Hanna with adopted brother Sunny
Pet Health News
New Vaccination Protocol Annual Boosters: How
they? For core vaccines like
distemper and parvovirus that every dog should
receive we do not know the true duration of immunity.
Although it is probably the life of the patient.
- Scientists Reverse "Hind-leg Paralysis in Dogs"!
paralyzed hind legs regained the ability to walk after getting a shot of
a chemical cousin of antifreeze that helped repair nerve cells in their
damaged spinal cords, scientists reported.
- "Heartworm Prevention!"
How much is too much?
There have been many reports of
dogs having very bad reactions to both Heartguard and Interceptor.
Giving ones dog doses of poison month after month to kill something
which possibly isn't there doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me.
RimadylÂ®, LAWSUIT OVER VETERINARY DRUG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “ Johns Island, South Carolina - August 18, 2004
Jean Townsend of Johns Island, South Carolina announced today that a
settlement has been reached with Pfizer, Inc. in what appears to be
the first lawsuit of its kind in this country â€“ a lawsuit over
injuries that led to the death of Ms. Townsend's chocolate lab,
George. Ms. Townsend originally brought a class action lawsuit against
Pfizer in October of 1999, two years after the tragic death of George.
The lawsuit alleged that after initial approval by the FDA, the drug
RimadylÂ®, which was the subject of an unprecedented multi-million
dollar advertising campaign, was marketed without a complete
understanding of the serious side-effects that could result from the
drug. Ms. Townsend also alleged that neither she nor her vet were
adequately warned of the potential side-effects. After administering
the drug for only 14 days, George developed severe internal bleeding
and ultimately liver failure. George was euthanized on October 13,
1997. In reaching the settlement, Pfizer has admitted no wrong-doing.
"It was truly horrible," said Townsend of the experience. "But the
most troubling aspect of the ordeal was when I later learned that
similar side-effects had been reported to Pfizer and the FDA months
before I first gave the drug to my dog. Yet even after my pet became
sick, I continued to give him the pills because they were supposed to
make him feel better. I had no idea that he was suffering from the
side-effects of RimadylÂ®. It is devastating to live with the
realization that I gave my beloved pet medicine to help him when, in
fact, it was killing him." After reporting George's death to Pfizer,
Ms. Townsend was offered a $249.33 settlement, but the offer came with
the condition that the settlement remain confidential. Ms. Townsend
In the months following George's death, Ms. Townsend began researching
this drug on the internet and soon discovered dozens of other pet
owners who had similar experiences with RimadylÂ®. Fueled by the
growing number of people whose dogs had become sick or died after
taking the drug, Ms. Townsend, along with other concerned pet owners,
started a campaign to raise awareness of the potential for serious
side-effects with this and other veterinary medicines. As part of that
campaign, Ms. Townsend and others met with FDA officials as well as
Pfizer veterinarians, urging them to step-up efforts to more
thoroughly inform pet owners of the potential for serious side-effects
with veterinary medicines.
Unsatisfied with the response of the FDA and Pfizer, Ms. Townsend
turned to the legal system and filed a class-action lawsuit. In her
suit, Ms. Townsend sought reimbursement of the $734.00 in veterinary
expenses she had incurred trying to save George, as well as
establishing a class action on behalf of the hundreds of other dog
owners whose pets had become ill or died.
In the meantime, reports of adverse reactions to RimadylÂ® continued
to rise, and in 1998, RimadylÂ® accounted for almost 39% of all
Adverse Drug Experience Reports received by the FDA. The reports were
so numerous that in December of 1999, the FDA took the extraordinary
step of issuing a public statement on the drug.
Within months of Ms. Townsend's suit and the "Update on RimadylÂ®"
issued by the FDA, Pfizer announced significant changes in packaging,
and that it would begin dispensing a Client Information Sheet to be
included with veterinary prescriptions of RimadylÂ®. The Client
Information Sheet, modeled after similar drug information sheets
included with many human drugs, was to provide pet owners with easily
understandable information about the potential side-effects and what
to do if side-effects occur.
Ms. Townsend reports that as part of the settlement, Pfizer made cash
offers to over 300 other dog owners across the country to settle
claims for death or injury to the dog, veterinary expenses, property
damage, emotional distress and punitive damages. These individual
offers averaged over $1000.00 per animal and did not include a
Speaking about the lawsuit and the settlement, Ms. Townsend said, "I
am pleased that through this suit, hundreds of other pet owners will
be reimbursed for veterinary expenses and the loss of their pets. Of
course, no amount of money would ever replace the loss of my friend
George, and the loss of so many other beloved companions." But to Ms.
Townsend, (who donated her settlement proceeds to a local veterinarian
to perform surgery on a pet whose owners could not afford the surgery)
the issue is far more than the money paid by Pfizer. It is the growing
public awareness that the medications we give our pets can have
serious side-effects. "We, as pet owners, have the right to know as
much about the good and bad sides of veterinary medicines as we do the
medicines we give ourselves."
For further information please contact:
Jean Townsend - Luswinton@aol.com
1769 Clark Hills Circle
Johns Island, SC 2955