Meloxicam For Dogs – Don’t Be Fooled!

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

Meloxicam For Dogs

It’s a fact that dogs are living longer, healthier lives–And it’s clear that as they age, dogs will inevitably need some form of pain management.

Some dogs experience short-term pain related to cuts and bruises or accidental injury & sometimes dogs suffer from chronic pain that may be related to arthritis, cancer or pain following necessary surgery.

Pet owners struggling to relieve their dogs’ osteoarthritis joint pain or muscle stiffness who are considering giving their dog Meloxicam would be wise to look at using a more natural alternative analgesic medication.

What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam, more commonly known by its trademark name Metacam, is a veterinary-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used for pain control and inflammation.

Meloxicam is most often prescribed to control arthritis symptoms (including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain) as well as the associated stiffness that’s related to degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system (such as osteoarthritis in dogs).

How Does Meloxicam Work?

Meloxicam is an NSAID that works by reducing hormones that cause pain and inflammation in the body. Inflammation—the body’s response to irritation or injury—is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain and NSAIDs mediate the production or function of prostaglandins (enzymes) involved in the inflammatory response.

Meloxicam works by inhibiting the chemicals and hormones that cause inflammation and pain in dogs, specifically by inhibiting prostaglandins. It also inhibits the enzymes phospholipase A-2 and COX-2, which are responsible for pain and inflammation in dogs. Prostaglandins are involved in the inflammatory response, which is the body’s reaction to irritation or injury. They mediate the production or function of enzymes that are part of the inflammatory response.

meloxicam for dogs. Alternatives to meloxicam for dogs with pain
Meloxicam (Metacam) like other NSAIDs may cause some side effects. The most common side effects involve digestive issues such as vomiting, decreased appetite & extreme lethargy.

Meloxicam may also be used for purposes other than those listed on the label. Off-label, your veterinarian may also use Meloxicam to reduce a dog’s fever.

Usage, however, should always be closely monitored as it can be dangerous in doses that are too high, plus dogs need to stay well-hydrated when using Meloxicam.

Can Dogs Take Meloxicam?

There are a few things you should consider before giving your dog Meloxacam to relieve their pain. Like most prescription drugs, NSAIDS can cause side effects, some serious for your pet!

As a necessary precaution for dog owners, Meloxicam should not be given to dogs that are hypersensitive to NSAIDs.

Dogs with kidney problems, liver problems, or heart problems should not take Meloxicam either.

Meloxicam medication
Meloxicam should not be given with any other NSAIDs, including: Carprofen (Rimadyl), Firocoxib (Previcox), Etodolac (Etogesic), Deracoxib (Deramaxx), Aspirin.

Dogs with borderline kidney function could go into renal failure from the drug, dogs that suffer from cardiovascular or renal conditions, dogs that are on a concomitant diuretic therapy, and dogs with hepatic dysfunction are not good candidates for Meloxicam as they are at greater risk for experiencing adverse events from Meloxicam.

Meloxicam should not be given with any other NSAIDs, including: Carprofen (Rimadyl), Firocoxib (Previcox), Etodolac (Etogesic), Deracoxib (Deramaxx) or Aspirin. Dogs that have ulcers or bleeding disorders should avoid Meloxicam as safety has not been established in animals with these disorders.

Additionally, it is not advisable to give Meloxicam to dogs that are pregnant, or nursing & Meloxicam should not be given to puppies that are under six months of age.

Meloxicam Side Effects

Meloxicam (Metacam) like other NSAIDs may cause some side effects. The most common side effects of Meloxicam involve digestive issues such as vomiting and decreased appetite.

Other possible side effects of Meloxicam include; change in bowel movements, increased water consumption, skin irritations and changes in behavior (decreased activity levels, incoordination or aggression).

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has bloody, black or tarry stools, blood in vomit, swelling or rapid weight gain due to fluid retention, unusual fatigue or weakness, yellowing of the eyes, excessive itching, abdominal pain or tenderness as these symptoms could indicate serious side effects.

Meloxicam for dogs pain
Meloxicam is most often prescribed to control arthritis symptoms, such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. It is also used for stiffness related to degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as osteoarthritis in dogs.

Meloxicam For Dogs Side Effects

Signs Of Toxicity / Overdose of Meloxicam In Dogs:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite (inappetence)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody vomitus
  • Dark or tarry stool
  • Increase urination changes in frequency, color and smell
  • Increased thirst
  • Pale gums
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Fast or heavy breathing
  • Incoordination
  • General malaise / Behavior changes
  • Seizures or death

As with nearly all medications, there is a risk of allergic reaction that could lead to anaphylaxis. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling, difficulty breathing, or hives, then contact your vet immediately.

If you suspect your dog was poisoned by any NSAID or has any medical problems or side effects while taking Meloxicam, stop the medication and immediately contact the Pet Poison Helpline for life-saving treatment advice.

Meloxicam Medication Alternatives

CBD Oil for Dogs with Pain

CBD, or cannabidiol, is found in cannabis and hemp plants and has been shown to be a promising ally in the management of chronic canine pain and in the reduction inflammation (good news for dogs suffering with chronic arthritis pain).

CBD is for dogs
CBD is fast becoming the natural choice for dog owners looking to help their pet with pain and limited mobility issues.

There is also strong scientific evidence to support CBD’s efficacy in treating osteoarthritis as well as neurological conditions like epileptic seizures.

CBD is perhaps the greatest advancement in canine veterinary care to come out in the last 50 years.

Research shows that CBD (Cannabidiol) from natural hemp plant can provide therapeutic pain relief & reduce inflammation in dogs without the negative side effects of NSAID medications by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity in your dog’s body.

Studies show that even low doses of CBD are effective in treating inflammation–the root cause of many chronic and debilitating conditions that plague our special aging canine companions.

One university based veterinary study reviewed the safety and clinical efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment Osteoarthritic dogs showed a significant reduction in pain and increase in activity levels in dogs given daily CBD supplementation.

Natural Remedy for Treating Dog Pain

Despite the fact that little is written about the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids in pets, current data suggests a compelling rationale for the therapeutic potential of CBD in treating chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders along with other canine medical conditions.

Not surprising, a large percentage of pet owners indicate they effectively treat their dog’s arthritis and hip dysplasia pain using CBD with no serious adverse effects.

Meta-data analysis of over 25 studies suggest that cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies may serve as effective adjunctive pain therapy options and a potent replacement alternative for prescription pain medications.

Supplements for dog joints
Canine Support Formula is a 2-in-1 CBD-rich oil made exclusively for dogs with joint pain.

Whether your dog suffers the occasional pain from muscle aches due to old-age or overuse injuries or is stricken with the crippling pain of osteoarthritis, giving them full spectrum hemp CBD oil can reduce the severity of pain without the need for harmful and addictive painkillers.

A Better Way to Treat Your Dog’s Pain

Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and natural supplements, dogs are living longer and healthier lives.

With active lifestyles that extend into advanced ages, dogs are more frequently diagnosed with osteoarthritis or undergo surgical procedures and are treated for postoperative pain with conventional NSAIDs like Meloxicam as a common analgesic prescribed in these cases.

Instead of giving Meloxicam you can try to alleviate your dog’s pain with natural substances like CBD from hemp.

My dog is 12 1/2 years old. She has arthritis in her hips and front legs. In the first two weeks of taking CSF she was walking with ease. After a month of taking CSF she is doing amazing! Thank you K9-Medibles for CSF. You so deserve the highest rating than can be given!! 

 -- Brenda, Dog Mom and believer of Canine Support Formula

Although every dog is different and they will each have their own unique reaction, for the majority of dogs, natural CBD oil has a better safety-profile than prescription NSAIDs and can make your dog more comfortable in their home environment.

More FAQ’s About Pain Medications for Dogs

How should one approach finding the right pain management method for their dog?

It is important to discuss your dog’s treatment plan with your vet as they are the best resource for personalized advice. Every dog is different, and finding the most suitable method of managing pain may require experimentation with dosages and medications. It is crucial to prioritize the well-being and comfort of your dog when considering different options.

What is the potential benefit of compounds in hemp for pain management in dogs?

Extensive research and trials have been conducted on hemp-based products with animals, and these studies have shown positive results. Canna-Pet, a company specializing in hemp-based products, has conducted research and works in conjunction with veterinary universities. Customer surveys and clinical research indicate that hemp-based products, such as Canna-Pet hemp, are highly effective in managing pain in dogs.

What are some natural and alternative solutions to pain management for dogs?

CBD (Cannabidiol) from hemp is an effective anti-inflammatory and natural analgesic for dogs with joint pain. Acupuncture is a Chinese therapy that has been used for pain management in both humans and animals, particularly for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. It can be an effective holistic therapy to keep dogs’ pain-free. Additionally, compounds in hemp have been extensively studied for pain management in animals and have shown promising results.

What are the potential side effects of these alternative medications?

Tylenol can have a narrow margin of error and can easily lead to accidental overdose in dogs. NMDA antagonist has limited effectiveness and mostly helps dogs with neuropathic pain. Narcotics like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, or buprenorphine may be prescribed for severe pain but are typically given in hospital situations due to their potent nature.

When are steroids prescribed for managing pain in dogs?

Steroids are sometimes prescribed for managing pain in dogs, especially when it comes to spinal pain. However, it is important to note that steroids come with a significant set of side effects and may not be the first choice due to their potential interactions with other medications the dog may be on.

What are some examples of narcotics that may be prescribed for severe pain in dogs?

Some examples of narcotics that may be prescribed for severe pain in dogs are codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, and buprenorphine. These narcotics are typically given in hospital situations but may occasionally be prescribed as pills or patches for at-home administration.

In what conditions are gabapentin and NMDA antagonist most effective?

Gabapentin is most effective for dogs suffering from pain related to neuropathic conditions and chronic pain. NMDA antagonist appears to be most efficient for dogs that suffer from neuropathic pain.

Why do some veterinarians shy away from prescribing Tylenol to dogs?

Veterinarians are cautious about prescribing Tylenol to dogs due to the narrow margin of error when it comes to accurately dosing dogs. There is a risk of accidental overdose, which can be harmful to dogs.

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2 thoughts on “Meloxicam For Dogs – Don’t Be Fooled!”

  1. I have been using your CBD oil on my 6 year old English Mastiff for 2 months for body-wide arthritis, and it seems to working. However, I am unsure I am giving her the correct dosage. I’ve clicked on the dosage calculator, but haven’t gotten an email download. Can you please tell me what her dosage should be? She weighs 170 lbs.

    Thank You very much!

    • Hi Stephanie,thank you for your question and for taking such good care of your dog. At 170 lbs your English Mastiff would have a starting CBD dose of 19.32 mg’s CBD per day. 

      With smaller weight dogs I normally suggest dosing 2x/per. But with a larger breed dog I would recommend 3x/ day simply because of the volume of oil.
      Going forward, Canine Support Formula has 7.5 mg’s CBD (+15 mg’s CBDA) per ml. So, give your dog “nearly a full dropper” (6.43 mg’s) 3x/day, 30 minutes before meals.
      If necessary, the third daily dose can be given prior to bedtime. 
      Note, this is still just the beginning CBD dose amount and can be adjusted (titrated) up over time to achieve even more pain relieving benefits for your dog’s arthritis symptoms.


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