No pet owner likes to see their canine friends suffer from pain, for any reason. It doesn’t matter where the pain is coming from, pain is pain, right? And pain is miserable. Some dogs suffer from pain that may be related to cancer and cancer treatments, and some dogs suffer from chronic pain such as the pain that comes from arthritis.
Some dogs experience short-term pain related to an injury and sometimes dogs need pain management medications after a necessary surgery. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to pain, Meloxicam can help.
What is Meloxicam for Dogs?
Meloxicam is an NSAID, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for dogs that is used to help reduce inflammation, pain, and the associated stiffness that is related to disorders of the musculoskeletal system (such as osteoarthritis in dogs).
It is a prescription drug, it is not available over-the-counter, and it is sold by the pill. Meloxicam is FDA approved for use in dogs and is used to treat a myriad of health conditions that cause pain and inflammation.
Meloxicam can also be used to reduce a dog’s fever. Usage however, should always be closely monitored as it can be dangerous in doses that are too high, and dogs need to stay well-hydrated when using Meloxicam.
Benefits of Meloxicam for Dogs
Some of the benefits of Meloxicam for dogs includes being sold as tablets that are easy to give to your dog by mouth, as well as being available in liquid or injection form for dogs that have a hard time taking tablets. It is effective at reducing inflammation, pain, and stiffness that is often associated with various health conditions, and it is sold by the tablet, so you only pay for what you truly need.
How Does Meloxicam for Dogs Work?
Meloxicam works by inhibiting the chemicals and hormones that cause inflammation and pain in dogs. These chemicals are called prostaglandins. Meloxicam also works by inhibiting phospholipase A-2 and COX-2, which are some of the agents responsible for pain and inflammation in dogs.
Meloxicam reduces irritation and provides pain relief for dogs without the need for steroid medications. There is also a version of Meloxicam that is used in humans, called Mobic, but Mobic should never be given to a dog in lieu of Meloxicam, as the two versions of the drug are not interchangeable.
Dosages of Meloxicam for Dogs
The dosage of Meloxicam for dogs is determined by your dog’s weight. A typical dose is .09 to 0.1 mg per pound on the first day, and then .045 to 0.05 mg per pound thereafter, given to your dog once daily.
Meloxicam is an oral medication typically prescribed as 7.5 mg tablets. Though Meloxicam can be given to a dog on an empty stomach, they should still be given plenty of water, and food may be helpful.
If you have trouble giving your dog the tablets, you can ask your vet about a liquid form of Meloxicam that you can add to your dog’s food instead. The goal is to give your dog the lowest dose you can while still being effective at relieving their pain.
So, it may take some tweaking to get your dog’s dose just right. Another option for administering Meloxicam is by injection, but you need to talk to your vet about the injections and you will have to have them demonstrate to you how give them to your pet. If you are leery of needles, it may not be the best option.
It’s also important to make sure you follow your vet’s advice on dosage to the letter, because giving your dog too much Meloxicam can result in some pretty serious side effects. Note that if you miss a dose, you can make up the dose, but you need to do it as soon as possible.
However, if the next dose is due soon, just skip the one that you missed, and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Never give your dog a double dose of Meloxicam.
Side Effects of Meloxicam for Dogs
Meloxicam has side effects similar to any other NSAID medication, such as Naproxen, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen for dogs. This means that your dog can suffer from severe gastrointestinal upset if they are given too high of a dose. If you notice that the side effects from Meloxicam usage seem to be getting worse, or if they are very severe right out of the gate, talk to your vet so that they can try to adjust the dosage and find a level of pain relief that works for your dog.
Some of the most common side effects of Meloxicam for dogs includes:
- Black or bloody stools
- Blood that is visible in your dog’s vomit
- Stomach ulcers
- Abdominal pain and tenderness to the touch
- An increase thirst as well as urination
- Possible swelling or weight gain due to fluid retention
- Stools that look like tar
- Muscle weakness
- Jaundice (your dog’s eyes, gums, and skin appear yellow)
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Skin irritation such as redness, scratching, and scabs
- Even a loss of kidney function
You dog can also experience behavior changes such as: