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What Is Metacam for Dogs? Canine Pain Killer

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Author: Jacob Kay

Have you ever experienced a time when your dog’s distress restricted him from his routine activities like running, jumping and even those morning walks? Yes, pain and swelling related to the joints. Generally, senior dogs or dogs with any injuries suffer from joint ๐Ÿฆต conditions.

what is metacam for dogs

Well, there is a solution for your dog ๐Ÿถ to get relief from the pain. In such cases, vets ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ prescribe Metacam for dogs. But, what is metacam for dogs? How does it work to relieve the pain of the dog? Let us explore what metacam is and how it works. So be ready, if your dog is suffering from joint pain, he will be jumping and playing in just a few days!

What Is Metacam for Dogs?

Metacam is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can reduce pain, inflammation and fever ๐Ÿค’ in dogs. It is available in oral ๐Ÿ’Š suspension in the form of liquid syrup and chewable tablets and injectable ๐Ÿ’‰ form. It is indicated for the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats. Metacam is also used to treat pain associated with surgery.

Metacam is palliative, not curative. Depending on the severity of each case, your dog may need Metacam for just a few weeks, or they may need to take it for the rest of their life. One of the advantages of Metacam is that it works quickly to alleviate your dog’s pain. Yet, like any medication, there are dosage guidelines ๐Ÿ“‘ and potential side effects that pet owners should be aware of.

How Does Metacam Work?

Metacam is a medication that contains an active ingredient called meloxicam. It is used to relieve inflammation and pain in dogs ๐Ÿถ by inhibiting the production of the hormone cyclooxygenase (COX), which is responsible for producing chemicals known as prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation.[1] Thus, by stopping this chemical ๐Ÿงช process, Metacam helps your dog to feel better.

metacam for dogs

One of the great benefits of Metacam is how quickly it begins to work for your dog. This is one of the many advantages of using this NSAID over others. However, as with any medication ๐Ÿฉบ, there are dosage guidelines and side effects that pet owners should be aware of.

Administration of Metacam is easy to do from home. You can provide this liquid orally to your dog at home using a syringe ๐Ÿ’‰. Your veterinarian will determine the correct dosage ๐Ÿ’Š and the best form of administration of the medication for your unique dog.

Side Effects of Metacam for Dogs

Gastrointestinal upset is the most common side effect in dogs after using Metacam. The symptoms include vomiting, soft stools and lack of appetite. There rarely occur any serious effects on dogs ๐Ÿถ. If you notice yellowing of the skin, especially on the inside of ear flaps, you should stop giving the medication and immediately contact your veterinarian ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ.

Some side effects of Metacam are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Change in urination (frequency, colour or smell)
  • Increased thirst
  • Pale gum colour
  • Seizures
  • Skin redness, scabs or scratching
  • Yellowing of the gums, skin or whites of the eyes
  • Decreased energy level
  • Lack of coordination or weakness

Dosage of Metacam for Dogs

Metacam is a prescription medication that requires a veterinarianโ€™s approval and supervision. The dosage of Metacam for dogs ๐Ÿถ depends on several factors, such as the dogโ€™s weight, condition and response to the medication ๐Ÿฉบ.

The typical dosage for Metacam is 0.09-0.1 mg per pound of body weight on the first day. As long as your dog shows no allergic reaction or adverse effects from this first dose ๐Ÿ’Š, they can proceed to a daily maintenance dose of 0.045-0.05 mg per pound of body weight.

dosage of metacam

Metacam can be given as a liquid solution or as chewable tablets. You should always follow your vetโ€™s ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ instructions and the label directions when giving Metacam to your dog. Do not exceed the recommended dose or duration of treatment ๐Ÿฉบ, as this can increase the risk of side effects and complications.

Other Drug Interaction

If your dog is already taking any medication then your vet should be aware of that. Metacam may have adverse effects on dogs ๐Ÿถ if it reacts with some other drug ๐Ÿ’Š. You should never mix Metacam with other NSAIDs.

Some drugs that you shouldn’t mix with Metacam:

  • Diuretics (furosemide)
  • Antibiotics (amikacin, gentamicin)
  • Antifungal medication (fluconazole)
  • Anticoagulants (heparin, warfarin)
  • Anaesthetics 
  • Other NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids (prednisolone, prednisone)
  • Immunosuppressive drugs (cyclosporine, methotrexate)

At last, be sure to tell your veterinarian ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ about any medications, including vitamins, supplements, or herbal โ˜˜ therapies that your pet is taking.


  1. Is Metacam safe for dogs?

    Metacam is generally safe for dogs when prescribed by a veterinarian and used as directed. However, like any medication, Metacam can also have some potential side effects and risks, such as gastrointestinal problems, kidney damage, liver toxicity, and bleeding disorders.

  2. Why do vets give dogs Metacam?

    In dogs, Metacam is used to reduce post-operative pain and inflammation following orthopaedic (e.g. fracture operation) and soft tissue surgery. Moreover, it is used to alleviate inflammation and pain in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders in dogs.

  3. What happens if I give my dog too much Metacam?

    Metacam is very good for post-operative pain and inflammation but even a dose slightly above the recommended dose can be a problem for some dogs, and one three times normal could lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding as well as kidney failure.

  4. What is a good alternative to Metacam?

    Some of the alternatives to Metacam for pain relief are Glucosamine, fish oil, yucca and arnica. Apart from this, there are some natural remedies which work as painkillers. Herbal remedies like ginger, turmeric, boswellia and devil’s claw and holistic therapies like hot and cold therapy and acupuncture are other options for your pet than just NSAIDs.

Final Thought

So, what is metacam for dogs? Well, you already got your answer! Now it’s time for your dog to recover, play fetch ๐Ÿฅ and tug-of-war and enjoy the walks ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ with you accompanied. But, make sure you give the right amount of dosage to your Fido as prescribed by your vet.

In conclusion, Metacam is a medication that can help relieve pain and inflammation in dogs ๐Ÿค’ with arthritis or other joint problems. However, Metacam is not without risks and side effects and thus, it should be used responsibly and carefully. By doing so, you can ensure the safety and effectiveness of Metacam for your dog. ๐Ÿ’Š๐Ÿถ


  1. Pereira, M. T., Gram, A., Nowaczyk, R., Boos, A., Hoffmann, B., Janowski, T., & Kowalewski, M. P. (2019). Prostaglandin-mediated effects in early canine corpus luteum. Reproductive Biology. ScienceDirect.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. Heโ€™s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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