Metacam risks in cats
functions and general state of health. Don’t try to save money by refusing these tests; it’s essential to know if your cat is at
greater risk. Should side effects occur, your vet is likely to
order another round of tests to check the drug’s impact on
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to reduce
your cat. Be prepared for these costs.
pain and inflammation. This article deals with two versions:
Metacam Solution for Injection (for cats) and Metacam Oral
The post-surgical use of Metacam Oral in smaller cats (under
10 lbs.) poses a unique problem. The product sheet for Metacam
Oral2 warns against administering the drug directly into the
Metacam Solution for Injection was approved for one-time
mouth for dogs weighing less than 10 lbs, as this may cause
use only in cats
on 28 Nov 2004 (NADA 141-219). Metacam
an accidental overdose. Instead, it must be mixed with food to
Oral Suspension was approved for dogs only
on 15 Apr 2003
ensure slower absorption. The Metacam Injection used during
(NADA 141-213). As of July 2006, the approval status of both
surgery may cause loss of appetite, and the cat won’t eat his
oral dose. So you’re likely to try to administer the dose directly into the mouth, but if your cat weighs less than 10 lbs. (and
There is a misconception that using medications in a non-
many do), this only increases the risk of overdose.
FDA-approved fashion is illegal. This is simply not so; the FDA regulates drug manufacturers, not the practice of veterinary
medicine. Veterinarians may prescribe any drugs they have
Given the clearly documented risks of Metacam Oral in cats, it
reason to believe are safe and effective, even if the particular
is wise to ask your veterinarian the following questions if he or
use is not FDA approved (this practice is known as “off-label”
or “extralabel” use). However, you and your cat do not have
Are my cat’s blood tests (especially liver & kidney functions) OK?
any FDA assurance that the drug is safe and effective.
What side effects should I look out for?
Under what conditions should I discontinue the medication?
Metacam is commonly used in cats for two cases:
Who do I call on evenings or weekends if my cat has a reaction? Is there a 24-hour emergency animal hospital in the area?
(a) Metacam Solution for Injection (or simply “Metacam
May I have copies of the Metacam product sheets?
Injection”) is used to provide post-operative relief of pain and
Persians are a more delicate breed, are you sure this is safe?
inflammation for up to 24 hours following procedures such as
My cat weighs less than 10 pounds, are you sure this is safe?
dentistry, spaying and neutering. Vets often prescribe a few
What other pain medications are FDA-approved in cats?
daily follow-up doses of Metacam Oral for continued pain
What pain medications were you using prior to Metacam Oral’s
relief, although this is not an FDA approved use.
(b) Metacam Oral Suspension (or simply “Metacam Oral”) is
Are these medications safer and/or cheaper than Metacam?
often prescribed to relieve arthritis pain in cats. Although this
is also not an FDA approved use, it is known to be effective, albeit with some risk.
There are clearly documented risks associated with the off-label use of Metacam Oral in cats which may lead to kidney
failure and death. These risks should be carefully discussed
According to the manufacturer’s product sheet1, Metacam has
with your veterinarian before proceeding with any Metacam
treatment. For post-operative pain relief, explore other alternatives
in cats, meaning that there is very little difference between a
with your veterinarian before agreeing to the use of Metacam.
safe, effective dose and a toxic dose. Repeated doses of Metacam Oral in cats have been known to result in death, as
documented in the clinical tests3 submitted to the FDA.
The narrow safety margin in cats is reflected in the FDA’s
The United States Food and Drug Administration
Adverse Drug Experience (ADE) reports4 for Metacam Oral, which summarize drug side effects reported by veterinarians.
Of 842 reports for dogs, 19 cases of kidney failure and no
 Product sheet: Metacam Solution for Injection for Cats
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (revised October 2004)
deaths were reported. However in 320 cats, 105 cases of
kidney failure, 48 deaths and 35 cases resulting in euthanasia
 Product sheet: Metacam Oral Suspension for Dogs
have been reported. This clearly indicates that Metacam poses
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (revised January 2005)
a much greater risk in cats than in dogs.
 Freedom of Information Summary for Supplemental NADA 141-219
The use of Metacam poses not only a significant health risk to
(Metacam 5 mg/mL Solution for Injection for cats), 28 October 2004
the cat, but also exposes the cat owner to significant financial
See “Tolerance Study in Cats on Meloxicam”, pp. 24-26
risk. The treatment of kidney failure requires days of hospitalization,
and the outcome may be death. Whether the cat survives or
 Adverse Drug Experiences (ADE) Report, 9 June 2006
not, the hospital bill can easily exceed $1,000.
Because of Metacam’s narrow safety margin, veterinarians
will order blood tests to check your cat’s kidney and liver
Metacam® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
Quando la verità è novità DOTTOR PAUL RODBERG trascurando le considerazioni biologiche aIl progetto qui presentato si prefigge duelungo termine; in altre parole si evidenzia-scopi fondamentali: il primo è darvi unavisione più chiara ed oggettiva su ciò che èil sistema sanitario di oggi; Il secondo è farviChiropratica mi resi conto delle differentiacquisire fiducia nel mio la
Scavenging birds and ecosystem services Chair General Ecology, Brandenburg Technical University Abstract: Scavengers play an important role in ecosystems. Their obvious service for public health is well known at least in developing countries: In terms of ecosystem services they remove rotten meat and bones and in doing so prevent serious diseases in people and livestock. Vulture decline