Meloxicam for Dogs | Alternatives for Rimadyl: Use, Dosage and Side Effects

Metacam® (meloxicam)

Brand name: Metacam – Generic name: meloxicam. See Brand names – Generic Names for more information on the difference between Brand names and generic names. 

Meloxicam for dogs is often prescribed as Rimadyl alternative however, Metacam (generic) belongs to the same class of medication and therefore has similar side effects to other NSAIDs.


Metacam (meloxicam) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), prescribed for dogs suffering with pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

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Metacam for dogs dosage and Administration

Meloxicam (metacam) should only be given according to your veterinarian’s instructions, regarding how much Metacam to give your dog, the safest option is to always use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual response.

For dogs, the recommended dose of Metacam should be administered initially as a single dose at 0.09 mg/lb (0.2 mg/kg) body weight on the first day of treatment.

All treatments after day one should be administered once daily at a dose of 0.045 mg/lb. body weight, either mixed with food or placed directly in the mouth.


Dogs with known hypersensitivity to meloxicam should not receive Metacam


The safe use of Metacam 5 mg/ml Solution for Injection has not been evaluated in:

  • Dogs younger than 6 months of age;
  • Dogs used for breeding, or in;
  • Pregnant or lactating bitches.

In addition to this, Meloxicam is not recommended for use in dogs with bleeding disorders, as safety has not been established in dogs with these disorders.

Safety has also not been established for intramuscular (IM) administration in dogs.

When administering Meta cam 5 mg/ml Solution for Injection, use a syringe of appropriate size to ensure precise dosing. Dogs that are dehydrated, on concomitant diuretic therapy, or those with existing kidney (renal), heart or blood vessels (cardiovascular), and/or liver (hepatic) dysfunction are at a greater risk for experiencing adverse events.

READ  What are the Rimadyl side effects in puppies?

For a complete description of Metacam visit the appropriate FDA page

Metacam for dogs Side Effects

The Meloxicam Package Insert for Dogs mentions Adverse Reactions instead of Side Effects, see Adverse Events and Side Effects on the difference between the two terms

Meloxicam (metacam) like other NSAIDs may cause unwanted side effects.

The most common side effects of Meloxicam involve digestive issues such as vomiting and decrease appetite.

Other possible side effects of Meloxicam include:

  • Change in bowel movements (black, tarry or bloody stools or diarrhea)
  • Change in behavior (increased or decrease activity level, incoordination, seizure, or aggression)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of gums, skin or whites of eyes)
  • Increase water consumption or urination changes (frequency, color, or smell)
  • Skin irritation (redness, scabs, or scratching)
  • Stomach ulcers may occur
  • Unexpected body weight loss
  • Behavioral changes (increased or decrease activity level, incoordination, It is important to stop the medication and immediately contact your veterinarian if you think your dog has any medical problems or side effects while taking Meloxicam.

Drug Interactions

Meloxicam cannot be administered in combination with other NSAIDs or corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, cortisone, dexamethasone or triamcinolone).

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose

Overdose of Meloxicam may cause

    • Loss of appetite
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Dark or tarry stool
    • Increase urination
    • Increased thirst
    • Pale gums
    • Jaundice
    • Lethargy
    • Fast or heavy breathing
    • Seizures
    • Behavioural changes

If you suspect or know you dog has had an overdose, it could be fatal so please contact your veterinarian, an emergency vet clinic, or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 immediately.

It is HIGHLY advisable to visit the appropriate FDA page for a complete description of this drug Metacam (meloxicam)

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