My vet put my pet on Meloxicam / Mobic / Loxicom / Metacam.  What does that mean?

Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), used as a painkiller or to relieve pain, inflammation and fever in dogs (and more rarely,cats).  It is often prescribed for pets that are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and is also used to manage post-surgical pain.

Other brand names for meloxicam are Mobic, Loxicom and Metacam - whilst these medications contain the same active ingredient, dosages may differ, and you should check with your vet if you intend to change between the brands.

This article answers some of your common questions, such as how Meloxicam helps your pet, the dosage for Meloxicam, how soon does Meloxicam relieve your pet’s pain and the side-effects of Meloxicam for pets.

Meloxicam and osteoarthritis?

Meloxicam is often prescribed when your pet has progressively worsening inflammation of its joints (your vet may have called this osteoarthritis, or  Degenerative Joint Disease or DJD).  When joint cartilage starts deteriorating, the cushioning effect of the cartilage is lessened, and the joint no longer moves smoothly and painlessly.  Cartilage or joint deterioration can occur due to age, injury, repetitive stress, obesity or disease. 

Pets with osteoarthritis may show pain, or a decreased range of motion, and may develop inflammation or bone spurs.  It is estimated by vets  that 1 in 5 dogs suffer from osteoarthritis, with the legs and lower back most likely affected.   


What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam is both the brand name for the drug, and the name of the active ingredient  - other brands that have meloxicam as their active ingredient include Mobic, Loxicom and Metacam.


Meloxicam is a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that gives pain relief and is an anti-inflammatory.  It’s in the same family of drugs as ibuprofen (IMPORTANT - obviously, it is NOT exactly the same as ibuprofen or nurofen, which is not for use in pets - never give your pet ibuprofen or other human drugs!) 

Meloxicam slows down or stops the body producing COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) enzymes.  This enzyme produces prostaglandins - substances that are primarily responsible for inflammation and pain, and so Meloxicam works to control pain and inflammation at the source.

Meloxicam isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis in dogs - but it starts treating pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis within hours of giving them the first dose.

What can I expect when my dog starts on Meloxicam?

  • Meloxicam works fast, from the very first dose.  When a dog’s pain and joint inflammation is controlled, mobility can improve within days.
  • It is important that you periodically discuss your dog’s response to Meloxicam with your vet, who will determine if your dog is responding as expected, and what the ongoing dose of Meloxicam should be.  

How to give Meloxicam to my dog?

Meloxicam (as Meloxicam, Metacam and Loxicom) is available in a suspension (like a syrup), that is syringed from the bottle and is easy to measure the appropriate dosage. Always shake the bottle before measuring out the dose.  


Mobic tablets and Meloxicam injections are also available - you should talk to your vet about the most appropriate (and easiest) way to dose your pet.


Meloxicam tablets or suspension does not need to be given with a meal, although if it is given with a meal, there can be less gastrointestinal side effects (upset stomachs can be a side effect of Meloxicam). 

Storage of Meloxicam

The manufacturer of Meloxicam recommends that it be stored at room temperature (below 25 degrees).

Who should NOT take Meloxicam?

  • Meloxicam is used for cats in limited circumstances, which you should discuss with your vet.
  • If your dog has previously suffered gastrointestinal disorders or shown adverse reactions to other NSAIDs, then this product shouldn’t be used
  • Tests haven’t been undertaken to determine the safety of Meloxicam for puppies, breeding, pregnant or lactating animals
  • Some drugs don’t work as well, if your pet is also taking Meloxicam, and there are drugs that cannot be taken with meloxicam.  For this reason, please make sure that you tell your vet about all other medications that your dog is taking, including vitamins, supplements and herbal therapies.   

What if I give too much Meloxicam? What if I miss a dose of Meloxicam or give the wrong dose of Meloxicam?
Administration of drug issues

Meloxicam is generally given daily, so there should be 24 hours between doses. If you miss giving a dose of Meloxicam, don’t worry.  If you remember a missed dose, give the dose as soon as possible. However, if it is less than 12 hours to the next dose is due, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once.

Possible side effects 

Like all NSAID medicines, Meloxicam can cause some side effects, although it is generally well tolerated. Issues can involve the digestive tract (vomiting or decreased food consumption, or diarrhea or unusual stools), or liver and kidney problems (change in amount of water drunk, change in urine).


As with any medication, if you are concerned about a possible side effect of Meloxicam, stop treatment and contact your vet immediately. 

Can I buy Meloxicam (or Metacam, Mobic or Loxicom) online?

Meloxicam, under any brand name, is a prescription medicine, and you can buy it online from PetScripts once you have a script (prescription) from your vet.  Please ensure that you have read the How to Order page before ordering this item.


This information is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice or any information contained on or in any product packaging or labels. Always seek the advice of your Veterinarian, Pharmacist, or qualified health provider when starting any new medical treatment, continuing with medical treatment or with any questions you may have regarding your animal's medical condition. Professional advice is required for each particular illness, disease, infection, injury or other medical condition and for dosages of the pharmaceutical product supplied via this website. You take full and total responsibility for what you do with this information and any resulting outcomes from your actions.