Metacam for Cats: Yes or No?

Metacam is a liquid medication taken to remedy symptoms of inflammation and pain for either cats or dogs. It belongs in the NSAIDs umbrella (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The drug can be administered in three ways – as an injectable solution, as an oral suspension, or as a tablet). The target animals to benefit from metacam are as follows: dogs, horses, pigs, cats, and cattle.

It can be either given directly or infused into the meal during treatment. The period of using metacam can range from single to long-term basis; however, it takes only one-time injection in the case of dosage of metacam for cats (it registers safe at a dose of 0.14mg/lb). It is given before the operation starts, to provide painless recovery for twenty-four hours. The medication (an anesthetic corollary to cats) gives comfort for cats that have undergone operative procedures, such as spaying or neutering, or for treatment of injuries such as repairing of fractures and restorative operations, orthopedic surgery, and hip replacement.

Metacam is approved and considered safe for cats by the FDA in USA; however, there were certain recorded reviews that for their pets, usage of said drug proved dangerous to fatal, as some cats have died after administration of said drug. Veritable researches that were later conducted proved the feline deaths to be idiosyncratic – that is, it occurs only to a specific group, and could not be used to generalize the ill-effects of the drug. Furthermore, reports have said that the deaths were more because of the mismanagement of dosage or administration of the veterinarian, rather than the composition of the drug itself.

Though it was specified that metacam should only be used as a one-time injection for cats, given pre-operation, to provide post-operation recovery and comfort, still, not all veterinarians are in the know. Some have administered metacam in doses more than is mandated by the experts, some have administered it more than once, and some have given it to cats the way that it is given to dogs – that is to say, as an oral preparation, or mixed with their food. These acts of negligence may have brought about the occurrence of near-fatal to fatal symptoms: diarrhea, nausea, depression, vomiting, and jaundice. And these could lead to papillary necrosis, bleeding, peritonitis, and (a case that happened commonly to cats) acute renal failure.

Taking into account such incidents (said safety of drug versus the reports of deaths), cat owners should always make a conscious effort reading the drug literature, reviews about the drug, asking and (for lack of a better term) testing the veterinarian whether he knows about the implications and contraindications of the drug if wrongly administered. Running some tests on the blood, liver, and kidneys of the pet cat, checking in the weight of the cat pre-administration, and finally, weighing the benefits of metacam over the possible repercussions are a must.

And most of all, it must be remembered that metacam is for a singular subcutaneous use only for cats: any other or any more of the stated could bring about an untimely feline death.

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