I didn't vote in the poll bc my answer I wanted to make wasn't there
; I wanted to say "it can be a miracle drug if liver levels can be managed".
The nurse in me says don't judge out-of-normal liver levels too quickly. In humans and in pets, liver/kidney levels can go way out of wack - and come back very nicely too. When you see an abnormal level in either of these, it's not always
a huge concern as long as you know the source and can re-check it in a few months time.
What I'd want to know from the Vet is:
- what is the out-of-normal range that is considered still "acceptable" while on Rimadyl
- what is the range / number where you think instead that the liver is being too compromised
- with respect to Rimadyl, what would make the liver levels "unrecoverable", if anything? (ie, why do we see/read of these "horror stories" you speak of?)
Arthritis pain can be so darn miserable, especially for dogs who mask so much. So if it were me, I'd want to see if there was a way to give an effective dose and keep liver levels stable, even if somewhat out of range. And if not Rimadyl...what are the alternatives...?
Have you tried acupuncture on him yet? That can have FAB results.