NSAID Survivors



On the very top of the sheet I wrote in LARGE printed letters

For months I have been encouraging dog owners whose dogs were prescribed Rimadyl without the benefit of pre-testing, without warnings about adverse side effects of Rimadyl, and without the "Client Information Sheet" to file a complaint with their State's Veterinary Medical Board.

I have now filed a complaint with the South Carolina Veterinary Medical Board - for an incident that occurred on Dec. 18, 2005. The following quoted statement is taken from the original complaint which I mailed (via certifed mail, return receipt requested) to the S. C. Board today. Some of the information has been removed pending the outcome of my complaint.

I continue to hear from dog owner after dog owner, who merely reiterate - "no pre-testing was done, no warnings were given, no Client Information sheet was given - and to be perfectly frank, it breaks my heart, and I am damned sick and tired of this.

If the only way we can convince veterinarians of the importance of pre-testing and giving out the "Client Information Sheets" is to file complaints against them - then so be it!

Jean Townsend
(Always for George - Always for the Rimadyl Dogs)

To: South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Office of Investigations and Enforcement
Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

On the evening of Saturday, December 17, 2005, I noticed my black lab, Ellis, was bleeding from the mouth. I checked as best I could, but was unable to locate where the bleeding was originating. I watched him closely and the bleeding appeared to stop so I did not take any action that night.

On Sunday, December 18, 2005, Ellis seemed all right, but after eating his breakfast, the bleeding returned. It would not stop so I called the ________________________ Emergency Veterinary Hospital, and explained the problem. The person who answered my call said since the blood apparently was not clotting, he should definitely be brought in. I arrived at the clinic and was asked if I had been there before; I replied I had, but was also given more paperwork to fill out (name, address, telephone no., etc.) which I did.

On the very top of the sheet I wrote in LARGE printed letters "NO RIMADYL - NO NSAIDS".

A veterinary technician examined Ellis, and determined the bleeding was coming from underneath his tongue. The veterinarian on duty, Dr. _______________________________, examined Ellis and said in order to determine exactly what the problem was, she wanted to put Ellis under a light anesthesia to be able to perform a thorough examination of his mouth.

In a few minutes I was called into the area where Ellis was so I could be shown what had happened. The oral exam showed a large laceration over the 2nd and 3rd right mandibular incisors - which have very sharp points. This is what has been causing the bleeding. I was told to take Ellis to his regular vet ASAP for teeth cleaning and filing down of the teeth that are causing the cutting.

The veterinarian said she was prescribing an antibiotic and a pain medication for Ellis. I asked what the antibiotic was, and she replied, Cephalexin. I then inquired as to the pain medication and she said, Rimadyl.

I told her I would not give my dog Rimadyl or any other NSAID (at the time wondering why my instructions on the information sheet I had just filled out were not being followed). Next I asked if she gave out the "Client Information Sheet" for Rimadyl; she replied, "no." I then asked "Didn't Pfizer give them to you?" She replied "yes, but we don't ask for them." I could tell the veterinarian was not happy with my questions, but I did go on to state Rimadyl had killed one of my dogs and thousands more had been harmed - that legal action had been taken against Pfizer, who settled the claims.

I paid my bill by check and left. I did not closely examine the bill until about 20 minutes later when I stopped to get some coffee. I was shocked to find the Client Information did not have MY NAME. The client was (incorrectly) listed as

Jennie Townsand,________________________
Charleston, SC 29412
They did have Ellis' name, breed, sex and weight correct!

I have these complaints/concerns; first, the prescribing of Rimadyl, (which is considered a "very potent drug" by Pfizer's own Dr. Edward Kanara) after my having placed No Rimadyl - No NSAIDS on the information sheet I had just filled out; second, no mention of pre-testing to see if Ellis was a candidate for the Rimadyl; third, no mention of potential adverse side effects; fourth, without having a "Client Information Sheet" ready to give out; fifth - wrong Client Information on my invoice.

I feel it is my duty to file a Complaint with the South Carolina State Veterinary Medical Examiners Board. I will say the personnel at the Emergency Hospital were very professional and kind in the way they handled Ellis. However, prescribing "something for pain" and not saying anything about adverse side effects and not having the "Client Information Sheet" available, a sheet that both the FDA CVM and Pfizer say should accompany prescriptions of Rimadyl, could put an animal at risk - an uninformed dog owner would have no idea what to look for as far as adverse reactions go. If a dog were to become ill or die from an adverse reaction attributed to Rimadyl, it could lead to legal action being taken against the prescribing veterinarian.

I call your attention to your 2004 publication, ""South Carolina''s Vet News"" and in particular, the article on page 1 entitled ""Emerging Issues Regarding Informed Consent"". Veterinarians are reminded that ""whenever manufacturers distribute a client information sheet, this means that either the manufacturer or the CVM wishes to convey more facts about safety or efficacy in lay terms to pet owners."" Apparently, Dr. _________________and/or this clinic do not distribute the client information sheets, contrary to this Board''s urging to do so.

Following this statement is some background of my continued concern about veterinarians disregarding giving out the Rimadyl Client Information Sheet: - these messages can be found in the doghealth2@yahoogroups.com archives (a mailing list I own).
I feel it is unfortunate veterinarians do not want to comply with a simple request - just give out the sheet. What can we do to insure veterinarians comply with our request - other than file complaints?

Now, I have reason to see if the Board's current regulations cover my concerns regarding veterinarians handing out client information sheets so that pet owners can receive all necessary information to make better decisions about their animals'' care.

Yours truly,

Jean H. Townsend
1769 Clark Hills Circle
Johns Island, SC 29455