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.
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
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!
(Always for George - Always for the Rimadyl Dogs)
To: South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing
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
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
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
Charleston, SC 29412
They did have Ellis' name, breed, sex and weight
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Jean H. Townsend
1769 Clark Hills Circle
Johns Island, SC 29455