A pill bottle sits next to my laptop. The label is fading. The dispense date is June 2006. A prescription for 15 pills. Canine pills. For Holly, collie mix.
The pills are Deramaxx.
This afternoon I decided to clean out the medicine cabinet. As I filtered through the medications, checking expiration dates, I came across this bottle. Small, brown and seemingly innocuous. I don’t remember why our vet at the time prescribed them. But as soon as I saw what they were, I was flooded with a terrible realization.
We could have lost Holly in 2006. She would have only been four years old.
I stood at the counter a long time just looking at the bottle, at Holly’s name and the date. Then I opened it up. The faux beef smell turned my stomach. I counted them. Twelve and a half pills remained of the original fifteen.
In 2006, we gave Holly two and a half pills. We were supposed to give her more than that. And had we done so, we probably would have lost her. We shouldn’t have lost her in 2010, but I’m so grateful for the four more years we had as a result of NOT giving her those pills.
God, I miss her.
To all of you who have arrived at this blog because you’ve lost your companion to Deramaxx, my heart goes out to you. You are not alone. Every day, people search for information about Deramaxx and come here. Close to 2,000 visits as of this posting. They read Holly’s story, and the other stories shared in the comments, and they know they’re not the only ones affected by this terrible drug.
To all dog owners, please hug and squeeze and love your dogs and promise them you’ll always research the side effects of medications before giving them any.