I came across these articles:http://www.qwrc1.org.au/rnr/10.pdf
Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The active ingredient is meloxicam. Inflammation and pain are triggered by the release of hormones known as prostaglandins. NSAIDS work by stopping the production of prostaglandins responsible for
swelling and pain. This makes the animal much more comfortable following accident or surgery.
Metacam is a new generation NSAID that acts selectively on just one group of prostaglandins, thus resulting in fewer side-effects. Metacam is used post-operatively
for cats and dogs, and for musculosketal disorders in dogs.
In wildlife it may be used in cases of trauma that result in swelling or inflammation, or post-operatively.
Metacam offers only MILD pain relief and is often used in conjunction with other pain relief drugs. Like all drugs designed for cats and dogs, the dose rates for our smaller native species are very,
very small. Metacam does not mix with water, so simply diluting the drug in water does not give an easy ‘half dose’. Metacam should not be used on animals with certain gastrointestinal disorders, impaired hepatic, cardiac or renal function, or haemorrhagic disorders. The use of Metacam with other NSAIDs, diuretics, anticoagulants and some antibiotics can cause toxic effects, and even death. Metacam should NEVER be given to a dehydrated animal. As with all drugs, never administer Metacam to an animal without first consulting a veterinarian.
by Sue White (wildlife carer)http://www.k9obedience.co.uk/doghealth/treatment/rimadylandmetacam.html
Metacam (Meloxicam) under scrutiny
Metacam is another Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID's) which is also prescribed for relieving the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and other bone and joint problems which dogs can suffer from.
Listed adverse effects are:
• Loss of Appetite
• Blood in stools
• Dark, tarry stools The most serious adverse effects associated with all NSAID's occur in the Gastro-intestinal tract such as ulceration and bleeding. All NSAID'S can cause liver damage in dogs.
3,200 dogs had died or been euthanized and nearly 20,000 dogs had adverse effects within a few years of the emergence of NSAID's, though one must add that by then several million dogs in thousands of veterinary surgeries had been prescribed the drugs.Caution should be taken when prescribing NSAIDs.The drug companies still maintain that if prescribed correctly, laboratory tests have been carried out and the dog is carefully monitored their medicines are safe.
“Confident that there are millions of animals whose lives have improved by the pain-relieving benefits of Any owner being prescribed one of the NSAID's for their dog should always ask for a client information sheet explaining the possible side effects of the drug and what to look out for. These are not automatically handed out by vets who buy shipments of the drugs from pharmaceutical companies then repackage them in smaller quantities for the client. In the process, the information sheets may be lost and the vet often does not clearly communicate the importance of monitoring the dog for adverse effects.Before prescribing NSAID's the vet should carry out appropriate tests to establish blood values.
These tests are expensive and not all dogs are covered by insurance. Often owners refuse testing being carried out as they struggle to pay veterinary bills. While the dog is taking NSAID's the animal should be closely monitored.
Owners should be aware that even what seems a minor side effect such as lethargy can quickly progress into an emergency scenario.
NSAID's should not be combined with other steroids like dexamethazone, prednisolone, or depomedrol as gastro-intestinal ulceration and bleeding can result. These drugs should also never be given to any dog with impaired gastro-intestinal, kidney, cardiovascular, or coagulation problems.
More information on the adverse effects of NSAID's can be viewed at: www.dogsadversereactions.com/nsaid/comparison.html
Michele Sharkey, DVM says:
"The side effects of NSAID's are very well known and very well documented but this information is not always getting to the pet owners. If the pet owner can recognise a possible reaction, stop the medication and get veterinary help, it could mean the difference between a good outcome and a disaster.”
Stephen Sundlof, DVM, PhD, director of the Centre for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) says:
“These are valuable drugs that help many pets to live to a ripe old age”.
Millions of dogs have benefited by taking NSAID's worldwide and on the whole these drugs give excellent pain relief for many arthritic dogs. With adequate pre-screening, intensive monitoring and improved communication between the veterinarian and the client adverse reactions to these drugs could be reduced.
Linda Baker, of "Adopting A Dog" said:
“Adverse drug reactions in dogs is still a little known, misunderstood topic which needs much more public education.”
Any drug that dog owners give to their pets can have serious side effects and as owners we have the right to know as much as possible about any veterinary medication that we give our dogs just as we have the right to know about medicines we take ourselves.Additional interesting reading when it comes to humans:http://www.nsaids.info/nsaids/nsaid-drug-listing/
Enolic acid, a carbon- and hydroxyl-containing molecule (C=C–OH) made from carboxylic acid, is the base from which oxicam drugs are derived.
NSAIDs that are Oxicams
The authors are quick to note that different NSAIDs are no doubt associated with different degrees or types of risk, and that these risks may be influenced by patient-related factors such as age or disease. However, they also note that their results "strongly" suggest that chronic oral NSAIDs pose a high risk of adverse effects and urge that "patients receive minimum effective doses for the minimum possible time."http://searchwarp.com/swa258501.htm
Liver and Renal Failure
Many people do not consider NSAID as drugs. Thus, they just take it without much consideration. Although the cases of liver and renal failure due to the prolonged and frequent use of NSAIDs are very few, the seriousness of this complication should be a real cause for concern. Experts believe that taking too much NSAIDs for several years could contribute to liver and kidney failure because of the way these drugs, particularly naproxen, affect urination and the overall metabolic system of the body.http://www.arthritis-glucosamine.net/article-detail.php?ID=89
The FDA Identifies Safety Problems With NSAID Use
The FDA has been more closely examing NSAIDs in recent years and publishing repeated warnings about some serious problems associated with their use. In September 2002, the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, along with experts from other committees, examined the evidence of U.S. cases of accidental and unintentional overdoses with NSAIDs and acetaminophen and related cases of gastrointestinal (GI) and renal (kidney) toxicity and identifed certain risk factors. The advisory committee's discussions and advice are at: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/cder02.htm#NonprescriptionDrugs
In January 2004, the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) reiterated the concerns raised by the 2002 investigation when the CDER sent a letter to every State Board of Pharmacy to advise of safety issues for products containing NSAIDs or acetaminophen -- more specifically, the risk factors for GI bleeding and renal toxicity from their use.
Has enough been said about the dangers associated with NSAID’s? If you have not read the information on our websites and in “The Arthritis Chronicle,” please do so.
Stay with what we all know is clinically safe. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, high-quality glucosamine formulas can help control your pain and rehabilitate damaged cartilage without causing you to face all of the safety problems associated with NSAIDs.