Advantages Effective, non-steroidal pain relief.
Disadvantages There can be side effects and you have to be able to use a dosing syringe.
One of my dogs is very ill at the moment. An x-ray showed that she had undergone massive changes to the vertebrae in the middle of her spine. She either had a tumour or osteomyelitis - an infection which occurs within the bone structure. As time has gone on it seems more likely that she has osteomyelitis, but over the last few months she has regularly needed pain relief.Rosie has an additional problem. After two major operations on her stomach last year she was diagnosed as having eosinophilic enteritis. Put simply it means that she is very sensitive to any food outside her very restricted diet. When she goes out she wears a mask to ensure that she can't eat anything she shouldn't! Pain relief affects even the most sensitive of stomachs with regular use and with Rosie the problem is very difficult indeed.
Injury to muscle or bone creates inflammation and it's this which causes pain. Steroids are the most effective drugs for reducing inflammation but they have long term effects and are only used when nothing else will do the trick. Vets and doctors prefer to use a class of drugs known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - or NSAIDs for short. They work by stopping the body producing a substance which causes pain, inflammation or fever. One such NSAID is meloxicam and this is the active ingredient in Metacam. The drug is available on veterinary prescription and only for dogs.When giving pain relief vets seem to turn first to Rimadyl possibly because it comes in the form of a palatable biscuit and is easy to administer. It is also aggressively marketed by Pfizer. Rosie took Rimadyl for a couple of weeks and then started being sick. We gave her a break from the drug but the symptoms returned after a week when the drug was restarted. As pain relief was still needed we turned to Metacam, but my vet warned that he was prescribing it not because it was better than Rimadyl, but because it WASN'T Rimadyl.
Metacam is available in 10, 32 or 100ml bottles. Vets advise on the most suitable size for your dog, but don't buy a large bottle if you're unlikely to use it quickly as an opened bottle only has a shelf life of six months. The bottle has the usual child-proof lock, but the top is small enough to grip easily and I've had no problems even with my problem hands. I write the date of opening on the bottle so that I can check it doesn't go past its shelf life. Prices for the product vary and you will almost certainly pay through the nose for it from a vet, but if you can persuade him to write a prescription you can buy it from www.bestpetpharmacy.co.uk for £4.64 for the 10ml size, £11.48 for 32ml and £27.57 for 100ml. The vet will probably charge for writing the prescription.The first problem you encounter with Metacam is that you need to be able to use a dosing syringe. That's where you attach the syringe to the bottle of medication, turn the bottle upside down and draw off the amount you need. [Tip: let go of the bottle once you've got it upside down and don't touch it again until you've drawn off the amount you need.
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