Metacam relieves pain and reduces swelling and inflammation in dogs. Also known by the generic name meloxicam, it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is approved by the FDA. It requires a veterinary prescription.
When is it Prescribed?
Osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease, can reduce a dog’s mobility. Joints become swollen, inflamed, and painful, often affecting the hips, elbows, knees, shoulders, and spine. Dog owners have used this drug for over 20 years to safely treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis, allowing their pets to live happier, more active lives.
In addition to dogs suffering from OA, veterinarians may also prescribe this medication for dogs experiencing other pains. Bringing comfort to dogs after surgery is one common use.
How is it Administered?
It is available both as an oral suspension and as an injectable solution.
The oral suspension comes with a syringe that is labeled for dosages based on your dog’s weight. For dogs that weigh under 10 pounds, use the syringe to measure the correct amount and then add the medication to your dog’s food. For dogs over 10 pounds, you can either add the appropriate dose to their food or use the syringe to insert the liquid directly into your dog’s mouth. The drug has a sweet honey flavor, and most dogs accept it without resistance.
If you opt for the injectable version, your veterinarian can instruct you how to properly and safely administer it to your dog.
A single daily dose can provide 24 hours of relief for your dog. Do not give additional doses without consulting your pet’s veterinarian.
What are the Side Effects?
The most common side effects of Metacam are vomiting, lack of appetite, soft stools, and diarrhea. If your dog is experiencing any of these side effects, or if you notice black or bloody stools, discontinue use and contact your veterinarian right away. The likelihood of these side effects may be reduced by giving your dog the smallest effective dose.
Additionally, most medications carry the risk of an allergic reaction. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing, immediately contact your veterinarian.
What Precautions Should You Follow?
Do not give to cats. Repeated use in cats may lead to acute renal failure and death.
You should let your veterinarian know if your dog is under six months old, used for breeding, pregnant, or lactating before using this medication. Dogs who are known to have hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction to meloxicam should not receive it.
Do not use in dogs with kidney, heart, or liver disease. Talk to your veterinarian before using any other over the counter or prescription drug. It is important for any dog taking an NSAID to periodically receive follow-up care.