Have you heard of NSAIDs before? If so, then you definitely already know that the acronym stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If you're unfamiliar with NSAIDs, you might be scratching your head and wondering what in the world they are, and we don't blame you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. The Many Types of NSAIDs: What Are They and How Are They Different?
2. Meloxicam Sounds Like Metacam, So Which One is it?
3. Back to the Specifics: What Is Meloxicam Used For?
4. The Doses of Meloxicam: How Much Should You Give to Your Dog?
5. The Side Effects of Meloxicam for Canines
6. Alternative Methods of Treating Dogs Without Meloxicam
7. CBD Oil: Where to Buy CBD for Your Dog
Without any context, the term NSAIDs doesn't make any sense, so let us catch you up to speed on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In this blog post, in particular, we're going to focus on NSAIDs and how they are used for dogs. More specifically, we're going to dive into grave details about medication by the name of Meloxicam, which is -- you guessed it -- an NSAID!
The Many Types of NSAIDs: What Are They and How Are They Different?
Before we zero in and focus solely on Meloxicam, let’s discuss non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and their many different characteristics. Now, if your dog has ever experienced inflammation as a side effect of arthritis, then NSAIDs might ring a bell for you. See, veterinarians often jump to prescribing NSAIDs as their first approach to arthritis. And honestly, it makes sense.
Even the name, in and of itself, makes you think of arthritis. As an anti-inflammatory medication, an NSAID will reduce and soothe the symptoms of inflamed joints, knuckles, and bones in the body of your dogs. They are quite literally designed to reduce the effects of inflammation, for which arthritis is notorious. As a go-to prescription for veterinarians looking to treat inflammation in dogs, NSAIDs are extremely popular.
That’s amazing. It’s great that vets know about NSAIDs on a global level. But as with everything in life, you should always do your research instead of taking someone else’s word at face value, even if they are backed by a medical degree. So, in an effort to keep you up-to-date on NSAIDs, let’s talk about how they work.
Essentially, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used as a way to prevent your dog’s enzyme systems from producing prostaglandins. This intense word refers to a certain kind of fatty acid that systems are attempting to create within your dog’s body. Lipids are not necessarily bad at all, but the problem with prostaglandins is that they are the reason your dog whimpers and howls in pain.
They are a consequence of inflammation, thereby responsible for the response that tells your dog he or she is experiencing discomfort. NSAIDs get in the way of the production of prostaglandins, and therefore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs inhibits the initiation of the pain response. Even though the inflammation still persists, your dog cannot feel its inflamed joints, and subsequently, your little canine cutie does not experience pain.
This sounds absolutely incredible, and it is! No one wants to witness their furry friend -- whether it be a small overly-energetic puppy or a slow-moving elderly dog -- suffer from inflammation, particularly because it feels like it is very little we can do, as owners, to lessen the misery.
Meloxicam Sounds Like Metacam, So Which One is it?
When it comes to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs, you will notice a similar trend that surfaces with all other prescription medications. As with all other drugs on the market, there are official brand names of medications, but there are also generic versions of the same drug. Regarding this NSAID in particular, Meloxicam is actually the generic name for something called Metacam.
They both function in the exact same ways, with the only main difference being that one is a brand name, and one is considered a generic version. If you are looking to spend less money on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for your little puppy, we highly recommend that you go the route of Meloxicam.
The decision is entirely yours, but why spend more on something that works just as well as its less expensive counterpart? All we're saying is that it's seemingly silly to overspend when you don't have to do so. The money you save by selecting Meloxicam over Metacam could be spent on doggy toys and special birthday treats for your little buddy anyway!
Back to the Specifics: What Is Meloxicam Used For?
Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory medication. As we lightly touched on earlier, Meloxicam -- along with every other NSAID out there -- is most commonly prescribed for dogs that are experiencing symptoms of arthritis and its many forms. Arthritis is a seriously uncomfortable condition that makes moving around far more painful than it ever should be.
With a body plagued by the effects of arthritis, mobility becomes quite the challenge. Joints become stiff, motions end up being unsteady, and physical movement sounds far worse than staying still all day. Unfortunately, a dog's age, they get closer to the possible onset of arthritis.
While arthritis is only truly avoidable if your doggy is extremely lucky, there is a high probability that a dog approaching its older stages in life will experience symptoms of arthritis. But not to fear, for that is exactly why NSAIDs, like Meloxicam, exist!
Many people continue to wonder if Meloxicam is acceptable for use with dogs. The answer is a definite yes! Meloxicam is an NSAID designed, intended, and tailored for dogs in particular. You have no reason to distrust Meloxicam.
The Doses of Meloxicam: How Much Should You Give to Your Dog?
As with all medications, getting the right dosage can be tricky. Humans and animals alike must adhere to the appropriate dose of medication. When dogs receive prescriptions for Meloxicam, the veterinarian has specifically tailored a certain amount of medicine for your dog's daily needs.
That said, it is absolutely essential that you stick to the dosage that your dog's vet recommends. Taking too little of a dosage will render the medication ineffective whereas consuming more than is prescribed creates many dangerous medical problems. Adhere to the dosage as decided upon by your fluffy friend's vet.
The dosage that your dog will be prescribed is usually dependent upon the little guy or gal's weight. When it comes time to figure out how much Meloxicam to prescribe for your dog, veterinarians typically follow one major rule: for every pound, your dog needs roughly 0.1 milligrams of Meloxicam.
So, for example, let's say you own an Australian Shepherd that weighs in at seventy-five pounds. Following the basic rule that vets use, we would calculate the seventy-five pounds by 0.1 milligrams. In doing so, we end up with a value of 7.5 milligrams. So, your cutie of a canine will most likely be instructed to swallow 7.5 milligrams of Meloxicam per day.
This dosage works out beautifully because Meloxicam comes in tablets of 7.5 milligrams, as well as 15 milligrams. The larger tablets are intended for use by larger dogs, though. Otherwise, you would spend your time breaking tablets into even halves!
Since pills are not always the easiest way by which to administer medication to dogs, a liquid form of Meloxicam also exists. Think of it as the difference between cold medicine for children and cold medication for adults. It's much the same, except you can use the liquid form of Meloxicam for older dogs, too. In fact, it is probably an easier route to take with many aging and geriatric dogs.
The non-pill version of Meloxicam comes as a liquid in a bottle. This way of administering Meloxicam to dogs in pain is also highly effective when it comes to avoiding possible overdoses of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Giving your dog an entire 7.5-milligram pill when they should only receive half of one is incredibly dangerous.
If you don’t break up the pills ahead of time, it may slip your mind and you’ll end up administering twice the dosage than is necessary. However, with the liquid, the medicine is less potent. On top of that, you'll. have to pay particular attention to what you are doing, thus being more cautious and aware.
The Side Effects of Meloxicam for Canines
Along with Meloxicam -- or, rather, Metacam -- are three other very common NSAIDs that vets prescribe on the regular.These well-known brand names of NSAIDs are…
As with many other brands of NSAIDs, Meloxicam is said to provide a plethora of benefits to dogs who are suffering from inflammation-related pain. The companies looking to market and distribute NSAIDs aren’t wrong for their praise of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, either.
The one thing we will say is that NSAIDs come with many downsides as well. It is important to be well-informed before making a final decision, so we have included a few of the negative side effects of NSAIDs like Meloxicam for your dog. Keep in mind that all drugs can potentially cause adverse side effects, seeing as this is the nature of prescription medications as a whole.
First and foremost, it is imperative that you are aware Meloxicam is a blood-thinning medication. For example, if your pup has an invasive surgery coming up, or if something suddenly arises that requires medical attention of this nature, then you must inform your dog’s surgeon of the NSAID in your canine’s system.
See, when blood is thinned by medication, blood has a seriously difficult time forming clots. This is scary in the most intense cases because the inability to clot can be life-threatening, especially in surgeries. If blood doesn’t clot, then it will not stop flowing and eventually, your dog will suffer from severe blood loss. While this is an incredibly uncommon outcome of taking NSAIDs like Meloxicam, you should be aware that it is still a possibility.
Some of the other detrimental side effects of NSAIDs for dogs experiencing inflammatory pain are…
- Vomiting for days on end
- Irregular bowel movements and diarrhea
- Bloody stools all of a sudden
- An odor stemming from urination
- Little to no appetite at all
- Overly thirsty
- Slower movements
- Barely any coordination between mind and body
- Noticeable disinterest in things your pup usually loves
- Seizures that come out of thin air
- Extreme lethargy and propensity to lay down instead of play
- Higher levels of stomach acid
- Breakdown of the inner lining of the stomach
- Unexplainable weight loss, seemingly overnight
- Rashes and excessive scratches under the fur
- Ulcers in and around the gastrointestinal system
- Dysfunctional liver and possible jaundice
- Intestinal bleeding
- Aggressive behavior even when unprovoked
- Inability to tolerate other brands of NSAIDs
The laundry list of undesirable side effects of Meloxicam is pretty lengthy. These are all just possible outcomes of the NSAID, and not -- by any means -- definitive results. However, if you are not comfortable exposing your canine kiddo to these daunting possibilities, we can’t say that we blame you.
It can be scary to take a risk at the expense of your dog’s wellbeing. We understand completely. After all, your dog is your companion and he or she has your heart. Of course, you want to keep them as safe and healthy as possible! Sometimes, that even includes something as brave as turning down a prescription medication in search of something that poses little to no risks.
But where do you go from here? If you have decided that prescription drugs are not a viable solution to your dog’s unfortunate health problem, you might be wondering where to turn now. Well, look no further! We have you covered. Meloxicam is not the only solution for dogs experiencing pain and owners in search of relief for their doggos. In fact, not only is there another solution, but this one is also entirely natural, and even good for the overall well being of your pup. Drum roll, please…
Alternative Methods of Treating Dogs Without Meloxicam
Let’s talk about CBD oil. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a substance that many people associate with weed. While this is not entirely far from the truth, we thought we’d clear up any confusion. Long story short, CBD, and marijuana are very different substances.
The main distinguishing factor between the two is that one produces psychoactive feelings for your dog and the other does nothing but calm and soothe their persistent pain. Can you guess which is which? If you said that CBD is the soothing agent and weed is the high-inducing one, then you are absolutely correct.
Marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant, extracted intentionally to cause the feelings associated with being high, and distributed under the guise of containing a psychoactive ingredient. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for the mind- and body-altering responses any and everyone has when they ingest marijuana, no matter the form.
CBD, on the other hand, is the primary component of CBD oils. While CBD is sometimes extracted from cannabis plants, the more common route is to extract CBD oils from hemp plants. From there, the CBD is diluted with hemp oils. in order to reduce its potency and make it viable for consumption or external application - whichever you prefer.
We don’t want to mislead you, so it is important that we mention CBD oils sometimes contain very trace levels of THC. It is possible to seek out CBD oils that are void of any and all amounts of THC, though we want you to know that such small levels of THC in CBD oils are extremely harmless. With such a minimal amount of THC, the CBD oils are incapable of producing the effects of THC for your dog. There simply is not. enough THC to make any difference whatsoever.
The most interesting fact about CBD oils for dogs in pain is that there are no psychoactive effects of CBD. Instead, CBD provides all the relaxing, soothing, and calming effects that a person may feel as a result of weed, just without any changes in perception or brain functioning. Your dog cannot get high from CBD oil.
Beyond that, CBD has shown to deliver numerous health benefits for dogs. If you are concerned about the many possible side effects stemming from Meloxicam usage, then you should consider going the route of CBD oil. Not only will you feel less anxiety about the potential for adverse reactions, but your dog will have a calmer experience...literally!
CBD Oil: Where to Buy CBD for Your Dog
Natural remedies are all the rage lately, and this is something we fully support. If you are looking to purchase a safe, all-natural remedy to soothe your dog’s physical pain, then Innovet has an inventory you’ll absolutely love.
Towards the end of the article, we zeroed-in on pure CBD oil intended for pets. From there, we talked about the beneficial properties of CBD and how it manages to soothe pain without altering your pet’s brain functionality. But we have more than CBD oil. In fact, at Innovet, our wide selection of CBD-based products might just wow you...and your pup will probably be jumping off the walls for CBD Oil and CBD Treats!
From hemp-based dog treats to other CBD-based products, we cater to pet owners across the board. Whether you prefer CBD or strictly hemp for your dog is up to you. We even have capsules that contain both hemp and CBD, Believe it or not, we love your dog and all we dream about is the day your puppy gets to live life without physical pain getting in the way of daily activities. We design our products with your dog in mind and make our products easily available for those wanting to buy CBD online, so go ahead and give us a try today!
Dr. Sara Ochoa
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, St. Georges University
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school, she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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