see what he says WRT NSAIDS and a possible cocktail. She's really the picture of health and delightful Golden Retriever-ness, true story that her name (Naya) was my 1 year old son's first word. They are somewhat inseparable.
posted by TomMelee at 11:04 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: Our super awesome dog is on Rimadyl too. She's about the same age and weight as your dog, but her issue is her back knees. Both of them are pretty much shot and we're putting off surgery as long as we can. It's night and day difference when she's on Rimadyl.

We have her on 50mg twice a day (we cut a 100mg pill in half) and it runs us about $45 a month at the pharmacy at Costco. I don't think you need to be a member to use the pharmacy, and if they don't stock it they should be able to order.
posted by zooropa at 2:28 PM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Costco here, I wonder if Sam's does this? I had considered a larger dosage but not splitting it in two. Thanks for that idea!
posted by TomMelee at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: Did you look at the valleyvet site? Sixty 75 mg Novox tablets (so 2 months for you) is $32.95. That's pretty cheap.
posted by bolognius maximus at 3:59 PM on December 13, 2011

Response by poster: Yea---thanks. Looks like Novox is about the best idea. Kinda hoping that zooropa's suggestion works, as $37 for two months is a lot cheaper than $33 for 1 month. :)
posted by TomMelee at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2011

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