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Metacam question

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
My girl, Phoebe, is 12 yrs old and has either arthritis or some other joint issue. She seemed to be in pain last weekend, wasn't coming to eat, snapped at me (very unusual)...was wide-eyed....and seemed miserable. I couldn't get her into the Vet until Monday morning. On Saturday, my sister gave her 1/2 baby aspirin...and Phoebe seemed like a changed cat in the morning. (My sister's cats all took 1/2 baby aspirin..they were all over 18 yrs and skinny).

Took Phoebe to the Vet...she didn't like that I gave her the aspirin due to potential kidney problems....Phoebe has slight high creatine levels...but extremely well concentrated urine.....

So, if Metacam has a history of kidney failure....why did the Vet give it to Phoebe?? She prescribed 30 drops the first day (Monday) 15 drops Tue-Fri, then 15 drops every other day till done. Plus, Phoebe is receiving 4 once-weekly shots of Cartrophen (not approved for cats, but is used anyway).

Phoebe is a changed cat...very tolerant of her 3 month old 'brother', she's purring again, seems relaxed, is walking with alot more confidence....I'm really happy with the results so far.

I didn't see the thread about Metacam killing the cat. Should I be worried. I take Phoebe in tomorrow for her second Cartrophen shot. Perhaps I should get a different anti-inflammatory. Or...since she's been taking it for 5 days with no ill effect....it isn't affecting her....

Any advice, please?? Thank you!
post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just read over the Meloxicam/Medacam warnings/recommendations....Phoebe is 16.1 pounds and has very well working kidneys depite the high creatine levels. She will only be on the Metacam for 10 doses.....the last 9 doses being only .75mg each.

I certainly will not allow her to take this medication again. I think she'll be okay for this short duration of dosage. She is certainly exhibiting alot of positive reactions to it and the Cartrophen shot.

I'm thankful for reading the warnings from your experiences......
post #3 of 26
It want let me copy and paste for some reason. Go to search and type in Metacam and you will find the post. Coco got the Metacam shot for her Arthritis and was given oral Buprenex. My Sister was given Metacam for her Cat and she took it back after hearing all the terrible stuff online.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Phoebe is half-way through her treatement of oral Metacam....she will receive 15 drops of it only every other day now....for 5 more doses. Do you think that is enough to harm her?
I will ask about Bupenex this morning when I take her in for her shot.

Thanks for responding.
post #5 of 26
My only experience with Metacam was for a cat who had terminal cancer. He didn't tolerate it well and with the vet's guidance took him off of it and nursed him through the reaction. Watch carefully for diarrhea, change of appetite, vomiting with red in it. If you see any of those, call the vet immediately.
post #6 of 26
There is no clear cut answer to the metacam question. It is not uncommon for it to be used with cats. I believe that oral metacam is now approved for use in cats in the UK (and maybe in Canada...I have not found current information on this)....but not in the US.

There are a lot of people who will not use metacam because of the stories they have read on the internet. I'm betting you could find these stories about any medication. Also, with the handful of stories you can find about adverse reactions, you do not hear about the thousands of cats who use metacam with no problems (most folks just give their animal whatever medicine the vet prescribes...they don't question/research it).

I would discuss your concerns with your vet. My vet swears that he has used it on hundreds of cats without ever having a problem. He uses the minimum dose possible (at 3 lbs, Zoey was taking one drop)...and said that a lot of the problem is overdosing. People think that if a little works, a lot will work even better. I gave it to Zoey and she didn't have any difficulty with her kidneys for the short time she was on it (and seemed to work wonders for her pain from a broken tail)...she did not, however, live long enough for me to seeif there will be any longer-lasting effects. I was EXTREMELY paranoid while she was on it though, knowing what I knew. It's hard to put those concerns out of your head.

Would I use metacam again? I know there are other options for pain relief in cats, so I would look into those first. Belle and Delilah will have to go for their spay surgery...and I'm sure they will be given at least a shot of metacam. I plan to ask ahead of time about other options - and post-op pain relief. I would prefer not to give them oral metacam - if only for my peace of mind!
post #7 of 26
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
Watch carefully for diarrhea, change of appetite, vomiting with red in it. If you see any of those, call the vet immediately.
Oh, yes, I forgot that in my message! At the FIRST sign of problems (I would include vomiting of any sort), stop giving the medicine and get your cat into the vet ASAP.

My vet also mentioned that people often "wait it out" when their animal has an adverse reaction to a medicine....which leads to much larger problems. No waiting it out. (This is where the paranoia is a problem....you start to look for adverse reactions).
post #8 of 26
There are always pros and cons with drugs. It's all about weighing the benefits against the risks. Discuss this with your vet. Metacam isn't optimal for a cat with kidney problems and yes, it can be toxic to the kidneys but do you even know what the options are? Maybe the alternatives are just as bad or even worse? You need to discuss that with your vet.

The manufacturer doesn't recommend Metacam to be used for pregnant or lactating cats either, despite that my breeder friend was given Metacam for a lactating female with high fever. Why? It was the most effective drug in this case and it was important that the female could get healthy fast so she could take care of her baby as soon as possible.
post #9 of 26
I don't know whisch thread you were referencing, so I'll give you links to two threads where I posted, to the best of my ability at the time, links to Metacam concerns.


There are two indisputable facts that I would put to you:
1. There is no doubt that Metacam is nephrotoxic in cats (toxic to the kidneys). It can cause permanent damage to the kidneys (papillary necrosis).

2. Standard blood testing for kidney function will only reveal a problem when 60-75% of kidney function has already been lost. So, THE IRREVERSABLE DAMAGE WILL ALREADY HAVE BEEN DONE when you get the results.

Given also that, as cats age, reduced kidney function is an inevitable expectation, I simply cannot understand how, from an "ethical" perspective of "do no harm", any veterinarian would prescribe it for a cat.

I am extremely concerned about the dosage this cat has been prescribed. In fact, it goes beyond that. I'm just sitting here - incredulous.

If I discovered one of my cats had been getting this quantity, not only would I stop it immediately, but I would insist that the cat be put on IV, probably for several days, and monitored carefully.

Metacam Oral Suspension Caution
Not approved for use in cats.

MAXCAT08- I'm PMing you 2 recent cases from "elsewhere"
post #10 of 26
If used sparingly Metacam can work very well for arthritic cats, but the recommended dose is 1 drop a day. I have also been told by the vet that I work for that Asprin 85mg can be given 2 times a week for help with arthritis as well, and is considered safe. Have you tried Cosequin for her? That may help as well, it worked for a lot of kitties at my old hospital. Good luck with your kitty, hope she is felling better soon.
post #11 of 26
If you research long and hard enough, the general conclusion is that many cats do fine by oral Metacam, but cats that are somewhat pre-disposed to kidney problems do get either CRF or ARF from taking it. Since you really never know if your cat is predisposed to it, you are taking a chance when giving it to your cat. If there are no alternatives to metacam and it does bring a high quality of life, then I consider it. Otherwise I refuse it from my vet. She and I are forever at odds on the topic.
post #12 of 26
i have used Metacam and Cartrophen in cats, Metacam in 3 of them, Cartrophen in one. The only other option I know of for arthritis (I have a CRF cat with arthritis) is steroids, but they can also cause kidney issues as well as liver issues - my vets comments was 'show me a drug that doesn't have side effects'. It also depends on the person - me and my boss were prescribed identical medication, he can tolerate it, I can't. That dosage sounds very high though, I would never use more than 3 drops, and then only for 2-3 days before reducing it.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
A very big THANK YOU for all your information. Phoebe's Vet Dr. wasn't there this morning when I took her for her 2nd Cartrophen shot.

I will not used any more Metacam...it will go down the drain. I will also not allow it to be given to my other cat, Samson. It isn't worth the risk.

I can't believe that this Vet sort of chided me for giving her 1/2 a baby aspirin because it might have caused her already-compromisd kidneys some problems.....yet she lets her have 30 drops of Metacam in one day.

So far, Phoebe has had NO side-effects from the Metacam. She certainly looked like she was feeling better and was acting more her normal loving self. Maybe she is one of the ones who is lucky to have taken it without a problem.

I will have them put a note of NO Metacam for either cat in their files.

Thank you, Blaise, for those links.....they were eye-openers, for sure!

The Vet isn't even sure that she has arthritis...she's only 12yrs...but is having difficulty walking. Her walk hasn't changed, but she at least now gets to her dish to eat, purrs easily, wants to be petted and is back to her loving self again. Perhaps in a month or so, I will ask for some kidney blood work to be done....just to make sure that her kidneys aren't any worse off.

I think I'm going to go hug Phoebe right now....
post #14 of 26
I felt terrible when Coco got the metacam Shot after reading everything but the shot is ok for one time. You can always try the Med Coco got for her arthritis, Did the Vet take a Xray to see if its arthritis? Coco has it bad and she had it at age 10. She isnt on med right now for it. I hope your cat feels better. My Vet knows more then most Vets so dosent use Metcam oral at all.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
The Vet didn't take x-rays and said that she isn't even sure that it is arthritis. We are trying the 4 shots of Cartrophen to see if it gives her relief. If it does, then we'll go on an as-needed basis. The Metacam sure did give her pain relief. I won't give her anymore of it...so it will be interesting to see what the reaction is this coming week. She had her 2nd Cartrophen shot today. Maybe it will give her the relief she needs.

So far, she is fine....no side effects from the Metacam at all. Hopefully she won't have any. Believe me.....in both my cats files...there will be a NO METACAM notice. Little Samson has his neutering procedure in September. I won't even authorize the one-shot deal....they will have to find another pain reliever for him. He's already a little over 5 pounds...so he'll be big enough for other pain killers by then.

If Phoebe exhibits pain, I will be requesting a different pain reliever....but I'll ask here before I use it!! I'll keep my fingers crossed that she remains a happy girl....

I'm glad your cat feels good right now. Arthritis can be painful.
post #16 of 26
I am glad your Cat is better.
Coco is very good at hiding Pain.
She has Buprenex Oral if she needs it for pain.
post #17 of 26
Injectible Metacam is licenced in the US. She could quite easily have arthritis at the age of 12, so you might want to look into glucosamine supplements - my CRF cat did well on Seraquin, and there are others availble, also Green Lipped Mussel is supposed to help.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Booktigger, the Vet didn't mention glucosomine supplements, but I have been thinking about them. We want to see how the shots are working. Also, her Wellness Healthy Weight kibble has glucosomine and chondroitin in it. The Vet felt that Phoebe's joints had improved since the joint assessment done in April. It had to be because of the kibble, as I hadn't given her anything else....except get her off the Hill Prescription stuff. She also eats Wellness wet.

Thank you for the recommendation....I'll keep the name of it. There's one that my neighbour recommended....Novo-flex. It is for cats and dogs. She uses it, as well as another neighbour with great results.
post #19 of 26
Trying to send you a PM - your PM mailbox is full
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just emptied my Inbox now.

Phoebe is at the ER hospital. She looks well....and they said that it was a good thing. Most cats that come in with Metacam issues are already quite sick.

They will give her blood work, and IV to flush her system. I'll hear from them tomorrow as to how she's doing.

It's a good thing to have on hand...all your cat's blood results. I'm glad that her Vet went over her Creatine levels and urine concentration levels with me......the ER Vet was very appreciative of all the info that I could tell her. I was lucky to remember it, but it's Phoebe's only health issue besides being overweight.

It seems to me that they do not like Metacam...when I mentioned the dosage, they all grabbed the bottle to look at the prescription...I don't think they believed me.....but there it was.

Let's hope that Phoebe is fine....she certainly reacted positively to the Metacam in the short-term. She did seem more energetic, not in pain, hungry, interested, loving. She just may be one of those lucky cats who didn't react with Metacam. She won't ever have it again.....mind you...

I'll keep you posted!!! Needless to say I am VERY THANKFUL for all the Metacam information......
post #21 of 26
My vet prescribed it for my kitten after her spay surgery, but only for a few days. I also use it for my dogs who have arthritis and hip problems and it has helped them a lot, but they get bloodwork done every few months anyway so we can also tell if it is starting to cause any problems and they have not had any problems with it.
post #22 of 26
I have a unique Vet, she only gets a little upset when I question every thing she says or does, and I do it all the time. She is very good at helping me find safe alternatives. I question and research every thing the vet wants to give my fur friends. They can't read or let thier choices be heard so I feel it is up to me research and make good choices. Her partner prescribed Metacam for my cats without telling me the side effects even after I asked, which made me upset when I researched it and found how many problems it can cause, it just is not worth it. Cats are very different than any other animal in the way they handle things, thier livers are not very efficient at clearing things out so they are more apt to have side effects at some point from the stuff we give them. One thing that is very dangerous for cats is aspirin and aspirin derivitives. I used to give Kao Pectate for diarhhea but the formula was changed and it now has aspirin in it so I give one just for pets. If you have a holistic vet in your area you might consider that, even herbs can have side effects if not used properly. For Arthritis you may want to try accupunture or chiropractic if you have a vet that does that. ASK QUESTIONS of your Vet, some think they know best and don't inform clients so DO YOUR RESEARCH.

post #23 of 26
Oh yeah I have a great vet. She always explains all the options to me and does not try to "dumb down" the medical explanations because she knows I understand them. She does not mind the tons of questions I always ask her; actually I often take more appointment time than I have alloted because I ask a lot of questions. My vet is also interested in holistic medicine so we often are given supplement recommendations before we try any prescription medications (depending on the condition.) I don't know if this helps for the arthritic cat issues but for my dogs who both have arthritis and other joint issues, my vet first recommended glucosamine/chondroitin supplements and fish oil. These worked for quite a while before my dogs' joints deteriorated to where that was not enough. The next thing my vet recommended was a joint supplement called Duralactin, which also helped them and I think there is a cat version of that supplement. We only went to the NSAIDs when the other supplements were no longer effective enough. Unfortunately with arthritis is generally worsens over time, and my dogs' issues are now pretty severe so we are using NSAIDs now in addition to the supplements.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
After several Vets watched Phoebe walk...they don't think that she has arthritis....they think she may have a disc problem in her spine. But we'll deal with one problem at time.
One Vet did suggest massage, acupuncture..that sort of thing....didn't realize that there was so much out there for cats.

Since she responded outwardly so well to anti-inflammatories...there is something going on. I don't have arthritis myself, so I don't know the pain or the relief felt from medication that people take for it.

Since even testing stresses Phoebe, we'll just take things easy and get her kidneys back to normal for now. She will be having her third Cartophen shot this Saturday....perhaps that's all for naught....but at least it's not expensive....the value of the drug is $1.24....the cost to inject it....$22 Wonder if they'd teach me to inject it....
post #25 of 26
They may be willing to teach you to inject it yourself. After all, diabetics and their loved ones are taught to do injections for themselves. Also, people often give thier cats subcutaneous hydration. Ask about it, they may just think you'd balk at doing it yourself.

As to Metacam, I have a cat that's a Metacam success story. Our Menelaus had arthritis so bad we were ready to put him down two years ago. He'd had a miserable winter, the treatments we'd tried hadn't worked. He had a haunted look to him and life was no fun at all for our poor boy.

Our vet was relunctant to suggest Metacam, but with the alternative being euthanasia, he did. We give 3-6 drops a day, and we have a happy active cat. Our vet worries about the Metacam and we test him regularly, plus I'm just in the habit of monitoring urination and all after having had several geriatric cats.

He's happy and playful and lovable again. After being at the point of being ready to give him up two years ago, each day with him being like this is a wonder for us.

Cats and circumstances vary, but in my mind Metacam is a miracle. I wish I'd had it to try on Phillip, he suffered from arthritis as well and aspirin was the best we could manage for him. He also had kidney problems, but cancer was what finally got him. I can't help but wonder if he would have been happier and more comfortable at the end if we'd had Metacam.

At any rate, it's worked for us. Chances are other things will come along that are better for more cats. At this point Menelaus looks to be around long enough to see the day.

Best of luck with your kitty. I'm in no position to second guess your cat's treatment, I sure hope all goes well.
post #26 of 26
Thank you Mark for your support. Phoebe is getting her fourth and final shot this Saturday..so I won't persue learning how to give shots...for now.

I agree, if she were diabetic and needed shots..I would learn.

Glad to hear that your cat did well on the Metacam. Phoebe seems to be fine...I'll find our her kidney levels after her blood work...but she certainly doesn't look sick. I now have some codeine pills in case I feel that she is in pain.

No one knows for sure if she does have arthritis...it could be a disc problem...but she gets around willingly, and purrs easily and is happy to be petted and loved. She even tolerates her pesky 'brother'....most times

You're right....'cats and circumstances vary' and given your choices..Metacam wasn't going to do any more harm than what euthanasia was going to do. It was worth the risk...and I'm so happy that your kitty is doing well. I hope he does well for a long time to come.

As for Phillip..you did the best for him that you could....and he knew that...we all second guess ourselves..and who doesn't when we love our pets so much. He is not in pain now...and his memory will live on forever in your heart.
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