Why is Fido dead? Prescription drugs are
killing dogs, too
Thursday, September 21,
2006 by: Ben Kage, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) The FDA has released information concerning
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pets -- including Metacam,
Deramaxx, Previcox and Rimadyl -- that shows they have been
connected to 22,000 cases of illness in dogs,
almost 3,000 of which were fatal.
The drug makers maintain
their medicines are safe. Deramaxx-maker Novartis stated, "Deramaxx
has been safely and effectively used to treat more than 1 million
dogs for canine osteo-arthritis." Boehringer Ingelheim, maker of
Metacam, said it was "confident that there are millions of animals
whose lives have been improved by the pain relieving benefits of
(Metacam)." Both companies note they provide vets with information
sheets concerning the side effects.
The FDA states that the
pet NSAIDs are considered safe and effective when used according to
the label and if owners are aware of the side effects. But Chris
Sweeney, who used to own a 9-year-old cocker spaniel named Ari, said
she never would have used the drugs if she had been aware of the
possible side effects.
"I went from having a
healthy dog to having a dog that had to be rushed to the hospital
and they said he might die on the way," Sweeney said, adding
that she believes Metacam is responsible for Ari's death.
Boston veterinarian Dr. Margo Roman said she
feels cases such as Ari's are the tip of the iceberg.
"There's liver issues, there can be kidney
issues, there can be gastrointestinal irritation issues," Roman
said, adding that she would never prescribe these NSAIDs to her
patients or use them on her own dog.
Pet owners do not have to
turn to potentially harmful prescription drugs for their pets'
health, however. Natural options are available. Health
advocate Mike Adams says that pet health, like human health, mostly
comes down to proper nutrition, although he noted a pet's dietary
needs were specific.
"It is tragic, although
not surprising, that so many beloved pets are
falling victim to these side effects," said Adams, co-author
of the "Real Safety Guide to Pet Health" with Dawn Prate. "These
drug companies are just interested in making a buck, and the FDA is
just interested in protecting their financial interests, so of
course they are going to say the medicine is safe if used properly.
What they don't mention is that these drugs
should only be used as an absolute last resort or if your pet
sustains an injury, not as part of a
"The bottom line is: The healthiest thing you
can do for your pet is love it, feed it properly, and
keep prescription drugs as far away from it
as possible," he said.