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Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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I took my 10 year old cat to the vets last week as she was

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I took my 10 year old cat to the vets last week as she was limping on her front leg. After examining her he said she had probably torn cartledge in her elbow and could feel a bit of arthritis in her elbows. He prescribed Metacam for cats orally for 6 weeks then lower the dose, take her off it and then see how she goes on. If she needs it he will prescribe it long term, she has been taking it for 10 days now no side effects and had her bloods done (as she is also on Felimazole tablets) and kidney and liver came back as very good. I am just a bit worried if she does have to take it long term if this will eventually cause side effects, as have read some real horror stories on internet.
Vet : Hi there, vet Andrew here. Has she had X-rays done at any point?

No he just felt at the joint.

Vet : Ok. It may be a good idea in the future to ask for this, as then you can track the progress of the arthritis and alter treatment accordingly.
Vet : In the meantime, there are some options for you...
Vet : You are correct in being concerned about the side effects of drugs such as Metacam, but if the dosage is carefully adjusted you cn achieve maximum effect for minimum side effects. The main victims are the liver and kidneys as you suggest, but the stomach can also be affected, as it can in humans. To this end, if you decide to put Ginger on long-term Metacam I would recommend a six-monthly blood sample to assess the liver and kidneys.
Vet : I also recommend you combine this drug with others, so that each dose can be lowered without reducing pain relief. Consider omega-3, glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate (available from human pharmacies.) Discuss the dosage with your vet, but these substances allow you to reduce the dependence on Metacam.
Vet : The Metacam can be reduced after a while, too. I have had certain cats on this drug for years, they they now get away with a 1/2 dose three times a week. They are regularly monitored, and the owners are able to adjust the dose according to how stiff/painful they feel their pet is.
Vet : To summarise, there should be no problem with keeping Ginger on lifelong Metacam, given regular monitoring, and the combination of joint supplements. You will find that you get a sense of how much drug to give on a particular day, and many find, for example, that more is needed in winter compared to summer. There is an art to dosing in this way and no reason you can't pick this up and keep Ginger pain-free without causing excessive side effects.

Thanks you

Vet : I hope this helps, and await any further questions you may have.

Thank you


Hopefully I can take her off it when 6 weeks are up, I did ask the vet if she needed it long term would I be able to give it to her every other day, he said it would be better to give her a small dose every day (is this true). He said he can only feel a bit of knobbly elbows and on a scale of 1-10 she was about 4-5.

Vet : There is evidence to suggest that regular, low doses of NSAIDs (drugs like Metacam) are better than dosing when needed. That said, the long term users of Metacam do find that three or even two doses a week are enough to work. You will play a big part in assessing this, as only you see Ginger every day. Try reducing the dose after a while, and if you find that Ginger becomes stiff, then return to the original dose. It's all about fine-tuning and striving for the smallest effective dose.

Thanks. She is on 3.5 with syringe at moment she weighs 3.8kg. After 6 weeks he said to reduce to 2.00 for a couple of weeks. Hopefully she will be ok with this.

Vet : That sounds fine. Try a couple of weeks of no metacam afterwards (but please do give the joint supplements a try along with your vet's advice). After that, assess Ginger for stiffness, especially when first rising, and lameness. If you feel she needs some easing, go back on the metacam at full dose for a few weeks, then start gradually reducing to find minimum effective dose.

Thank you, ***** ***** been very helpful.

Vet : No problem. I wish you and Ginger all the best for the future. Regards, ***** *****
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