What is Metacam?

Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a type of painkiller used for the treatment of long-term pain, such as arthritis and short-term pain, such as injury in dogs. Metacam is one of the most popular medicines used by vets in the UK to treat arthritis in dogs1. Therefore, it plays a vital role in improving the quality and enjoyment of life for dogs with arthritis.

Where can I buy Metacam?

Metacam is only available with a prescription from your veterinary surgeon.

How does Metacam work?

Metacam works by relieving pain and inflammation (swelling).

How is Metacam given?

Metacam oral suspension can be added to food or given directly into your dog’s mouth, making it very easy to give. Metacam chewable tablets for dogs can be placed in your dog’s food or offered to them directly. Always use the dose that your vet prescribes.

What is the dose of Metacam?

Your vet will prescribe the dose required by your dog, so always follow their instructions carefully. If you have any questions relating to the dose of Metacam please contact your veterinary practice directly.

*maximal blood plasma concentrations are obtained after approximately 4.5 hours.

What is the flavouring in Metacam?

Metacam oral suspension has a honey flavour, which most dogs love. Metacam chewable tablets for dogs are meat flavoured.

How long will my dog require treatment with Metacam for?

Treating arthritis will generally involve life-long therapy for your dog. For shorter courses, such as following an injury, your vet will advise how long treatment should be continued for.

What if I forget a dose of Metacam?

If you forget a dose, do not give an extra dose or a larger dose; simply give your dog the usual dose at the next scheduled time. This may mean missing a daily dose.

Does Metacam have any side effects?

Normally, dogs tolerate Metacam very well. If your dog becomes unwell while receiving Metacam or you are worried at all, you should contact your veterinary practice immediately. You should stop giving Metacam until your vet advises that you can continue using it. This is because in some cases, Metacam and other medicines like it can cause side effects, so your vet needs to ensure any changes that develop in your dog are not related to the medicine they are taking. Occasionally, side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood in faeces, unusual tiredness or problems with the kidneys have been reported in dogs. Other signs are very rare, but if you are concerned about your dog for any reason, please discontinue treatment and contact your vet for advice.

Will my vet need to see my dog regularly?

When Metacam is being used for arthritis, as with any long-term medicine, your vet will need to see your dog regularly to ensure they are in good health. How often this will be will depend on a number of things, such as whether your dog has any other illnesses and their age. Vets may recommend performing blood and/or urine tests to check your dog’s health status when they see them.

When Metacam is only being used for short courses your vet will tell you how often you will need to visit them.

What sizes of Metacam are available?

Metacam oral suspension for dogs is available in 10 ml, 32 ml, 100 ml and 180 ml bottles. Metacam chewable tablets for dogs are available in 1 mg and 2.5 mg tablets.

How long will a bottle of Metacam oral suspension last my dog?

Size of dog (kg) Metacam oral suspension for dogs bottle size
10 ml 32 ml 100 ml 180 ml
Length of treatment at maintenance dose
  Approx. days Approx. days Approx. weeks Approx. weeks
5 30 96 n/a n/a
10 15 48 21 n/a
15 10 32 14 n/a
20 7 24 11 19
25 6 19 9 15
30 5 16 7 13
35 4 13 6 11
40 3 12 5 10
45 3 10 5 8

What if I accidentally give too much Metacam or another pet eats the Metacam?

If you think your dog has had too much Metacam (an overdose), or another pet has taken it when it wasn’t prescribed for them, you should immediately contact your veterinary practice for advice. Tell the veterinary surgeon the full details of how much was ingested and when.

I have lost my Metacam dog dosing syringe, how can I get a replacement one?

Your vet will be able to supply you with a new Metacam dosing syringe; ask them to phone Boehringer Ingelheim to request additional dosing syringes.

Is there anything I can do to help support the health of my dog’s joints?

With some small changes to your dog’s lifestyle, you can help support the health of their joints. As your dog can’t control what they eat and drink themselves, make sure you keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra strain on their joints. Regular, gentle exercise can prevent your dog’s joints from stiffening up so they can remain active. Hydrotherapy (which involves your dog swimming in a purpose-built pool) helps to build muscle mass to better support joints. Your vet may also suggest that you give your dog a joint health supplement, such as Seraquin. This is a nutritional supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and curcumin; all of which help support the normal function of your dog’s joints.

How long will it take for my dog to feel comfortable after receiving Metacam Oral Suspension to treat its arthritis?

Metacam oral suspension for dogs is quickly absorbed and typically, signs of pain ease within 34 days of starting regular daily dosing, as recommended by your vet. If you have any specific concerns about your dog, please speak with your vet who is best placed to advise you.

1= Kynetec, Dec 2021