Metacam for Dogs: Don’t Let the Pain Remain

Metacam - generic name Meloxicam - is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. It usually is in the form of liquid (though it also comes as a subcutaneous injection) given to dogs to remedy symptoms that occur in osteoarthritis, especially for the much-older ones.  As it is, this particular brand of NSAID has proven effective in alleviating symptoms of pain, fever and inflammation. The drug acts by preventing prostaglandins from being released into the bloodstream, and therefore, preventing pangs of pain at the onset.

With dogs - as with people - age renders them slow, stiff at the joints, and languid with their movements. This is most commonly caused by arthritis, and for canine cases, metacam gives a longer lasting comfort by acting preferentially on COX-2 receptors. This lends greater freedom for older dogs to move: from climbing the stairs or running a few moments a day.

The amount of dosage depends on the weight of the dog. And as it is administered orally in liquid form, the dosage adjustment remains to be convenient and flexible. Some veterinarians might prescribe the tablet form, but as pet owners have reported, administration of the tablet form is not as easy as that for the liquid form. And as long as the preparations are taken into account (study of benefits and contraindications, studying the medical history of the dog, considering the weight, the age, the rate of activity, and the overall condition of the dog), the canine reception of the drug will prove very safe and easy (more often than not due to the honey flavor of the drug, to which dogs have responded well).

The drug can be taken whether before or after the dog has eaten; however, if some adverse (or even uncommon) effects take place, it is better to seek consultation immediately.

Being one of the drugs approved by the FDA, metacam is safe, as long as it is used as per requirement, or as recommended by trusted animal health-care specialists. However, dog owners should always be wary and on the lookout, should the following symptoms crop up: vomiting, excessive lethargy, marked lack of appetite, and diarrhea (which, upon further examination, produce samples with blood). These might be just outward signs of greater bodily disruptions that drug misuse might have already caused. These are reduced blood clotting, mild to serious renal damage, kidney damage to kidney failure, and damage to the lining of the stomach, sometimes even ulcers.

For dogs that have a record of being hypersensitive to NSAIDs or of the similar nature, it is best that the owners forego the use of metacam altogether. Veterinarians and experts have advised that it is not worth taking chances, when there are other medical factors to consider that might not bring about the optimum drug effects. It is also prohibited for animals which are lactating, pregnant, suffering already from bowel problems or dehydration, or those which are already taking in aspirin prescriptions.

That being said, pet owners should always consider the opinions of a veterinarian or a specialist before giving doses to the dogs.

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