Light Labrador Retriever at the vet Dog Health 20.08.2023

Metacam for dogs - dosage, effect, side effect

Discover everything about Metacam for dogs.

Metacam contains the active ingredient meloxicam. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is often used in veterinary medicine for the treatment of acute inflammation, such as anal gland inflammation, of the musculoskeletal system, and as an analgesic.

What effect does it have?

In long-term medication, Metacam is mainly used for osteoarthritis. Permanent use of Metacam is possible.

Metacam reduces the number of hormones in the body that cause pain and reduces inflammation.

How is Metacam used?

Metacam is available in the form of a suspension, a chewable tablet, and a solution for injection.

Most commonly, Metacam is used in liquid form for oral administration. The dosage can be easily adjusted with the syringe provided. The syringe makes it easy to inject Metacam into the mouth. The medication is injected onto the base of the dog's tongue. If the dog refuses to take the medication, Metacam can also be mixed with the food or a treat. However, care must be taken to ensure that the full dose is ingested.

It is recommended that Metacam always be given at or within 10 minutes of eating. This will reduce the risk of gastric ulcers. Open Metacam bottles can be stored at room temperature and have a shelf life of 6 months after opening.

The correct dosage of Metacam for dogs.

No attempt should be made to determine the dosage of Metacam on its own. Depending on the breed, weight and diagnosis, the appropriate dosage will be determined by the veterinarian. Generally, treatment begins with a higher initial dose that is reduced over the following days.

After the higher initial dose, a maintenance dose of 0.1 mg meloxicam per kilogram of body weight is usually administered.

Administration is once daily, every 24 hours.

How long and how often may Metacam be administered?

The duration of treatment with Metacam depends on the clinical course. Improvement should be noted within 3 to 4 days.

If no improvement in symptoms is noted after 10 days, treatment should be discontinued.

Metacam can be used as a long-term medication. For longer periods of treatment, it is recommended that blood counts be monitored regularly. Care must be taken to ensure that the dog has enough fluids.

How quickly and how long does Metacam work in dogs?

Improvements should be observed three to four days after starting treatment.

Areas of application of Metacam for dogs

Metacam is used for chronic and acute musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. It is commonly used for osteoarthritis, injuries, strains, bruises, or joint inflammation. Librela may also help with osteoarthritis. Metacam is also used to treat pain after surgery.

What are the side effects of Metacam?

There are side effects that may occur with the use of Metacam, however, they are usually mild and subside after a few days.

However, if a serious reaction is observed, treatment should be discontinued immediately and the veterinarian contacted.

The most common side effects of Metacam include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • increased urination due to increased water intake
  • Black, tarry or bloody stools.

It is reported that most dogs do not show side effects for one to two weeks. After treatment with Metacam is discontinued, the side effects usually disappear.

No dog is known to have died solely as a result of treatment with Metacam. Dogs with known kidney or liver disease should not be treated with Metacam.

Meloxicam C14H13N3O4S2 molecule. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Structural chemical formula on a dark blue background. Vector illustration Depositphotos /

Where and how is Metacam for dogs available?

Metacam cannot be purchased without a prescription. It is a prescription veterinary drug and is dispensed by a veterinarian.

However, a prescription can be written and the drug can be ordered from an online pharmacy. Here, a price comparison can be useful.

Alternatives to Metacam

Rymadyl, Previcox, Onsior or Zubrin are often used as alternatives to Metacam.

For long-term treatment of osteoarthritis, there is the new drug Librela, which is considered better tolerated than Metacam.


Metacam for dogs is commonly used for acute and long-term treatment of pain and inflammation. Not only is the correct dosage critical to success, but also the method of administration. To prevent damage to the gastrointestinal tract from Metacam, care should be taken not to administer the medication on an empty stomach.

Important Note

It is important to emphasize that this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. We are not physicians or veterinarians. Any decision regarding the health and treatment of the pet should be made in consultation with a qualified veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the health of the pet, please consult a veterinarian.

Banner: Depositphotos / Syda_Productions
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