What is Meloxicam for Dogs?

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Like humans, dogs are susceptible to painful conditions such as injuries, surgeries, and osteoarthritis, particularly as they get older. But as a caring and responsible dog owner, it is natural for you to try and relieve your dog’s pain and enhance its quality of life. Meloxicam is one of the drugs that can help ease your dog’s discomfort and improve its life’ quality. Here is an exclusive review on Meloxicam for dogs, how it can help your dog, dosage, and even potential side effects.

What Is Meloxicam?

Popularly known by its brand name Metacam, Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in oxicam drugs. The medication decreases inflammation and pain in dogs who suffer from chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. Other brand names of veterinary Meloxicam include; Minoxidil and Loxicom. Other generic veterinary forms might also be available. The human form of Meloxicam is Mobic, but it should not be used interchangeably with Metacam and should not be given to dogs. The FDA-approved Meloxicam for dogs comes with a veterinarian prescription. Meloxicam is commonly used in the treatment and management of osteoarthritis. Other than treating many conditions, it might also be prescribed for dogs that have undergone surgery to decrease pain. Strictly follow your vet’s guidelines for meloxicam use with your dog.

Meloxicam Uses for Dogs

Meloxicam is most often prescribed for treating dogs with pain, inflammation, and stiffness from osteoarthritis. However, it can also be used in treating symptoms of other bone and muscle disorders. Meloxicam works by decreasing the secretion of hormones that cause inflammation and pain. As an NSAID, it reduces inflammation within the body, which causes reduced pain. As a nonsteroidal drug, it does this without depending on steroids. The drug is sometimes prescribed to decrease pain in dogs after a recent injury or surgery. Meloxicam is effective in treating both short-term, acute pain symptoms and inflammation and chronic conditions.

Meloxicam Dosage for Dogs

Meloxicam is available in tablet form for human use. However, the doses of the tablets are too high for use in most dogs, with the potential exception of giant dog breeds. Veterinary Meloxicam comes in a flavored suspension with a special oral syringe for measuring the accurate dosage. The oral suspension features two strengths; 1.5 mg/mL and 0.5 mg/mL. you must use the proper strength for your dog to ensure you don’t overdose on your dog. You should always ensure to administer Meloxicam according to your veterinarian’s prescription. Usually, the recommendable Meloxicam dosage is about 0.09 milligrams per pound of the dog’s body weight on the first day. The other subsequent treatments are administered once daily with a dosage of around 0.045 milligrams per pound of the dog’s body weight. Fortunately, meloxicam suspension for dogs typically comes with a syringe for measuring the accurate dosing according to the dog’s body weight. The drug will take effect quickly, around one to two hours, and it should be followed by improvement in clinical symptoms. If you miss administering a dose of Meloxicam to your dog, ensure to administer it as soon as possible and continue to administer it regularly at the new time interval. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go on with the dose according to the prescription. You should never administer two doses of Meloxicam once under any circumstance. Your veterinarian might alter the dosage based on the response of your dog to the drug based on administering the lowest dosage possible while still offering effective symptoms relief.

How Is Meloxicam Administered?

Meloxicam is normally syringed into a pet’s mouth orally as an oral suspension. Start shaking the solution well and draw up the dose based on your dog’s weight into the syringe. You can put the solution directly into your dog’s mouth or add it to food. If you add Meloxicam to your dog’s treats or food, ensure your dog eats the whole food portion to ensure sufficient dosing. Giving the drug with food might lower the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset. It is essential to consult your vet before administering Meloxicam. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure to measure the dose accurately. Overdosing your dog could cause dizziness, vomiting, seizures, fainting, slowed breathing, and cardiac arrest. Meloxicam is also available in an injectable solution. Your veterinarian can offer additional instructions on safely administering the solution.


When it comes to Meloxicam efficacy, massive research has been conducted on the efficacy and safety of Meloxicam for both humans and dogs. According to a clinical study by Dogtime, administration of Meloxicam on dogs with osteoarthritis found that it decreased pain, stiffness, and inflammation and increased mobility.


Store meloxicam in a cool and dry place at room temperatures below 25 degrees to ensure it maintains effectiveness. Once you open it, you should discard it after six months. Also, store it away from light and never use it after expiration.

Meloxicam Overdose

If you accidentally administer too much Meloxicam, you should seek emergency veterinary care. You may also contact Pet Poison Helpline for extra consultations. Meloxicam overdose can be hazardous and may even cause death if not promptly treated. This is why it’s essential to strictly use the medication only under your veterinarian’s guidelines. If you try calculating and administering the meloxicam dose at home, you can potentially miscalculate and overdose on your dog, which might be fatal.

Meloxicam Drug Interactions

Before administering Meloxicam to your dog, tell your prescribing vet about any medications, including supplements, vitamins, or supplements that your pet is on. You must be cautious when using Meloxicam with certain anesthetics, antibiotics, diuretics, anticoagulants, antifungals, and immunosuppressive drugs. You should not use Meloxicam with NSAID drugs and corticosteroids such as carprofen, deracoxib, Meloxicam, and others unless your vet recommends otherwise. Administering more than one USAID simultaneously increases the risks of side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, kidney or liver damage, GI bleeding or ulceration, and abnormal bleeding. Similar adverse effects might occur from using steroids such as cortisone, prednisone, and Meloxicam. If your dog is on steroids or NSAIDs, the veterinarian will recommend a wash-out period of about a week before you start administering Meloxicam to your dog.

Side Effects of Meloxicam

Like other NSAID medications, most of the side effects linked with meloxicam use in dogs involve gastrointestinal upset, including; soft stools, vomiting, and reduced appetite. Rarely, more severe side effects can occur, such as yellowing of the skin, bloody vomit, black stool, or changes in urination. According to Veterinary Information Network, the common side effects linked with Meloxicam include;

  • Fatigue
  • Bloody vomit
  • Increased thirst
  • Bloody or black diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Jaundice
  • Behavioral changes
  • Itchiness

The severe side effects show that your dog may be bleeding internally. As with NSAIDs, there is a risk that your dog will have an allergic reaction that might result in anaphylaxis. Therefore, if you notice any signs of allergic reaction or other side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately. Take your dog to your vet immediately if you see signs of extreme lethargy, profuse bleeding, sudden collapse, or other severe illness signs.

Meloxicam Cost

The cost of Meloxicam for dogs varies according to dosage and form. The liquid forms of Meloxicam cost $20 to $30. Generic pill forms of Meloxicam go for as cheap as 10¢ per tablet.

Recommended Monitoring When Using Meloxicam

Before giving dogs Meloxicam, your vet may recommend laboratory tests to monitor the functioning of your dog’s organs and general health before prescribing the drug. The lab tests might show underlying kidney or liver problems that could worsen with Meloxicam. Puppies or dogs who are nursing or pregnant should not take Meloxicam. Ensure you notify your vet about any other medical condition your dog might be suffering from, particularly cardiovascular or renal conditions. Also, you should inform your vet about all the medications your dog is on, even if it’s over-the-counter drugs because they can react negatively to Meloxicam. Additionally, dogs on meloxicam treatment for long will require regular monitoring. The monitoring involves conducting blood tests after every three to six months to ensure no damage to the organs. It is also vital to take your dog for routine physical examinations as your vet recommends. This will enable your veterinarian to monitor any meloxicam-related damages and underlying conditions that the continued use of Meloxicam can worsen. Consider talking to your vet if you think Meloxicam is not working effectively to relieve your dog’s inflammation and pain. The vet might recommend other treatment options.

Meloxicam Cautions

As earlier mentioned, Meloxicam is FDA approved for use on dogs. However, as a dog owner, you should still be careful when administering the drug to your pet. According to PetMD, you should avoid using Meloxicam for dogs experiencing the following situation:

  • Dogs with liver or kidney conditions
  • Dogs with bloody vomit
  • Pregnant or nursing dog
  • Dogs younger than six months old
  • Dehydrated dogs or pets on diuretics
  • Dogs with clotting disorders and low platelet counts
  • Dogs with reduced appetite
  • Dogs younger than six months old

More so, Meloxicam might have adverse effects when used with other drugs. Hence, you should consult with your veterinarian and inform them about your dog’s current medication. Never administer Meloxicam to dogs with severe allergic reactions to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, Rimadyl, Previcox, or Deramaxx.

Which Is the Safest Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs?

According to Alphapaw.Com, carprofen is the safest anti-inflammatory for your dog. The drug is a dog-specific anti-inflammatory medication specifically formulated for use in dogs. Carprofen is often recommended over Meloxicam in dogs because it’s a safer drug for long-term pain relief.

Natural Alternatives to Meloxicam

Some of the unique Chinese herbal formulas found to help with pain and arthritis in dogs include; hindquarter weakness, corydalis, and ligusticum. Indian herbs such as Boswellia and Turmeric are also effective anti-inflammatory remedies. This also applies to omega-3 fatty acids often found in sardines, flaxseed oil, and krill. You can also give bone broth to your dog as a natural remedy to protect it against osteoarthritis. It is rich in minerals that help your pup build bone cartilage and protect the joints. A more straightforward method is to buy chondroitin/glucosamine supplements that come with similar joint-protecting compounds without the mess of bone broth. Lastly, you might consider talking to your veterinarian about CBD oil for dogs suffering from arthritis. According to a study done in 2008, CBD oils can reduce the pain resulting from arthritis in dogs. In the study, dogs were administered CBD or a placebo daily for a month. The dogs that received doses of CBD oil for dogs displayed a significant reduction in the symptoms of pain linked with arthritis. The dogs experienced less pain and were more active than dogs administered with placebos. More research is required to establish more insight on CBD oils for dogs, but it’s very promising. The FDA does not formally approve natural remedies for pain in dogs; therefore, use them at your own risk. If you are considering taking the natural route, you should consider talking to a holistic vet with experience in using natural remedies.

Bottom Line

If your dog has a painful condition like an injury, recent surgery, or osteoarthritis, it is best to talk with your vet to have the pup evaluated and examined. The veterinarian might prescribe Meloxicam to treat the pain if they determine if it’s safe for your dog. Some of the common side effects of Meloxicam include diarrhea, vomiting, and reduced appetite. Always consult your vet if your dog experiences any side effects from the medication. And while Meloxicam may be effective in reducing pain, there might be other safer pain medications for your dog. Talk to your veterinarian to establish the best medication options for your dog.

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