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Meloxicam for Animals

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Joint pain can be debilitating for our pets. For pet parents, watching your friend struggling to accomplish simple tasks like walking or getting up off the floor can be heartbreaking. Fortunately, medications like Meloxicam for animals can help. If you believe your pet is experiencing joint pain, consult your vet on the ideal course of treatment and ask if this medication could benefit them. Petco can help you with many of your pet’s health and wellness needs—including pain-relief solutions and prescription medication—and our Vital Care program can help you save on veterinary exams.

What is Meloxicam used for?

Meloxicam is a prescription pain reliever that can help treat pain and other inflammation symptoms. It’s a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug—or NSAID—and it works by suppressing the hormones that create inflammation and pain.  

Exercise can be a key factor in relation to ailments like arthritis. Movement helps keep joints loose and flexible, but inflammation and pain can make your pet immobile. Meloxicam can be a great option when it comes to helping your pet overcome their pain in order to get the exercise they need. 

Is Meloxicam a strong painkiller?

Yes. Meloxicam isn’t a narcotic, but it’s only available by prescription. There are powerful doses of Meloxicam for large animals like cattle, horses and swine, and Meloxicam for pets is often used after surgery and in treating osteoarthritis. Its high potency is one of the reasons its use is typically authorized to reduce pain and swelling following veterinary services

How long does it take Meloxicam to work?

Meloxicam usually starts to take effect quickly—around one to two hours after the drug is administered. Give your pet the medication at the same time each day, and do not skip doses. If you miss a dose, give your dog the missed dose as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for the next dose, however, skip the one you missed. Never give your pet two doses at the same time. 

How long does Meloxicam last?

That depends on the drug form, the type of pet taking the medication and the dosage regimen. Meloxicam for pets can be administered by oral liquid or spray, chewable tablet or injection.

The time it takes for the drug to leave your pet’s system will vary significantly based on these factors. Cat prescriptions are only available in injection and oral liquid form. Consult your vet to determine how long the drug lasts in your pet’s system. 

How much Meloxicam can I give my dog?

While the dosage for your pup should only be set by your veterinarian, some common guidelines can give you an idea of the proper dosage. Meloxicam for dogs is traditionally administered by giving them an initial dose of 0.2 milligrams per kilogram—either orally, subcutaneously or intravenously, depending on the form of the drug. The dosage should then go down to 0.1 milligrams per kilogram orally every 24 hours. 

However, the appropriate Meloxicam dosage for dogs can vary depending on the type of ailment. Because this medication is often prescribed extra-label, you should never attempt to give your pet the drug unless prescribed by your vet. Never provide your pet Meloxicam prescribed to humans or another pet. 

You should also never administer Meloxicam to your pet if they:

  • Have a previous sensitivity to the medication
  • Are significantly dehydrated 
  • Have stomach or intestinal complications
  • Have kidney disease
  • Have liver disease
  • Have bleeding disorders
  • Are pregnant or lactating

Always consult your veterinarian and make sure they are up to date with your pet’s medical history. It’s also important to give your vet a complete list of medications your pet is taking—including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins andsupplements. Meloxicam anti-inflammatory medication may interact negatively with:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Aspirin and other NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids like Prednisone or Prednisolone
  • Digoxin
  • Fluconazole and other antifungals
  • Furosemide and other diuretics
  • Methotrexate or other immunosuppressants 
  • Certain antibiotics

Does Meloxicam have side effects?

Yes. Like most drugs, Meloxicam may affect your pet negatively. Some known Meloxicam side effects are:

  • Decreased appetite 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Tarry or bloody stools 
  • Itchiness 
  • Increased urination and thirst 
  • Pale or yellow gums 
  • Elevations in liver and kidney values 
  • Lethargy 
  • Seizures  
  • Changes in behavior 
  • Clumsiness or incoordination 

The most common of these symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to inform your vet. Your veterinarian may require blood testing to monitor liver and kidney function while on this medication. 

What do I do if I think my dog has overdosed on Meloxicam?

Seek emergency vet care if you believe your pet has had more Meloxicam than prescribed. An overdose of this medication can be fatal. You should also consult your vet if your pet experiences any of the side effects listed above. 

How do I store Meloxicam?

Store Meloxicam at room temperature in a tight, child-proof, light-resistant container. It’s recommended to keep medicine in the container provided by your pharmacy. Always keep medication away from children and other pets. 

What type of animals besides dogs can be prescribed Meloxicam for pain?

Meloxicam is used in many other species to treat pain and inflammation, including cats, small mammals, birds, reptiles and farm animals. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet is in pain and may benefit from medication. Be sure to follow the guidelines set by your veterinarian when administering Meloxicam.

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Metacam (meloxicam oral suspension) 0.5 mg/mL

Metacam (meloxicam oral suspension) 1.5 mg/mL

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Reviewed by Dr. Whitney Miller, DVM, MBA, DACVPM

As Petco’s Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Miller is the lead veterinary subject matter expert, overseeing the company’s standards of excellence in animal care and welfare, growth in pet services and much more. Dr. Miller leads Petco’s medical team, supporting over 200 full-service hospitals and mobile vaccination clinics operating in over 1,000 Petco Pet Care Centers nationwide