Meloxicam for Dogs: Is It Safe?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
As your dog ages, what can you do about joint problems? What about Meloxicam for dogs – can you give it to your arthritic canine?

As your dog gets older, he is going to slow down and he may develop joint problems. Arthritis and other joint problems are fairly common in dogs and they cause similar side effects including pain and inflammation. If your pooch is suffering from osteoarthritis and you’re looking for a way to ease his pain, meloxicam for dogs might be a good option. Keep reading to learn more about this drug.

How Does Meloxicam Work?

Meloxicam belongs to a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and it is used to relieve pain and inflammation. This drug is specifically designed for treating musculoskeletal problems in dogs such as osteoarthritis and it is available over-the-counter. Meloxicam is approved by the FDA for use in dogs to treat a variety of conditions that cause pain and inflammation – it can also be used as a fever reducer. Even though it is recognized as safe for approved uses, however, it still comes with a risk of side effects and you need to follow dosing instructions carefully.

Related: All About Joint Supplements For Dogs

What is the Proper Dosage?

This drug comes in the form of a tablet which makes it easy to administer – it also makes it easy to ensure that your dog gets the proper dosage. There is also an oral suspension that can be administered by syringe and it can be used in your dog’s food. Meloxicam works by inhibiting the activity of certain hormones and chemicals in the body that cause pain and inflammation. Additionally, Meloxicam inhibits certain enzymes such as phospholipase A-2 and COX-2.

When it comes to the proper dosage for Meloxicam in dogs, you should always give the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the right dose for your dog according to his size and condition, but treatment usually begins at 0.09mg/lbs. of bodyweight, at least for the first day. After one day of treatment, you should reduce the daily dosage to 0.045 mg/lbs. of bodyweight.

Related: Top 10 Things to Know About Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Are There Any Side Effects?

It is important to know that Meloxicam is approved by the FDA for use in dogs but there is a human version called Mobic. You should never use Mobic for a dog because the drugs are not interchangeable and it could be very dangerous. Even with proper dosage, however, there is the potential for side effects when giving Meloxicam for dogs. Here are some of the potential side effects:

  • Change in bowel movements
  • Changes in behavior
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
  • Increase in water consumption
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Skin irritation, scratching
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Unexplained weight loss

If your dog experiences any of these side effects, it is important that you stop treatment and consult your veterinarian. You should also be on the lookout for signs of toxicity or overdose. These symptoms may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, pale gums, lethargy, heavy breathing, loss of coordination, seizures, and dark or tarry stools.

While you may not be able to complete get rid of your dog’s arthritis, you can help mitigate his pain by treating him with NSAID pain relievers like Meloxicam. Just be sure to follow your vet’s dosing instructions carefully to keep your dog safe.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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