Meloxicam For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & More


Last Updated: April 10, 2024 | 4 min read | Leave a Comment

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Pills on counter with a pill in a pill pocket and dog in the background.

As pet parents, when our dogs are unwell, we don’t feel like ourselves either. We’re worried and stressed, and we just want to see them wagging their tails, nudging us with their noses, and enjoying their food again. So, it’s understandable if you find yourself staring at the medication prescribed by the vet, trying to remember exactly what they said.

Thankfully, the dispensing label for any veterinary medication should give clear instructions on how to give it to your dog, and if you’re still unsure, then your veterinarian will be happy for you to call and clarify. Let’s take a closer look at meloxicam for dogs to answer any extra questions you might have.

What Is Meloxicam For Dogs?

Meloxicam generic bottle from Chewy.

Meloxicam for dogs is an anti-inflammatory medication belonging to the group of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is available under a variety of tradenames including Loxicom, Rheumocam, Orocam, Meloxidyl, and Metacam for dogs. It is available as both tablets and an oral suspension and can also be administered by your vet as an injection.

What Is Meloxicam Used For In Dogs?

Being an anti-inflammatory medication, meloxicam is used to treat various inflammatory and painful conditions including osteoarthritis and soft tissue injury. It may also be prescribed to treat a fever relating to infection or inflammation, to control pain following surgery, or to treat certain tumors of the bladder or prostate.

How Is Meloxicam For Dogs Given?

The version of meloxicam that your dog is prescribed will depend on their weight, how easy it is to give them medication, and how long they are likely to need the medication. In general, if just a few days of meloxicam are required, for instance after an operation, the vet would be more likely to give an injection and then prescribe tablets.

On the other hand, if your dog has long-term arthritis and is likely to need the meloxicam ongoing, the vet will probably reach for the liquid version. Both the oral suspension and the tablets must be given on or after food, rather than on an empty stomach.

Meloxicam Dosage For Dogs

Meloxicam should only be given once a day, and it’s best to stick as closely as you can to the same time each day. Thankfully, the packaging of meloxicam makes dosing easy – there’s no need for a meloxicam dosage chart for dogs because the syringe used to administer the liquid has clear units that correlate with your dog’s body weight. However, you should never give your dog meloxicam that hasn’t been prescribed for them without checking with the vet first.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Meloxicam In Dogs?

All medications carry a risk of some occasional side effects, and meloxicam is no different. Meloxicam for dogs side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhagic diarrhea, reduced appetite, and lethargy. Rarely, it can be associated with stomach ulceration, kidney failure, allergic reaction, and raised liver enzymes.

Are There Any Situations When Dogs Should Not Be Given Meloxicam?

Meloxicam should not be given to dogs who are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, and those with existing kidney or liver insufficiency or heart disease. It’s also important to avoid it if your dog is pregnant or lactating or has experienced side effects associated with it in the past.

Can Dogs Overdose On Meloxicam?

Yes. It’s really important not to give your dog more than their prescribed daily dose of meloxicam. If you think they might have had an overdose of meloxicam, contact your veterinarian immediately. Overdose of meloxicam can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea, as well as damaging the liver and kidneys.

It’s also important to remember that a dog’s body, just like ours, produces chemicals called cytokines as part of inflammation. While these inflammatory cytokines can cause swelling, redness, pain, and other symptoms associated with inflammation, they also serve other important roles within the body. If meloxicam prevents the production of inflammatory cytokines, it can be dangerous.

Thankfully, dogs can recover from meloxicam overdose if treatment is prompt. The vet may give your dog activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of the drug in the stomach, and if the ingestion was recent, they might give an injection to make your dog vomit. Following this, they may also prescribe gut protectants, antacids, a fluid drip, and supportive medication to maintain the body’s cytokine levels until the effects of meloxicam have resolved. Follow-up blood tests might be recommended to check that there is no lasting liver or kidney damage.

How Should Meloxicam For Dogs Be Stored?

All veterinary medications should be stored in high or locked cupboards, out of reach of children and animals. Meloxicam should be kept in a cool, dry place, away from extremes of temperature, and the bottle should be discarded six months after opening, as it might not continue to be effective.

Can You Get Meloxicam For Dogs Without Vet Prescriptions?

Meloxicam is a prescription-only medication, meaning that it can’t be purchased without a veterinary prescription. If you would like to discuss the option of a veterinary prescription, speak to your vet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more questions pup parents often have about meloxicam. If you don’t see yours here, please ask us in our comments.

Can Dogs Take Meloxicam For Humans?

It’s really important to never give your dog (or any pet) medication that wasn’t prescribed for them without checking with your veterinarian first. Meloxicam for humans and meloxicam for dogs may contain the same active ingredient, but the formulation may make accurate dosing trickier.

Does Meloxicam For Dogs Need To Be Refrigerated?

No, meloxicam does not need to be kept in the refrigerator. However, you should keep it somewhere safe, out of the reach of children and animals, and away from extremes of temperature.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Meloxicam?

Meloxicam and other prescription medications are eligible for coverage through pet insurance policies, but there are restrictions. Generally, vet-prescribed medications are covered through insurance unless it’s for a pre-existing condition. However, some pet insurance companies require add-ons to your policy for prescription coverage. Learn more about the best companies in our pet insurance reviews and get a custom quote in the form below.

Choosing The Best Pain Relief Option

Meloxicam is a widely used anti-inflammatory pain relief medication. It has a range of uses from old dogs with stiff joints to young dogs who are recovering from a neutering procedure. While meloxicam is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation, it should always be used under veterinary instruction. If you think your dog might benefit from meloxicam, Rimadyl, or other pain medications for dogs, make an appointment to discuss it with your vet.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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