Pet Medication Metacam Adds Warning to Product Label for Cats

After reviewing reported adverse drug reactions, the US Food and Drug administration has requested the manufacturers of the nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug Metacam add a warning to its label saying that repeated use of the drug meloxicam (trade name Metacam) has been associated with acute kidney failure and death in cats

The FDA has supposedly seen problems with repeated use of this drug in cats.  While I personally have prescribed this drug safely and successfully for years (mostly short term for pain management in cats and for cats with urinary tract inflammation) I will now think about the potential risks of using this drug off label for extended periods of time.

As with any drugs in this class, a pet should ideally have blood and urine testing prior to being prescribed this pet medication. This is especially important if your pet is on this drug long term, as monitoring is essential for your pet’s long term well-being.

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  1. My vet put my cat Mollie on Metacam in January of this year. I was not aware of the need for bloodwork or urine tests prior to its use and obviously neither did my vet. She prescribed metacam oral once a day for three days and then once a week for maintenance. No followup was done as far as bloodwork. On June 27th Mollie began vomiting a frothy yellow liqued. I took her to the vet where they argued against the possibility that there was a problem with the Metacam. On July 2nd. I had Mollie euthanized due to kidney failure. I began looking up Metacam on the web (something I wish I had done way back in Jan) and much to my horror, found the medicine was black boxed last Fall, that it was meant to be a one time use, and that my vet was totally out in left field in it’s use. My darling kitty who was only 7 years old’s blood was filled with toxins and my vet to this day refuses to admit wrong doing. I am without a pet, my dear sweet Mollie is gone forever. However! the use of metacam keeps on. My heart and my families’ heart is broken at our loss and I will NEVER allow another vet to blatently use a medicine that has such terrible repercussions. The makers of Metacam may have a miracle drug for dogs but they are risking the lives of all the beautiful fur babies out there by not being made aware of it’s danger. Why did my vet not no of this?????

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Dear Debra: I am so sorry to hear of your loss of your dear feline companion. Unfortunately many conventional vets dont look at issues like medications or vaccines as potenially causing chronic disease or reactions in some pets. I would try and find a more holistic oriented veterinarian when the time is right for your next pet who often looks at all of the factors involved in disease from the environment, to diet, to overuse of drugs and/o vaccinations. I send you my deepest sympathy.

  3. So sorry to read about your darling kitty, but can I just say this product is not safe for some dogs either. I lost my beautiful Lhasa Apso, Barney, yesterday after he was prescribed Metacam. He had full blood work completed before he had any administered, no problems. He became very sick after 5 days of taking oral Metacam and developed bloody diarrhoea and bloody vomit, became disorientated and was really very ill. He was admitted to the vets and put on a drip but he passed away during the night, alone and in God knows what pain. I have to live with the feeling that I killed him by giving the drug to him and even though i was told by the vet that it was the best thing for his spondylosis, I would give anything to put the clock back and have him next to me now. I can’t eat or sleep and I can’t describe the emotional pain I feel. Please think carefully about using this drug, now I have researched I have found numerous cases of death or near death cases in dogs, surely there is a safer alternative.
    I shall never get over losing my best friend and it could have been prevented. RIP my darling Barney xxx

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    HI Sandra: My heart and thoughts are with you during this difficult time after the loss of your beloved Barney. Unfortunately, most conventional drugs to carry with them some risk, even though many other pets may be helped. This certainly was big reason why I got interested in more holistic approaches to veterinary health problems. In deepst sympathy to you and your family.

  5. My cat Pooh Bear was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma Dec. 19th and his tumor is inoperable. The vet I use prescribed .14 Metacam for Pooh. Should I be worried about him being on metacam?

  6. Also, would Tramadol be a safe alternative?

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    AS long as kidney values are checked periodically and appetite ok should be ok. Kidney failure is main risk of this drug in cats.

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Tramadol would be a safe alternative and I would ask your vet about that.

  9. Oh no my cat just had an injection with metacam yesterday for some inflammation in his throat. They did not do any blood/urine testing before hand also. I believe this is the 2nd time they have given him this in the last year. I think i will have it put it on his medical charts not to use this again. This upsets me highly and will make sure they use Tramadol or similar instead of Metacam. Thank you very much for this much needed information about this drug. Debra and Tracy I am truly sorry for the loss of your pets.

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    You are very welcome.

  11. I found a litter of kittens with eyes wide shut full of mucus and inflammation of inner eye skin bottom lids. I can’t afford to take them to the vet. Meanwhile I’m doing regular eye Luke warm water wash. It doesn’t seem to get better they wake up just the same. Before I can take them to the shelter where I’m sure they will get euthanized I want to help these poor kittens. Help! Any over the counter medication that you can recommend I will appreciate… Thank you in advance.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    If you can get it try topical antibiotic terramycin.

  13. my cat had hyperthyroidism was given vidalta then metacam for a broken leg then also antirob for an infection she was perscribed metecam in morning then while in obviouse pain during the night another dose on top of the other tablets she was moaning and crying couldnt move then started mouth breathing and died i want to no why

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 26, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Metacam should not be given twice like that, although she may have had a heart issue secondary to the overactive thyroid.

  15. when the vet took her plaster cast off and put a splint and bandage on for another week someone bandaged her claw sticking into her soft pad it must have been like walking on a rusty nail she eent downhil from then during that week i only found this out after she died i believe it eas blood poisioning and stresss from a really bad injury caused at the vets when i unraveled the bandage after she had passed away under traumatic surcumstances her paw was still bleeding from the deep wound i was told she had a sore patch on her paw im so angry shed still b alive now

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 27, 2013 at 1:55 am

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  17. I just found this page and am in shock, my cat was prescribed metacam once every 24hrs 1.5mg. I just gave him his 3rd dose after calling the clinic I took him too after finding two piles of blood he had vomited and they said it might be the clavamox he’s on also and said to give him just the metacam and watch him. I’m furious and horrified that Google told me what was wrong instead of the supposed vet!! I’m calling the emergency vet in my town now, but what do you think? This is horrible that I had NO IDEA OR INFORMATION about this and neither do they most likely!

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