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Meloxicam (Metacam®, OroCAM®) for Dogs and Cats
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Overview of Meloxicam for Dogs and Cats
Meloxicam is a common prescription drug known as Metacam®. It is used for osteoarthritis pain and postoperative pain in dogs and cats.
Meloxicam belongs to the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The NSAIDs are effective in reducing pain, inflammation, and fever, but carry the risk of causing stomach (gastric) ulcers, liver injury, and kidney damage in animals. (NSAIDs).
These drugs relieve inflammation and pain by inhibiting the synthesis of chemicals called prostaglandins.
Meloxicam also demonstrates effectiveness against fever.
Meloxicam is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
Meloxicam has been specifically approved and labeled for use in dogs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The injectable form of this drug has been approved for use in cats by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The oral form may be prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
Brand Names and Other Names of Meloxicam
This drug is registered for use in humans, dogs and cats.
Human formulations: Mobic® (Boehringer Ingelheim) in the United States and Metacam® (Boehringer Ingelheim) in Canada and Europe
Veterinary formulations: Metacam® (Boehringer Ingelheim) in Canada and (Bohringer Ingelheim and Merial) in the United States. OroCAM® is as a transmucosal spray.
Uses of Meloxicam for Dogs and Cats
Meloxicam has been used in the treatment of osteoarthritis and postoperative pain.
Precautions and Side Effects
While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, meloxicam may cause side effects in some animals.
Meloxicam should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
According to manufacturer – this warning has been issued "Repeated use of meloxicam in cats has been associated with acute renal failure and death. Do not administer additional injectable or oral meloxicam to cats."
Meloxicam should be avoided in animals with a history of bleeding, inflammation, or perforation of the stomach or intestinal mucosa (lining). It should also be avoided in animals with dehydration or low blood pressure and in puppies less than 6 weeks of age.
This drug must be used with caution in patients with heart failure, liver disease, or kidney disease.
Meloxicam is approved for use in cats and should only be given as directed.
Meloxicam may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving might interact with meloxicam. Such drugs include aspirin, corticosteroids, and ACE-inhibitors (enalapril, benazepril, quinapril).
Side effects of meloxicam include stomach and intestinal ulcers, intestinal bleeding, dark or tarry stools (from bleeding into the intestines), vomiting, loss of appetite, and peritonitis (from intestinal perforation). Some of these side effects can assume life-threatening proportions and they can occur relatively suddenly.
Repeated doses can cause acute renal failure and death in cats.
The potential for ulcers increases when meloxicam is used in combination with corticosteroids (such as cortisone or prednisone), aspirin, or phenylbutazone.
Meloxicam can adversely affect kidney function by causing sudden severe injury to the kidneys (papillary necrosis).
Blood clotting may be impaired due to the effects of meloxicam on the blood platelets.
As with other NSAIDs, meloxicam may cause liver injury, with concomitant elevation of liver enzymes in blood tests.
How Meloxicam Is Supplied
Meloxicam is available in 7.5 mg and 15 mg tablets.
In U.S.A., Canada and Europe, meloxicam is available as a 1.5 mg/mL oral liquid and as a 5 mg/mL injectable solution.
Meloxicam is available as Metacam® in the United States in 0.5 or 1.5 mg/mL liquid suspension for oral administration.
Meloxicam is also available as an injectable form concentrated at 5 mg/ml.
Meloxicam is also available as a transmucosal spray in 5 mg/ml.
Dosing Information of Meloxicam for Dogs and Cats
Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
In dogs for an anti-inflammatory effect, meloxicam is dosed at 0.1 mg per pound (0.2 mg/kg) initially, followed by 0.05 mg per pound (0.1 mg/kg) once daily.
In cats, the product is labeled for a one-time subcutaneous injection at a dose of 0.14 mg per pound for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with orthopedic surgery, spaying and neutering. Repeated doses should not be given to cats.
The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to be feeling better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.