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Use of Metacam for Arthritis in Dogs
As dogs age, they become more prone to certain health problems including arthritis. Fortunately, there are currently medications specially designed to deal with this problem, the most popular of which is Metacam.
What is Metacam (Meloxicam)?
Metacam is an anti-inflammatory drug that doesn’t contain any steroids and specifically prescribed for dogs. The product treats pain and inflammation, managing to address the symptoms of arthritis although not completely curing the problem. Metacam is available in three different types: oral, injection, and tablet.
Approved by FDA, Metacam is currently one of the most effective medications for dog arthritis not to mention the one with the least side effects. The drug is also very easy to obtain and may be administered at home, subject to strict dosage guidelines.
Metacam Side Effects in Dogs
Observing your dog for the next 24 hours after medication is crucial if you want to find out any side effects resulting from metacam. In most cases, the drug doesn’t cause any problems in dogs although there are instances when behavioral changes become evident. Nausea, dizziness, constipation, lack of energy, weakness, and dry mouth are some of the most common side effects. If you happen to notice any irregularities with the stool, swelling, vomiting, weight gain, tenderness, and yellowing of the eyes – these are serious issues that must be dealt with immediately. Bring your dog to the veterinarian as soon as any of the serious symptoms appear or if any irregularities occur.
Metacam Injection vs Oral vs Tablet
Metacam may be administered through 3 methods, depending on the one you consider most ideal. The pros and cons of the different types are as follows:
Injections are actually offered as an initial does and not as a continuous one. A dog suffering from arthritis is injected with the medication, following a ratio of 0.09mg per pound. After this, the oral suspension is used for daily dosage.
This is perhaps the most popular method of introduction metacam in your dog’s system. Oral suspensions are often given through the food, placing just a few drops in their meal to (1) dilute the medication and (2) make sure that the dog consumes the drug.
Make sure that the bottle is shaken well before using. Dosage depends on the weight of the dog. Your veterinarian should provide clear cut instructions on how much metacam to give. Dosage instructions for 1.5mg/mL strength are:
• Less than 5 pounds – dropper must be used for measurement, providing the pooch with one drop per pound of body weight.
• Between 5 and 10 pounds – syringe must be used for measurement only, 0.05mg per pound. Round down dog’s weight to the nearest 1 pound increment
• More than 10 pounds – use the syringe for measurement and administer one drop per pound of body weight. The weight of the dog must be rounded down to the nearest 5 pound increment.
If your dog has no objection to swallowing tablets, this might be a better and effective way of introducing metacam in their system. Note though that tablets come in two forms: 1.0mg and 2.5mg. Daily oral administration is recommended at 0.1mg per kilogram of body weight, which means that your dog has to be 10 kilograms for tablets to be considered safe. Initial dose however is still limited to either injection or oral suspension with tablets given as daily maintenance. There should be positive results after 4 days and if none becomes evident, switching to a different medication might be best. Consult your doctor for this.
Precautions of Metacam for Dogs
It stands to reason that dogs who are under 6 years of age, pregnant, or lactating should not be given this product. Although arthritis is often a problem of older dogs, there are instances when younger canines have joint and inflammation problems. Understand that cats are NOT the same with dogs when it comes to arthritis. Providing your cat with metacam will actually cause problems in their health. A different medication is often reserved for feline use.
Arthritis in Dogs
Dog arthritis is fairly common as the dog enters his senior years, typically between 7 to 10 years of age. Watch out for any of the following symptoms to determine if your dog suffers from the condition:
• Walks stiffly
• Favors specific limbs
• Has a hard time bending or getting up from a sprawled position
• Joints are stiff and swollen
• Displays discomfort when touched in specific areas
A visit to the veterinarian will confirm whether your pooch suffers from arthritis or not. From there, dog pain medication will be prescribed by the vet, typically citing Metacam for the problem.