Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication that veterinarians may prescribe to decrease arthritis pain in dogs. Meloxicam is also known as Metacam. However, do not mistake Meloxicam with melatonin. These are two very different types of pills.
Meloxicam is not FDA-approved for veterinary use, but many veterinarians prescribe this medication because it may be helpful at reducing pain. Meloxicam comes in both tablet and pill form and requires a prescription from a licensed veterinarian for use.
Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. This means that it decreases inflammation within the body. By decreasing inflammation, the medication also reduces pain.
Meloxicam for dogs is used to treat a variety of conditions. The most common use of meloxicam is treating the pain associated with arthritis. Here is a list of the most common conditions that meloxicam is used to treat in dogs:
It is important to consult with your veterinarian prior to giving any new medications or natural supplements. There are many potential drug interactions and side effects of meloxicam for dogs so only your veterinarian will be able to determine if meloxicam is safe for your dog.
Meloxicam may not be the best pain medication for use in dogs. There are other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that are formulated specifically for dogs like carprofen which may help reduce pain in your dog.
Certain medications like gabapentin and tramadol may also be recommended by your veterinarian for pain control. For pain associated with canine arthritis, joint supplements may be recommended by your veterinarian for pain relief. Many of these joint supplements contain glucosamine which may help keep your dog’s joints healthy.
If your veterinarian determines that meloxicam is safe for your dog, they may prescribe a dosage of 0.045 milligrams per pound of body weight by mouth every 24 hours. Do not administer meloxicam to your dog unless you have consulted first with your veterinarian because it can be harmful and dangerous for certain dogs. If you miscalculate the dose of this medication, it could be fatal to your dog.
Meloxicam has many potential side effects and warnings. The Veterinary Information Network reports that the most common meloxicam side effects include stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Serious meloxicam side effects can occur including bloody vomit and black stool.
These serious side effects indicate that your pet may have internal bleeding. Anytime your pet has a side effect from a medication, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
VCA specialty hospital reports that the most common side effects of Metacam (meloxicam) include:
There have been several severe side effects reported in dogs using meloxicam. If your pet experiences any of the following rare side effects of this medication, you should stop the medication and call your veterinarian immediately:
If your pet has any other health conditions, it is important to alert your veterinarian. PetMD suggests that meloxicam for dogs should not be used if your pet has any of the following conditions:
Meloxicam interactions can occur with many other medications. Using a medication like meloxicam for dogs can be especially dangerous if used with steroids like prednisone.
The following drugs may cause adverse reactions if used concurrently with meloxicam. Be sure to alert your veterinarian if your pet is on any of the following medications:
If you accidentally give your pet too much meloxicam, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. In addition, you can also contact Pet Poison Helpline for additional consultation. Overdoses of meloxicam can be extremely dangerous and can result in death if not promptly treated.
It is possible that an overdose of this medication could potentially kill a dog. That is why it is so important to only use this medication under the direction of your veterinarian.
If you attempt to calculate and give the dose on your own at home, you could potentially miscalculate and overdose your dog which could be fatal.
The safest anti-inflammatory for dogs is carprofen. This is a dog-specific anti-inflammatory medication that was specially formulated for use in dogs. Carprofen is often preferred over meloxicam in dogs because it may be a safer option for long-term pain control.
If your pet is painful, you should visit your veterinarian to have your pet examined and evaluated. Your veterinarian may prescribe meloxicam to treat the pain that your dog is experiencing if they determine it is safe for your dog to use.
The most common side effects of meloxicam include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. You should always alert your veterinarian if your pet is having a side effect from a medication. While meloxicam may be effective at reducing pain, there may be other safer pain medication options that can be used for your dog. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best medication choices for your dog.
The medical, nutritional, or behavioral advice we provide is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our editorial content is not a substitute for formal or personalized medical advice from a veterinary professional. Only board-certified veterinary specialists who have examined your pet should diagnose medical conditions, provide personalized treatment, or prescribe appropriate medication. For questions regarding your pet’s health, or if your pet is exhibiting signs of illness, injury, or distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.