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What is Meloxicam Poisoning?

Meloxicam for dogs is known by the brand name Metacam. This NSAID is a veterinary approved treatment for pain and inflammation in dogs. It is often prescribed for osteoarthritis and other conditions that cause short or long term pain. In the recommended dose, the drug has few side effects, and will likely help make your dog with pain.   However, high doses of meloxicam can cause kidney failure and stomach ulcerations, so it is important to only give your dog the prescribed amount and avoid overdose. In dogs, it is given either orally or via injection. The initial dose is usually .2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, followed by a daily .1 mg per kg dose. In clinical trials, dogs were able to take this .1 mg per kg dose safely for 26 weeks with no adverse side-effects; however with higher doses of .3-.5 mg per kg signs of toxicity developed. 

Meloxicam poisoning is typical of other NSAID’s with vomiting and diarrhea being the most common adverse reactions. Vomit and stool may contain signs of blood from gastrointestinal ulceration. GI signs are often combined with signs of kidney failure such as increased thirst and urination. Dogs will lose their appetite and may seem generally weak and depressed. Overdose can cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding, seizures, and fatal kidney failure.

Meloxicam is an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain and inflammation in both humans and dogs. It is safe to give to dogs in the prescribed amount, but care should be taken to avoid overdose. Meloxicam overdose can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

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Meloxicam Poisoning Average Cost

From 54 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$750

Symptoms of Meloxicam Poisoning in Dogs

These are the signs you may see in a dog with meloxicam toxicity. Contact a veterinarian immediately if overdose is suspected.

  • Vomiting (with or without blood)
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Black tarry stools (melena)
  • Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
  • Frequent urination (polyuria)
  • Lethargy
  • General malaise
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
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    Causes of Meloxicam Poisoning in Dogs

    These are the most common causes and risk factors for meloxicam toxicity in dogs.

    • Giving your dog meloxicam doses more frequently than was prescribed
    • Accidental overdose (container was left open, dog chewed through the bottle)
    • Giving a dog medication intended for humans

     

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    Diagnosis of Meloxicam Poisoning in Dogs

    The veterinarian will diagnose meloxicam poisoning in your dog based on signs, a history of meloxicam use, and blood tests or urinalysis. Diarrhea, vomiting, and bloody stools while your dog is on a meloxicam prescription may suggest the dose is too high, or your dog is not tolerating the medication well. Depending on the severity, lab work will show increase BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and other changes indicative of kidney failure.

    Bring the prescription along so the veterinarian can see the exact dosage and let the veterinarian know if there is any chance your dog accidently overdosed or was given extra. Any other medications your dog is taking are also relevant since meloxicam poisoning can be complicated by adverse reactions to other drugs. The veterinarian will also need to know if your dog had any access to human medication. It’s a good idea to bring a list of the drugs you or other members of the household are taking, especially if you didn’t see the incident and are unsure what is causing your dog’s signs.

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    Treatment of Meloxicam Poisoning in Dogs

    If your dog is showing signs of toxicity with prescription meloxicam discontinuing the dose may be sufficient, depending on the severity of the signs. For significant overdose other treatment will be necessary.

    Vomiting may be induced a few hours after exposure and activated charcoal may be given to reduce absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This dose may be repeated in 6-8 hours to avoid recirculation from the liver. Cathartic medication can help induce bowel movements and excrete the toxins faster.

    Various medications may be given to treat gastrointestinal ulcers including H2-receptor antagonists like ranitidine and famotidine, or a proton pump inhibitor like Omeprazole. Sucralfate and misoprostol have both been found to protect the stomach and reduce the formation of ulcers so these medications may be prescribed as well.

    If kidney failure is present, IV fluids will be necessary. Your dog will need to stay at a veterinary hospital for monitoring during a 72 hour period, or until the kidneys are functioning normally.

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    Recovery of Meloxicam Poisoning in Dogs

    Metacam has been approved for dogs, but there are still certain risks with taking it. The veterinarian should inform you of the side effects when the drug is prescribed so that you can watch your dog closely and treat any signs of toxicity as soon as possible. Taking the exact dose is extremely important. Cutting up a tablet  or a generic medication designed for humans is not recommended since it is too hard to regulate the amount with this method and you may be accidently giving your dog a slight overdose. Even a fraction of a milligram can make a difference with this medication. If you forget to give your dog a Metacam dose, give it as soon as possible; however if it is too close to the next medication time it’s better to miss a dose than give two at once. 

    Meloxicam toxicity can be fatal so it’s important to get treatment immediately. The best way to manage the condition is to avoid exposure. Keep all bottles securely fastened and store them out of reach of your dog. Coordinate medication with other members of the household to ensure your dog isn’t getting several doses by accident. Keep human and dog medication separate so there is no confusion.

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    Meloxicam Poisoning Average Cost

    From 54 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

    Average Cost

    $750

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    Written by hannah hollinger

    Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

    Published: 07/04/2016, edited: 04/29/2021

    Meloxicam Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

    Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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    Ask a Vet

    dog-name-icon

    jaz

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    Miniature Schnauzer

    dog-age-icon

    3 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Moderate severity

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    2 found helpful

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    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Sickness

    hello my 3 yr old min schnauzer had a quick ga for lump biopsy, (a bit over sensitive took 30hr recovery) Then rec'd 2 consecutive days of 0.1ml/kg doses of metacam resulting in sever colitis - constant vommiting & diarrhoea (with bleeding for several days) seretidine, anti biotic and omeprazole inj then continued omeprazole 1 week then cont omeprazole and protexine . we have been feeding her white fish and rice. she has now managed a couple days of chappie original. how long before we can return to original 'natures menu' meat and arcana biscuit diet do you think? Is there no ulcerative medication? or inflammatory buffer? ive also started aleo vera last week 10ml bid.

    July 24, 2018

    jaz's Owner

    answer-icon

    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    2 Recommendations

    Without knowing more about Jaz or being able to see her, I can't add very much to what has already been done, but if she is improving, I would wait until she is completely back to normal before starting her regular diet again, and probiotics often help with these situations. I hope that she returns to normal quickly!

    July 24, 2018

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    Kelleyanne

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    Maltipoo

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    3 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

    Has Symptoms

    Non Responsive, Did Not Drink Or Ea

    My Maltipoo (9.8 lb) went to a vet for a sore paw was given Metacan 8 day dosage 2.7 and 14 days of 250mg/5ml Gabapentin and ten days later my sweet dog got so sick with pneumonia we had to to put her down. We were told by the ER hospital that she was given 9 times the dosage she needed but it is not what caused her to get that sick. With this much overdose how can her organs not show the toxicity of these drugs. We had a necropsy done and it was unclear of her demise. They are saying it could have been GME. How is this possible. She was a happy loving dog with a sore paw how could have this happened and no one can give me answers. Very sad and not trusting the vet industry, I think they are covering for each other. I want justice for Kelleyanne!

    July 6, 2018

    Kelleyanne's Owner

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    0 Recommendations

    If you believe that there was any error in KellyAnne’s treatment, you should bring it up with your state’s licensing board; overdose of a medication doesn’t always mean a toxic dose since a therapeutic dose is the minimum dose to get the ‘job’ done whilst toxicity may be many multiples of the therapeutic dose. You didn’t mention whether the Metacam (meloxicam) or gabapentin was overdosed, however for the sake of trying to be impartial you should contact your state veterinary licensing board. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.bi-vetmedica.com/sites/default/files/dam/internet/ah/vetmedica/com_EN/product_files/metacam/BIVM-15129-Metacam-Injectable-DOG-PI-v1.pdf

    July 7, 2018

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    Digger

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    Border Collie

    dog-age-icon

    6 Months

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

    Has Symptoms

    None

    Our dog, a 6.5 month old Border Collie, was castrated on Friday morning. He was sent home with Loxicom 1.5mg/ml for a 10kg dog, and I was told to give him up to the 10 mark on the syringe. Despite accurately passing this information to my husband, as well as showing him the dosage on the box and the aftercare sheet, my husband proceeded to give the dog 10 syringes of it (basically 10 days worth). The dog has been eating and drinking normally, had a looser, darker stool yesterday, and the rest are all normal. He has been boisterous and playful (despite trying to keep him calm post-op). What should I do?

    June 24, 2018

    Digger's Owner

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    0 Recommendations

    Loxicom (meloxicam) can be toxic at doses over five times therapeutic dose and may result in kidney failure in severe cases; I would keep an eye on Digger for the time being but would recommend checking in with your Veterinarian to be on the safe side and to review any further pain relief if required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.norbrook.com/media/1399/package-insert-loxicom-suspension.pdf www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/meloxicam/ www.petpoisoncontrol.com/portfolio/meloxicam/ www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/toxicities-from-human-drugs/prescription-nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs-toxicity#v3353102

    June 25, 2018

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    Pippa

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    Springer spaniel

    dog-age-icon

    7 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

    Has Symptoms

    None So Far
    Possible Lethargy

    My mom accidentally gave a dose of Meloxicam to the wrong dog. The dose is 1/3 of a 7.5 mg pill. Both dogs are approx the same weight, the "wrong" dog being only 8-ish pounds smaller than the dog who was supposed to get it. I've been watching her, especially her breathing, which seems a normal speed, no vomiting or seizures or anything. It's bedtime, ive tried to get her moving but she's pretty tired, but I can't tell if that's her normal stubbornness or if it's lethargy or non-responsiveness. I'm afraid to go to sleep because I want to keep an eye on her.

    June 5, 2018

    Pippa's Owner

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    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    0 Recommendations

    I can't really comment on the dose for Meloxicam without knowing the weights of your dogs. If they are both similar size, one dosage of Meloxicam should not hurt a normal healthy dog. If Pippa has any kidney problems or shows signs of GI disease, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian, but if she is a healthy dog otherwise and of similar size to the other dog, she should be okay.

    June 5, 2018

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    Benji

    dog-breed-icon

    Pomeranian

    dog-age-icon

    15 Days

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

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    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

    Has Symptoms

    Won'T Eat Or Move
    He Won'T Eat Food. He Won'T Move .

    My dog had a sore leg, I wen to the vet, he was ok when I went in but thought I would check. Now after 3 days of being on the medicine. I stopped as he won't eat anything. He won't walk or do anything. His ribs can be felt. I think he is dying before my eyes. He was perfect when I came back from the vet. I believe this melocicam is going to kill him I have stopped the medicine but the damage is done. Its so sad. What can I give him, ??

    May 30, 2018

    Benji's Owner


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    Dr. Michele K. DVM

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    0 Recommendations

    Benji should be seen again if he is deteriorating this quickly. A short term dosage of Meloxicam should not cause these dramatic effects, and there may be more going on. I hope that he is okay.

    May 30, 2018

    He is 15 years old. But always loves his food. Even after I took him home from vet. Now he won't eat anything. He won't move. He is panting and its awful. I am not sure what to do. I know its from Meloxicam. He was find before that with his food. I did not overdose. The vet did not give me any warnings.

    May 30, 2018

    Benji's Owner

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    Louis

    dog-breed-icon

    Border collie cocker spaniel

    dog-age-icon

    4 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Moderate severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Lethargy
    Vomiting
    Pale Pink Gums

    Hi my dog is 35lb. 3 days ago he got into his prescribed metacam (1.5mg/ml) which he has been off of for about 2 weeks. I didn’t realize right away and he has been totally fine until today. I do not know how much he took, maybe 3-4 ml. He is now vomiting and very lethargic. Is it normal for this delayed reaction or could it be something else?

    dog-name-icon

    Lucia

    dog-breed-icon

    Chihuahua

    dog-age-icon

    12 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Critical severity

    Has Symptoms

    Unfocused
    Bloody Stool
    Weakness
    Wobbly
    Twitching
    Diarrhea
    Seizures
    Lethargy
    Spasms

    My 12 year old chihuahua was taken in for a pulled muscle to a new, yet established, vet in the area after we moved. This same injury had happened before, but we always took her to the vet for a check as we started kennel rest procedures. She weighed 3.5 lbs. On the way out the door, he brought me a small bag filled with four syringes all with the same amount of liquid. He said it was Metacam, an anti-inflammatory that will give her some additional relief. He said to give her the first full syringe the next morning. Before leaving to run an errand, I gave her the prescribed first dose. By the time I returned home an hour later, she was weak and wobbly. I thought the medication may have made her a little ill feeling, so I let her rest. I left again an hour later to retrieve my husband from work and once I returned home I could see that she could barely walk. I let her out to go potty and she had dark red stool. I immediately called the vet and he said, "She's having an upset stomach because of the Metacam. She'll be okay, just give her half a dose tomorrow instead." I alerted him to the lethargy, the wobbly walking, the inability to focus. He said Metacam was safe. That was at 4:30 p.m. She had the first seizure at 5:15 p.m. I immediately took her to the emergency vet and she was in ICU by 8 p.m.. I set her down in an incubator as they began running tests, and then I produced the syringes and the receipt from the vet's office. I told them I believe she had been given a wrong dosage and was suffering from poisoning. The intake vet at the ER pushed the syringes back at me without looking and said, "Metacam is safe for dogs." I pulled out the vet invoice, only to see that there was no mention of the syringes, the medication, the dosage, or the frequency. Nothing. There wasn't anything on the label he slapped on the front of the little plastic bag that held them all. I was told to go home and get some rest after midnight, and all night/morning I kept calling. First it was Addison's Disease. Then it was possibly a gland. Then it was, "Her kidneys are failing and she's still having seizures". Less than 48 hrs after giving my dog one dose of Metacam, she was humanely euthanized in our arms while seizing and crying. She couldn't even recognize us. I asked the vet on duty (different ER vet) if there was any chance of her recovering, and he softly said, "No, her kidneys are done." I asked if he believed she was poisoned. He just nodded and left the room. That's our story. The new vet that gave me the medication had never run a blood test on my dog and had no history with her. He told me this was safe. The intake ER vet didn't listen to me. The vet didn't listen to me and even told me to GIVE HER MORE THE NEXT DAY. Don't give your dog this medication. Just don't. The vets don't want to rat another vet out for making a bad call or malfeasance, and nobody will admit to it because of backlash from the producer and the vets that swear up and down that this medication is safe. If you feel like your animal must at least try this medication, please please please ask for blood work before giving it to them and continue getting blood work done with the course of treatment.

    dog-name-icon

    Boss

    dog-breed-icon

    pitbull

    dog-age-icon

    5 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Moderate severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Moderate severity

    Has Symptoms

    Lethargy,
    Lethargy, Muscle Weakness
    Lethargy Muscle Weakness Tarry Stoo

    My dog had surgery, he was recovering amazingly well. He was on Meloxicam post surgery. We were told to watch for vomiting and diarrhea. He didn't have those symptoms. But, day 6 he started doing very poorly. We phoned the vet and was told to monitor him. He had tarry stool, no appetite, lethargic, muscle weakness in hind legs - but on day 5 of those symptoms he started feeling better. Go to the vet if it is an emergency but in our case with care he got better!

    dog-name-icon

    Karma

    dog-breed-icon

    Beagle

    dog-age-icon

    10 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Fair severity

    Has Symptoms

    Limping

    Karma has a torn acl in the left rear her weight was 57lbs. the vet gave her medicam 13mg once a day , is this too much. She has a history of liver and kidney failure last year because of a steroid prescription she has had it for 2 days at the present.

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    Zoey

    dog-breed-icon

    Yorkshire Terrier

    dog-age-icon

    3 Years

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Serious severity

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    0 found helpful

    pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

    Serious severity

    Has Symptoms

    Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lethargy,

    Ok, so I am super worried after reading all these comments and need some serious advise. Since it is almost 10pm, there are no bets open right now. My dog was prescribed meloxicam 5 days ago. The first day she received a shot and seemed better than she was. She also was prescribed antibiotics twice a day. I thought I read the Meloxicam as twice a day also, and realized just now that it’s obce a day. I have been double dosing my poor Gorky (10lbs.) for 5 days straight. She’s vomiting, has diarrhea, drinking a lot of water, very lethargic and her back legs seem almost paralyzed. She walks very slow with a limp, dragging her feet. Also, I work during the day so I cannot tell if she would have had a seizure or not. I am terrified and don’t know what to do. Please help... Annette

    Meloxicam Poisoning Average Cost

    From 54 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

    Average Cost

    $750

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