Does your dog have trouble getting up? Is he reluctant to take the stairs or go on walks? Do you often find him licking his knees and hips? If your dog exhibits these behaviors then he may be suffering from a degenerative disorder such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. These issues can severely limit your dog's mobility and cause exorbitant amounts of pain.
There are many ways to treat degenerative disorders in dogs, including supplements and specially formulated food or treats that contain the components used to reconstruct, repair, and lubricate joints. Though these options can help maintain and repair joints over time, for dogs in the later stages of the disorders, it may be necessary to seek out a stronger medication that is capable of both combating inflammation and relieving pain.
If your dog is in a late stage of arthritis, your veterinarian may prescribe a non-steroidal inflammatory drug (NSAID) as treatment. Though there are many NSAIDs available to treat your pet, they may rely on different active ingredients to provide relief to pets with different constraints, such as an allergy or unrelated disease which prevents the active ingredient from having its intended effect. For dogs that are over the age of 6 months, your veterinarian may prescribe Metacam (meloxicam).
How Does It Work?
Metacam is a liquid suspension that comes with a graduated syringe to make administering an accurate dose a simple process. The liquid can be administered orally and can generally be administered directly into your dog's mouth. In most cases, veterinarians will prescribe Metacam to be used daily over an extended period of time; however, you should always follow the instructions given by your veterinarian regarding the dosage and administration of any medication.
Metacam's active ingredient, meloxicam, works by preventing the hormone cyclo-oxygenase (COX), from producing chemicals known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced in response to tissue damage and have a variety of functions in the body; some of these functions include sensitizing neurons to pain, regulating inflammation, and inducing fevers. By inhibiting the COX enzymes that produce prostaglandins, Metacam works to prevent inflammation and relieve the pain associated with injury.
This process produces incredible results that your pet will feel after just a short period of administering Metacam. As you might expect, it can also be used to help fight fevers in your pet as well. This being said, it is important that you inform your veterinarian of other conditions that may be affecting your dog and of other medications that he is currently taking. Though some medications can be taken in conjunction with Metacam, others may cause complications.
What Pets Should Not Take Metacam?
In addition to causing pain and inflammation, prostaglandins also regulate the dilation of blood vessels. Because meloxicam inhibits the production of prostaglandins, Metacam may not be safe for dogs with certain heart conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or bleeding disorders. For similar reasons, it may also have adverse effects in dogs that have kidney or liver disease. Metacam may also interact with other NSAIDs, such as aspirin, or steroidal drugs.
It's also important not to administer an excessive amount of Metacam, such that if a dose is missed, the dose should be skipped rather than providing a double dose of the medication. Administering an excessive amount of Metacam can result in several side effects, the most common of which are vomiting, inappetence, diarrhea, and related symptoms. Other side effects include skin irritation, jaundice, and an increase in water consumption.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, as a result of taking Metacam it is important to stop administering the medication immediately and contact your veterinarian. These symptoms are generally signs that your pet is suffering from an overdose, which may lead to more serious symptoms such as seizures. We hope that this information has helped you understand why meloxicam has been prescribed to your pet and how it can help your arthritic dog.
If you have any additional questions or concern, you can find more information here.