16 January, 2021

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Metacam For Dogs Side Effects & Metacam Alternatives

Side Effects of Metacam For Dogs & Alternatives

What is Metacam for Dogs?

Metacam or Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This is used to treat stiffness, inflammation, and pain in dogs. Metacam is also used to reduce fever.

Metacam’s effect is seen 8 hours after administration. If giving the dog Metacam for the first time, it may take 3-4 days to take effect. Stop giving the drug if after 10 days there is still no improvement on the dog’s condition.

Dosage of Metacam

Oral suspension Metacam is given 0.2 mg Metacam per kilogram of body weight on the first dose. The following doses or maintenance dose is 0.1 mg per kilogram of body weight.

The oral suspension Metacam should be given with food. This oral suspension type come in 10, 32, 100 or 180 mL bottles.

Metacam tablet form is in 7.5 mg dosage and can be given with or without food. The initial dose is 0.1 mg per pound of body weight. After that, the dose will be 0.05 mg per pound of body weight.

Metacam is given to the dog once a day.

For dogs that are less than 10 pounds, Metacam should be given with food. Never administer the drug directly into the dog’s mouth. The dose is two drops per pound of body weight. This is for the 0.5 mg per mL concentration.

For dogs over 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) use the measuring syringe provided. This is designed to administer the daily maintenance dose which is 0.05 mg/lb.

To get the accurate dosage per the dog’s body weight, round off the dog’s weight to the nearest 1 pound increment.


Metacam should not be given to dogs aged 6 weeks and below. Lactating, breeding and pregnant dogs should not be given Metacam.

Dogs with existing cardiovascular diseases and renal conditions should not be given Metacam. This can cause further complications on the dog.

It is important to tell your veterinarian about the medications the dog is taking in. This is to prevent harmful drug interactions from happening.

Side effects Metacam for dogs

NSAIDs such as Metacam can affect the kidney and liver of the dog in long term use.

Other side effects of Metacam are:

  • Blood in vomit
  • Weight loss
  • Itchiness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Swelling or weight gain- this is due to fluid retention
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Jaundice- yellowing of the eye, skin, and gums

There are reported cases of allergic reactions as well. In a worst case scenario these allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis happens when the airway constricts preventing oxygen to be distributed to the lungs.

Metacam storage

Metacam should be stored at a controlled room temperature. The temperature should be between 59 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Metacam Cost

  • A bottle of Metacam that is 1.5 mL/32 mL cost around 57 dollars. A 100 mL bottle cost around 120 dollars.
  • A bottle of 180 mL Metacam is around 136 to 175.69 dollars.
  • A bottle of 1.5 mL/10 mL Metacam cost around 15 dollars.

Interaction of Metacam to other drugs

Metacam should not be given with other NSAIDs. These include Firocoxib, Aspirin and Carprofen. This can inhibit the function of and normal response of the medication to the dog’s body.

Corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone should be avoided when the dog is taking in Metacam. Corticosteroids can make the side effects of Metacam worst.

Active Ingredients of Metacam

The active ingredient of Metacam is meloxicam. A bottle of Metacam has 1.5 mg of meloxicam. It also contains 1.5 mg of sodium benzoate. This is equivalent to 0.05 milligrams per drop.

Other ingredients include sodium citrate dihydrate colloidal silicon dioxide, povidone, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate.

Oral suspension Metacam substances are suspended in a yellowish solution with an odor of honey.

Metacam alternatives

Metacam is an effective drug for dog pain. There are also other natural remedies for dog pain and stiffness.

Keeping the dog in a healthy lifestyle is one that helps. This includes proper diet and regular exercise.

The following are some anti-inflammatory and pain remedies:

Fish oil – Fish oil helps with pain and inflammation. Fish oil has omega 3 that reduces inflammatory substances in the dog’s body.

Arnica – Arnica is a plant that is mostly grown in Europe and North America. Arnica is extracted from the flowers.  The compounds inside the plant help treat inflammation.

There are different forms of arnica. It can be in oil, gel, or capsule variants.

Hydrotherapy- This therapy involves the dog swimming in a purpose-built pool. This helps ease pain for dogs with stiff joints. Hydrotherapy also helps build muscle mass to support the joints.

Glucosamine – This is a popular anti-inflammatory remedy. Glucosamine is mainly used for joint problems. This includes joint inflammation/ pain, arthritis and dysplasia.

Glucosamine helps ease issues in the digestive system.  Glucosamine treats joint inflammation by producing more synovial fluid and cartilage.

Yucca – Yucca is an anti-inflammatory plant grows in Central and South America. Yucca contains saponins found in the roots of the plant. Saponin substances are as effective as some steroid medications. This compound is the one that reduces inflammation.

Yucca is an effective remedy but it can irritate the stomach. Yucca is not for long-term use. It works best with minor conditions.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice. This involves inserting small hair-like needles into the skin.The needles are inserted in the part to be treated. This are called acupuncture points.  This helps reduce inflammation, ease pain and improve overall health of the dog.