Pet Medication 101: Meloxicam

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Pet Medication 101: Meloxicam

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what meloxicam (Metacam) is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

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1. Drug Name:


2. Common Name or Brand Name(s):

Metacam, Loxicom, Melonex, Meloxidyl, Mobic, Mobicox, Orocam, Ostilox

3. How Dispensed:


4. Forms:

0.5mg/mL and 1.5mg/mL oral suspension, 7.5 and 15 mg tablets

5. Drug Type/Class:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)

6. Uses in Dogs and Cats:

Meloxicam is used for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, injuries, cancer, surgeries, and dental infections. It is also used for fever reduction.

7. How it Works:

Meloxicam works by inhibiting cyclo-oxygenase 2, a biochemical that is responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins, which mediate inflammation.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and skin irritation.

Signs of overdose can include black or tarry stools, incoordination, seizures, jaundice, increased water consumption, increased urination, pale gums, stomach ulcers, and weight loss.

9. Drug Interactions:

Other NSAIDs, Prednisone, Cortisone, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Enalapril, and Benazepril

10. Cautionary Statements:

  • Meloxicam is not labeled for cats and should be used with caution.
  • Meloxicam should be avoided in patients with impaired function of the liver, kidneys, or heart.
  • Do not use in animals with bleeding disorders.
  • Do not use during pregnancy, lactation, or breeding.
  • Do not use in dogs less than 6 weeks of age.
  • Because meloxicam is processed by the liver, a diseased liver can be pushed into failure, even if there are no symptoms of liver disease.
  • Meloxicam is associated with idiosyncratic hepatopathy, which often requires hospitalization.
  • Altered kidney function is common with meloxicam because it decreases blood supply to the kidneys. This could tip a borderline patient into kidney failure.
  • Periodic monitoring tests to check liver enzymes and kidney function are very important with long-term use.
  • Meloxicam should not be used in patients who are dehydrated or have GI ulcers.
  • Stomach ulceration or perforation can occur, especially in pets who are sensitive to NSAIDs.

Read more:

Pet Medication 101: Aspirin

Pet Medication 101: Tylenol

Pet Medication 101: Naproxen

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