Metacam: What is It and How It Can Help Your Pet
Seeing your dog in pain is by far one of the most heartbreaking sights a dog owner can witness. This is especially difficult when that pain limits your dog's ability to play, run and enjoy walks the way he used to. This type of pain we're talking about is joint pain, specifically caused by osteoarthritis. Canine osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage between a joint deteriorates over time, causing painful swelling around the joint and increased weakness in the bones connected by the affected joint. Osteoarthritis affects 1 out of every 5 adult dogs and is the leading cause of chronic pain in dogs.1 These numbers are staggering but hope exists for the 20% of dogs who struggle with this degenerative condition: Metacam (meloxicam).
Treatment at a Glance
If your dog is faced with osteoarthritis, your veterinarian might consider prescribing Metacam. What exactly is Metacam? Here are some quick facts about this medicine:
- Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). However, Metacam is different from other NSAIDs because it is available as an oral suspension, making it easy to administer for dogs of all sizes.
- Metacam is the only oral liquid veterinary NSAID for dogs of all sizes living with osteoarthritis.
- One dose of Metacam lasts a full 24 hours.
- Approved for dogs over the age of 6 months.
How It Works
Metacam contains the active ingredient, meloxicam, which prevents the body's production of the hormone cyclo-oxygenase (COX). COX causes the production of chemicals known as prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain. Metacam stops this chemical process in it's tracks and allows your dog to feel relief from pain.
Administration of Metacam is easy to do from home. You can administer this liquid orally to your dog at home using a graduated syringe. Your veterinarian will determine the correct dosage and the best form of administration of the medication for your unique dog.
One of the great benefits of Metacam is how quickly it begins to work for your dog. This is one of the many advantages of using this NSAID over others. As with any medication, there are dosage guidelines and side effects that pet owners should be aware of.
Correct Dosage and Side Effects
Making sure to administer Metacam properly is critical for proper use. Do not use more than the amount your vet recommends per dose. This is especially important to remember if a dose is missed. If a dose is missed it should be skipped altogether, not doubled in the following dose. This will prevent adverse side effects, related to overdose, from occurring. The most common side effects of an overdose on Metacam are:
- Loss of appetite
Some dogs will show different side effects simply from taking the drug. These side effects are:
- Skin Irritation
- Increased water inake
If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these signs, you should discontinue use and contact your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will have the best plan of action if your dog is not reacting well to Metacam. Metacam is not suited for all dogs, however, and should be reconsidered if your dog is deals with any of the following medical conditions.
Dogs that Should Avoid Metacam
As mentioned earlier, the active ingredient in Metacam, meloxicam, inhibits the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins not only affect inflammation but also affect the dilation of blood vessels. If your dog has a heart condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease , Metacam may not be the most suitable choice for treating osteoarthritis. In addition, if your dog has liver or kidney disease, Metacam might not be suitable. As with many drugs, it is important to make sure you are not administering them with other drugs that interact badly together. Metacam should not be used with other NSAIDs or steroidal drugs. Follow all instructions given by your veterinarian and make sure to discuss these potential risk factors with your veterinarian as well.
Metacam offers many solutions for dog's struggling with osteoarthritis and has been a great solution for many pets. Discussing this with your veterinarian is the first step to relieving the pain you witness is in your dog. You can find more information about Metacam, here.
1. Budsburg SG, Caterson B, Marcellin-Little DJ, et al. Canine osteoarthritis: overview, therapies, and nutrition. Clinician's Brief. 2005;April(suppl):1?12.