Metacam for Dogs
Metacam (or meloxicam) is a pet prescription medication for dogs that can be prescribed by your vet for the treatment of painful, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or soft tissue injuries in dogs.
Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Metacam works by inhibiting an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (particularly cyclooxygenase-2) that is responsible for prostaglandin synthesis. Because osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition, Metacam and other NSAIDs are highly effective at controlling this form of pain and often bring much needed relief to a stiff and sore animal.
Many owners report that their pet has a 'new lease of life' following Metacam therapy. Metacam is most widely available in liquid form that is usually very palatable, and its taste is thought to be similar to that of honey!
Other formulations of Metacam include tablets and a liquid for injection. Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that can affect an animal's joints. Arthritis is often seen in older animals due to the aging process, although some younger pets may develop this condition as a consequence of other illnesses such as hip dysplasia or cruciate disease in dogs. Arthritic pain is also becoming increasingly diagnosed in cats, as we are progressively more able to identify symptoms of pain in this species.
If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from joint disease, it is important that you visit your Vet who may need to perform further tests to confirm the diagnosis. It may be necessary for your vet to take blood from your pet to ensure that any metacam prescription is appropriate in the first instance, and that it is not having a detrimental effect upon internal organs in the longer term.
Metacam oral suspension for cats is available in 15ml and Metacam oral suspension for dogs is available in 32ml, 100ml and 180ml bottle
A Veterinary Pet Prescription is required before we can dispense Metacam
Metacam for dog arthritis
Metacam is an oral medication that is also sometimes known as Meloxicam, and which is distributed in the UK by Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. Metacam can be prescribed for both dogs and cats, and is often used for the treatment and management of the symptoms of canine arthritis.
Metacam is one of the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, which work to reduce both pain and fever. Metacam, or Meloxicam as it is known generically, is derived from oxicam, which falls within the enolic acid group of NSAIDs.
Why might my dog be prescribed Metacam?
If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, they will likely display a range of symptoms as a result of the joint swelling and stiffness that accompany the condition. Common symptoms of canine arthritis include pain in the affected joints, stiffness and difficulty moving freely, and a reluctance to get up and move due to the pain that can accompany this.
As movement is important in reducing the pain of arthritis, this can soon turn into something of a vicious circle, where the pain of the condition inhibits movement, which in turn, makes the pain worse. In order to keep your dog mobile and reduce the pain that they experience as part of their condition, your vet will consider a range of options to treat their condition on an ongoing basis.
This may include physical therapies such as hydrotherapy and massage, as well as the prescription of medications that can reduce joint pain and inflammation, and help to keep your dog active. If your dog is overweight, your vet will also work with you to manage their food intake in order to get them back into shape, as obesity too can exacerbate the pain and other symptoms of arthritis.
When it comes to medications for canine arthritis, NSAIDs are the usual choice. NSAIDs work to reduce the swelling and heat in the affected joints, and so, the pain associated with it. Metacam is one of the most popular NSAIDs used for the treatment and management of arthritis in dogs, and is usually well tolerated with less potential for side effects than other options.
How does Metacam work?
Metacam is just one of many different NSAIDs, all of which work slightly differently, which means that there is no one size fits all best choice for every dog. However, Metacam is one of the most widely used NSAIDs for the treatment of arthritis in dogs, and one that consistently achieves good results with fewer side effects than most alternatives.
Metacam is a medication from the coxib group, and selectively inhibits COX-2, leading to a reduction in the inflammation and pain that accompany canine arthritis. Metacam works by blocking the cyclo-oxygenase enzyme that produces prostaglandins, which trigger fever, inflammation and pain in the joints.
Metacam is different from many NSAIDs as it preferentially inhibits COX-2 rather than Cox-1, which serves to reduce the side effects of the medication, such as stomach and gastrointestinal upsets.
How is Metacam administered?
Metacam may be given by your vet in the form of an injection in the first instance, but for usage at home, Metacam is administered orally. Metacam can be purchased as either a chewable tablet or an oral suspension, which can be administered directly by mouth, or added to the dog’s food if they will accept it.
Are there any side effects?
All NSAIDs come with the potential risk of side effects for dogs, particularly with long term usage. Dosage rates should be kept as low as possible while still producing the desired results, and for some dogs, Metacam usage can be suspended at times when the dog is not suffering from a particularly acute arthritic flare up.
Side effects are more likely to occur in older dogs, or those with compromised immune systems or that are otherwise not in good general health.
The most common side effects of Metacam for dogs are loss of appetite, and stomach upsets including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. While these reactions are often short term and minor, you should speak to your vet if they occur, as they may necessitate renal parameter testing and liver enzyme testing to ensure that your dog’s major functions are not compromised.
NSAIDs such as Metacam should not be used in dogs with borderline kidney function, nor in dogs that are dehydrated.
In rare cases, Metacam can cause idiosyncratic liver toxicity in treated dogs, which is not related to the dosage rate or any other measurable parameters. While a reaction of this type is extremely unlikely, it is important that the owners of all dogs prescribed Metacam are aware of the potential risk.
How can I get Metacam for my dog?
Metacam is a POM-V medication, and as such, requires a veterinary prescription in order to be sold.
Once you have a veterinary prescription for your dog, you can use your prescription to order online from us.