Meloxicam Drug Information for Dogs and Cats

By: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc | Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Llera, B.Sc., DVM | Published by: Healthcare for Pets | May 17, 2019

Meloxicam Drug Information Sheet for Dogs and Cats

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Quick Info:


  • Drug name: Meloxicam
  • Common name: Metacam, Rheumocam, Mobicox, Loxicom, generics
  • Drug type: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Used for: Pain and inflammation
  • Species: Dog + cat*
  • Formulation: Injection, tablet, oral liquid


Name – Active Ingredient:


  • Meloxicam


Name – Common Trade Names:


  • Metacam, Rheumocam, Mobicox, Loxicom, generics




  • Short- and long-term use in dogs
  • Single-dose only in cats*
  • *In the US meloxicam carries a black box warning: “WARNING Repeated use of meloxicam in cats has been associated with acute renal failure and death. Do not administer additional injectable or oral meloxicam to cats. See Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions for detailed information.”
  • In many countries, including Canada, meloxicam has been approved for chronic or repeated use at lower doses than in dogs. Use of meloxicam in the US in this fashion is considered extra-label drug use.


Major Indication:


  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
    • Painkiller, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (reduces fever)
  • Used after injury or surgery.
  • Can be used long-term to treat chronically painful conditions (e.g., osteoarthritis).


Common Contraindications and Warnings:


  • Should not be given to dehydrated animals, those with low blood pressure or if a clotting disorder is present.
  • Care is needed in older patients with pre-existing kidney disease, intestinal disease, heart disease or liver disease.
  • Safety has not been determined in puppies less than 6 months, or in pregnant and lactating dogs and in kittens less than 4 months of age.
  • Do not administer alongside any other NSAID or steroid (e.g. prednisone) and do not change NSAIDs until your pet has gone through a 7-day washout period of no meloxicam.


Potential Side Effects:


  • Most common are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and inappetence.
  • Rare side-effects include intestinal ulceration and perforation, liver or kidney failure, bleeding and fluid retention resulting in heart failure.
  • Animals which develop side-effects often tolerate a different NSAID.
  • There is little evidence to suggest one particular NSAID has a better safety profile than the others.


Administration Instructions/Handling:


  • Give with food.
  • Shake the liquid well before use. When dosing with drops, put the drops on the food, not directly into the mouth to prevent overdose.
  • Stop if vomiting or diarrhea develop or if your dog becomes unwell during treatment.
  • If a dose is missed, give straight away if within a couple hours of normal dosing time, otherwise restart when the next dose is due.




  • Tablets and liquid can be very palatable so it is important to keep well out of reach or your dog and children.


Speed of Action + Monitoring:


  • NSAIDs start working within a few hours. In chronic pain conditions, it can take several weeks for the full benefit to be seen.
  • For long-term use, intermittent blood testing is routinely recommended to monitor liver and kidney function in particular.
  • Pain levels should also be closely monitored to be certain no additional treatment is needed.




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Meloxicam Drug Information for Dogs and Cats
Article Name
Meloxicam Drug Information for Dogs and Cats
This resource provides drug information for dogs and cats taking meloxicam.
Publisher Name
Healthcare for Pets
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