Meloxicam for Dogs: Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation in dogs. It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, hormones that cause inflammation in the body.
Meloxicam can be very effective at relieving pain and improving mobility for arthritic dogs. However, like all drugs, it needs to be used properly and under guidance from your vet. When used responsibly, meloxicam can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life.
The Benefits of Meloxicam For Dogs
Meloxicam can provide your dog with some great benefits when used properly under veterinary guidance.
- It’s an anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce pain, swelling and stiffness from arthritis or injuries. This can make it easier for old or injured dogs to move around, exercise and play.
- Meloxicam only needs to be given once a day with food, so it’s convenient to administer. The effects also last for 24 hours, so your dog gets continual comfort and relief from pain.
- Unlike steroids, meloxicam does not cause the negative side effects associated with long term steroid use like liver damage or increased thirst and urination. It’s a safer anti-inflammatory option.
- Meloxicam comes in liquid or chewable tablet form, so you can choose an option your dog will readily take. The dosage is based on your dog’s weight to provide the right amount of relief.
While meloxicam can cause side effects in some dogs like vomiting or diarrhea, when used properly under vet guidance, the benefits often far outweigh the risks for most dogs. Providing your aging or injured companion with pain relief and improved mobility can significantly improve their quality of life and allow them to stay active and happy. If your dog is having trouble moving comfortably, ask your vet if meloxicam may help give them back some spring in their step.
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Proper Dosage And Administration of Meloxicam
The typical dosage of meloxicam for dogs is 0.1 to 0.2 mg per pound (0.2 to 0.45 mg/kg) once a day. For example, a 50-pound dog would receive 5 to 10 mg total per day. It’s best given with food to avoid stomach upset. Never double up on doses if you miss one.
How to Properly Administer Meloxicam
- Only give meloxicam to the dog it was prescribed for. Do not share it with other pets.
- Follow the dosage instructions from your vet exactly. Do not increase or decrease the amount without consulting your vet first.
- Measure out the proper dosage using the syringe or dropper provided. Do not use any other syringe, as it may be difficult to measure the correct amount.
- Place the meloxicam directly into your dog’s mouth or hide it in a small amount of wet or canned dog food. Make sure your dog eats the entire amount to get the full dose.
- Give meloxicam at the same time every day to maintain consistent levels in the bloodstream. For the best results, set an alarm or reminder.
- Do not stop giving meloxicam abruptly unless directed by your vet. A gradual decrease in dosage may be needed to avoid adverse effects.
- See your vet regularly while your dog is on meloxicam. Blood tests and physical exams may be needed to monitor your dog’s response to the medication and check for side effects.
Always follow your vet’s instructions carefully and contact them right away if you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog. By properly administering meloxicam and closely monitoring your dog, this medication can be a safe and effective treatment to relieve pain and improve your dog’s quality of life. But the key is getting the dosage and administration just right.
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Potential Side Effects of Meloxicam in Dogs
Meloxicam, like any medication, may cause some side effects in dogs. The good news is that meloxicam is generally well tolerated in most dogs, but it’s still important to be aware of potential side effects.
Meloxicam can irritate the stomach lining in some dogs. You may notice your dog vomiting, having diarrhea, or a decreased appetite. These effects are usually mild, but contact your vet right away if your dog shows signs of gastrointestinal bleeding like dark, tar-colored stools. To reduce stomach upset, always give meloxicam with food.
Liver or Kidney Damage
Long term or high dose use of meloxicam could potentially cause damage to the liver or kidneys in some dogs. Your vet will likely do blood tests to check your dog’s liver and kidney values before starting meloxicam and periodically during treatment. Call your vet immediately if your dog shows symptoms like increased drinking/urinating, jaundice (yellowing of the gums or eyes), or weakness.
Some dogs may experience behavioral changes when taking meloxicam, becoming overly sedated or irritable. These effects are not very common, but let your vet know right away if you notice any significant changes in your dog’s behavior or energy level. They may need to adjust or discontinue the medication.
To be safe, follow the dosage instructions from your vet carefully and never give a double dose of meloxicam. Also, don’t give any other NSAIDs (like aspirin or ibuprofen) with meloxicam unless directed by your vet. By closely following your vet’s recommendations and watching your dog for any concerning side effects, the benefits of meloxicam can outweigh the risks for most dogs. But if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.