What Factors Affect Metacam® Dosage?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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Appropriate Metacam® dosage depends on several factors, including an animal’s weight, general level of health, and species. This potent anti-inflammatory medication can be used to manage conditions like arthritis and post-surgical pain in animals. It is approved for use in dogs, and may be given as an off-label remedy with cats in controlled circumstances. Cat owners should be aware that severe complications can be associated with extended Metacam® usage and it is not intended for use as a long-term pain management tool for felines.

This medication, known by the generic name of meloxicam, is sold under brand names like Mobic® for human use. Metacam® is a specifically veterinary formulation not intended for use in people. The drug comes in the form of an oral suspension pet owners can drop onto pet food or directly into a pet’s mouth, depending on which is easier. It is important for people to measure doses correctly, as it can be dangerous; some vets provide pre-filled oral syringes for safety and convenience.

In dogs, the basic Metacam® dosage is 0.2 milligrams per kilogram of weight. The drug comes in formulations of several strengths and it is important to use the right one. Dogs with liver and kidney impairments may need a halved dosage to protect their organs, or the veterinarian may recommend an alternative medication with less risks. It can be taken once to twice daily to control pain and inflammation and make the animal more comfortable.


Oral delivery of a Metacam® dosage allows for very rapid absorption through the mucous membranes of the mouth. The patient should experience an improvement in pain and stiffness shortly after taking the drug. Some pets experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea while on a Metacam® dosage. If these symptoms persist or become severe, it may be necessary to consider an alternative medication.

In cats, a specially formulated weaker dosage can be used. Cats are very sensitive to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, making it important for them to receive carefully calibrated doses to protect their livers. The original formulation of this drug was packaged in a squeezebottle that made accidental overdosing very easy; measured dosing in new formulations is possible, and allows for safe use of a Metacam® dosage in cats for short periods of time. If there are special concerns about liver and kidney health, as can be an issue in older cats, the veterinarian may recommend a blood panel to check for signs of organ dysfunction before providing the medication.


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