Tara’s Story – GA

My dog, Tara was laid to rest on May 5, 2005. Here’s what happened:

My dog was put on Rimadyl for 57 days. During this time, she lost 29 lbs., and almost every day, behaved as if she wanted to “jump out of her skin”.


June 15, 2005
To: Dami J. Shepard, Rimadyl Product Manager
From: Camille Kulinski, consumer
Subject: How my pet responded to Rimadyl


Dear Sir or Madam:

In good conscience, I must write this letter to let you know that something just doesn’t “feel” right about the medication. I typed certain words in bold for easy reference. Here are the cliff notes explaining what happened:

My dog was put on Rimadyl for 57 days. During this time, she lost 29 lbs., and almost every day, behaved as if she wanted to “jump out of her skin”. She was taken off Rimadyl and lived an additional 82 days. During this time, she lost 9 more lbs., and I was not successful in fully reversing her condition.

Here are some questions that I wish I had the answers to:

At what point does a pet lover take their pet off Rimadyl?

Are the veterinarians as fully educated as they should be?

Is there a reliable anecdote to counteract negative side effects?

What ingredients caused my pet to want to jump out of her skin, lose 29 lbs. in less than two months, and cause deterioration and boldness?

Under what conditions should a pet not be put on Rimadyl?

Why is the information sheet provided in extremely small print?

Prior to taking Rimadyl, my dog (Tara) was “gracefully” aging. She walked slower, walked a shorter distance, independently climbed up 12 stairs but not down them. Her attitude was mellow and sweet, and she was basically content. Additionally, Tara got her regular check-ups, plus a couple of extras here and there for bladder infections. She had a few aches and pains, but never moaned or groaned. She slept all night and did not appear to have much activity while I was at work. She greeted me every time I came home, and always had a pleasant and welcoming disposition. I felt comfortable with Tara’s senior years. Overall, she was like a “little old lady without any complaints”. Her life was full of grace. With this, I thought that she would also die gracefully.

Tara did not appear to be in any tremendous amount of pain, but the “experts” said that she was, and I believed them.

After taking Rimadyl, my dog’s remaining months were spent like a horrible nightmare! I am sending you our story to help you gain a better understanding from what happened in our experience.

If you are interested in the details, please read on.

My dog, Tara was laid to rest on May 5, 2005. Here’s what happened:

On December 18, 2004, I put Tara on Rimadyl. Almost overnight, she became extremely restless. She did not sleep through the night, and kept waking me up to go outside. Sometimes she would urinate, but most of the time, she just wanted to go out.
Within a week after taking Rimadyl, she was diagnosed with a bladder infection. She was put on medication for that, and although it cleared up, the restlessness remained.

After approximately two weeks, and again after two more weeks of neither of us getting proper sleep, I spoke to the vet’s staff. We misdiagnosed Tara’s situation. We thought that the restlessness was contributed to her “renewed life, thanks to Rimadyl”. The recommendation: “Give it more time”. So, we kept her on the medication.

Soon afterwards, Tara showed signs of loss of coordination. Almost daily upon returning from work, I would rescue her from places that she got stuck in such as, between the couch and the wall, from underneath the bed, from underneath the dining room chairs and end tables, in amongst the fireplace tools, etc. Additionally, she lost her ability to sit down and lay down properly. Her two front legs would spread off to each side, and several times, one leg would slide under the couch or under an ornamental rug, where she would remain stuck until rescued.
(Prior to taking Rimadyl, my dog had good common sense. While she had a reputation for being a bit “high-spirited and curious”, she knew better than to get herself stuck in places that she couldn’t get herself out of).

Shortly after that, Tara lost muscle mass. She could not stand in place for longer than three seconds, sit up straight, or get up independently. While I was at work, she would scoot around the house on her side, and with her feet, smear her blood. She did this by repeatedly moving her front limbs back and forth on the carpeting until friction caused her feet to bleed.

I tried to figure out what was causing her to behave this way. Was she bored while I was at work? Was she frightened? To make her more comfortable, I brought a television into the room and put it where she could see it. I also built a hedge of protection around her with pillows, and often times, she would somehow move them out of the way, and scoot around on the carpeted floor sideways, leaving deep smears of blood that came from her feet wherever she got stuck. Her largest trail of blood was approximately 3 inches wide by 18 feet long.

Finally, on February 12, 2005 I took Tara off Rimadyl. The main reason: Deterioration of the mind and body. Her conditions were emotional restlessness and physical injury, compounded with boldness, loss of coordination, and loss of physical strength.

My Tara never regained her days of “prior to Rimadyl”. From December 2004, until the day she died, she slept an average of 90 consecutive minutes at a time. Many nights, she woke me every 10 minutes. On only two occasions, she slept for 6 consecutive hours. With the exception of May 5, 2005, she was awake every time I returned home, which made me wonder if she slept at all while I was away.

By mid March, Tara was totally bedridden and remained uneasy day and night. Her shoulders, neck, and front legs grew increasingly stiff. Her hips were limp. She could not lower her head to eat or drink. She could not turn her head to the left or right. Her eyelashes would sometimes stick to her eyeballs, and the area above her eyes began to cave in. Frequently, she would slowly pull her head backward as she laid on her side, and she would remain stuck in that position until rescued. She hadn’t scooted around the house since February.

Prior to taking Rimadyl, although Tara walked a little “different”, she was always very agile, coordinated, careful, and alert. I have pictures of her climbing a ladder, carrying big sticks, running, swimming, barking, and being a tough and enduring creature. To see Tara’s body deteriorating from a strong 78 lbs. to a fragile 49 lbs. between December and February, then to approximately 40 lbs. by May is the part that distresses me the most as I represent the condition of my precious pet. Tied for first place is my memory of her constant “demand” for comfort and peace.

I am not bitter or seeking revenge. With this letter; however, I hope that you will address the questions stated, and learn valuable information from our personal experience. Had I been given the opportunity to read one letter like this one, the vet’s staff and I would have been in better position to make a more accurate determination when Tara first showed signs of restlessness.

I ask that you share this information with the test laboratory. Tara did not show any signs of improvement while on Rimadyl. From the time she took her first dose of Rimadyl until four days before she died, she ate the same amount of food, scarcely slept, wanted to live, and wanted me to constantly be beside her. With these conditions, the only thing that changed during her last four days was her desire for food.

I hope that these facts will provide assistance as we continue to explore methods to improve the quality of life for animals.
Please feel free to contact me any time. Tara left me with a hug, and I am here to help.

Camille Kulinski
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Cc: Governor Sonny Perdue
Cc: Pfizer Animal Health
Cc: XXXXX Animal Hospital


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