Meloxicam for Dogs

Meloxicam for Dogs

What To Know About Canine Meloxicam
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Meloxicam is a pain relief drug often used for dogs. However, there could be dangers with the wrong dosage. We look at how this drug works and how to use it safely.
6 minute read
By Team Dr.Tail
Woman with her dog after taking meloxicam
Woman with her dog after taking meloxicam
Our furry friends are cherished companions, and their well-being is always prioritized. When it comes to managing pain and discomfort in dogs, understanding the available options is crucial. In this guide, we'll explore a popular medication that has been making waves in the world of canine care – Meloxicam. We look at what Meloxicam is, how it works, and how it could potentially bring relief and improved quality of life to your canine companion.
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What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam, often referred to as Metacam, is an FDA-approved nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) that is often used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs. Belonging to the NSAID family like Carprofen, Onsior, and Deramaxx, meloxicam is well-known for its ability to reduce temperature, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. Veterinarians frequently recommend Meloxicam, despite the drug's primary intended usage being human, to treat a variety of ailments that cause pain or discomfort in dogs.

How To Administer Meloxicam To Your Dog

Meloxicam is offered in various forms for dogs and cats, including oral liquid, injection, and chewable tablets. Additionally, there is a pill form designed for human use, and veterinarians may choose to prescribe it "off-label" for larger dog breeds.
If your veterinarian decides on the injectable version, they will be responsible for its administration. For the oral suspension, you must shake the bottle thoroughly and measure the dose accurately. Chewable tablets, on the other hand, should be administered according to your veterinarian's specific instructions. However, to mitigate the potential for gastrointestinal side effects, you are to give Meloxicam with a meal.
In cases where the oral spray is prescribed, your vet will give you instructions for applying it inside the side of the cheek.
Meloxicam starts working within 1 to 2 hours, with significant improvement in pain symptoms after.
Adhering closely to your veterinarian's instructions and cautions is crucial, especially when using medications off-label. If any concerns or questions arise, always seek personalized advice from your vet.

What To Do If Your Dog Misses a Dose?

Consistency in medication administration is crucial for the effectiveness of any treatment, including Metacam for dogs. If doses are missed, or the medication is not given as prescribed, it can have consequences on the dog's pain management and overall well-being. If your dog misses a dose of Meloxicam, here are general steps to follow:
  • Contact Your Veterinarian: The first and most important step is to contact your veterinarian. Explain that a dose was missed and ask for guidance on what to do next. They will provide specific instructions based on your dog's health, the medication, and the reason for the missed dose.
  • Administer the Missed Dose if Advised: Your veterinarian might advise giving the missing dosage as soon as possible, depending on how long it has been since it was missed. But you need to remember not to take extra dosages unless the veterinarian specifically instructs you to.
  • Maintain the Regular Schedule: Return to the normal dosage regimen that your veterinarian has prescribed. For medication to be as effective as possible, it must be administered consistently.
  • Keep an eye out for negative effects: Watch out for any indications of negative responses or behavioral shifts in your dog. If you detect anything out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian right away.
  • Adjust Future Doses if Necessary: Your veterinarian may recommend adjustments to future doses or provide guidance on how to proceed with the next scheduled dose. Follow their instructions closely.
  • Use Reminder Systems: To help prevent missed doses in the future, consider using reminder systems such as alarms on your phone or a calendar to mark medication times. Consistency is key in managing chronic conditions.

What Should Be Done In Case of Emergencies or Overdoses?

In the case of emergencies or suspected overdoses involving Meloxicam for dogs, it is crucial to take immediate action to ensure the well-being of your pet. Here are some general guidelines:
  • Contact Your Veterinarian: Call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Provide them with details of the situation, including the dog's breed, size, the amount of medication ingested, and any symptoms observed.
  • Do Not Delay Seeking Help: Time is of the essence in emergencies. Do not wait to see if symptoms worsen; seek professional veterinary assistance promptly.
  • Emergency Vet Care: Take your dog to the closest emergency veterinary clinic if your veterinarian is unavailable. Emergency veterinary care is prepared to deal with crises and offer prompt care.
  • Do Not Induce Vomiting Without Advice: Do not attempt to induce vomiting in your dog without veterinary assistance. Certain drugs may be more harmful if regurgitated.
  • Keep an eye on your dog: While you wait for expert assistance, keep a watchful eye on your dog's health. Observe any alterations in respiration, awareness, or behavior.
  • Prevent Accidents in the Future: By keeping drugs out of pets' reach, storing them securely, and administering them in accordance with veterinarian recommendations, you may take precautions against such events in the future.

Are there Risk Factors and Drug Interactions?

Yes, there are certain risk factors and potential drug interactions associated with the use of Meloxicam in dogs. You must be aware of these factors and communicate them to your veterinarian. Below are some considerations:

Risk Factors:

  • Pre-existing Conditions: Dogs with pre-existing conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, gastrointestinal issues, or a history of bleeding disorders, may be at a higher risk of experiencing adverse effects.
  • Age and Breed: Certain breeds and older dogs may be more vulnerable to Meloxicam's negative effects. You should take into account the dog's specific health and peculiarities.
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: The safety of Meloxicam in pregnant or lactating dogs is not well-established. Consult with a veterinarian to weigh the potential risks and benefits in such cases.

Drug Interactions:

  • Other NSAIDs: Meloxicam's co-administration with other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may raise the possibility of side effects, such as bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Steroids: Meloxicam used with corticosteroids may increase the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding.
  • Anticoagulants (Blood Thinners): Meloxicam may amplify the effects of anticoagulant drugs, raising the possibility of bleeding.
  • Diuretics: Using diuretics and Meloxicam at the same time may affect renal function and raise the risk of problems.
  • Certain drugs: Some drugs, such as certain antihypertensives and gastrointestinal medications, may interact with Meloxicam.

Potential Side Effects

The following are possible negative effects of meloxicam in dogs:
  • Renal (kidney) effects (increased thirst, increased urination, changes in urine color or frequency)
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers (black, tarry stools, blood in vomit)
  • Liver issues (jaundice, unexplained lethargy or weakness)
  • Allergic reactions (itching, hives, swelling, especially of the face, lips, or tongue)
  • Central nervous system effects (behavioral changes, seizures - in rare cases)
While your dog is taking Meloxicam, it's crucial to keep a close eye out for any indications of discomfort or strange behavior. If you see any negative effects, get in touch with your veterinarian. You should discuss your dog's medical history with the veterinarian in order to ensure safe usage, as dogs with pre-existing diseases may be more susceptible to negative effects.

How Should You Store Meloxicam?

You must store Meloxicam for your dog correctly to guarantee both its efficacy and safety. Meloxicam should be kept at room temperature, ideally between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). It should not be exposed to extremely cold or hot temperatures, such as freezing temperatures. It is essential to store the medication in a dry, cold place to avoid deterioration.
Meloxicam should be stored in its original container with the lid securely closed to protect it from moisture. To protect the drug from light exposure, keep it in its original container or in a dark location. The stability of the drug may be impacted by light or moisture. Finally, ensure that the drug’s accessibility is limited to prevent overdose.
Note that the guidelines in this article are general, and specific recommendations may vary based on the individual circumstances of your dog. Always contact your veterinarian for personalized advice and follow their instructions closely.