Meloxicam for Dogs Dosage Chart: Guide to Canine Pain Management

icon August 18, 2023

Meloxicam for Dogs Dosage Chart

Here's a general guideline for dosing:

Size Dosage
Small dogs (under 10 pounds) Typically around 0.5 mg to 1.5 mg
Medium-sized dogs (10-50 pounds) Typically around 1.5 mg to 7.5 mg
Large dogs (over 50 pounds) Typically around 7.5 mg to 15 mg

It's crucial to use the correct dosage for your dog's weight, and it's best to start with the lowest effective dose under the guidance of your veterinarian.

Additionally, meloxicam should be given with food to help reduce the potential for gastrointestinal irritation. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are also important when using any medication for your pet.

What is Meloxicam Used For?

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that belongs to the same class of medications as ibuprofen and naproxen. Meloxicam works by inhibiting certain enzymes in the body that are involved in the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which play a role in pain and inflammation.
It is often prescribed by doctors to treat:



Meloxicam can help manage the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that causes joint pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is also used to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation and pain.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Meloxicam may be prescribed for ankylosing spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and can cause pain and stiffness.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

In some cases, meloxicam can be used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a form of arthritis that affects children and adolescents.

Post-Surgical Pain

After surgical procedures, dogs can experience varying degrees of discomfort. Meloxicam helps alleviate pain and inflammation, promoting a quicker and smoother recovery.

Injury and Trauma

Meloxicam's pain-relieving qualities can provide comfort to dogs experiencing injuries, strains, or sprains, aiding in a more comfortable healing process.

Chronic Pain

Meloxicam might be administered to dogs dealing with persistent pain, like that stemming from specific cancers or other medical issues, in order to improve their overall quality of life.

How Meloxicam Works?

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by inhibiting enzymes in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. There are two main types of COX enzymes: COX-1 and COX-2.

COX-1 Enzyme: This enzyme is present in various tissues throughout the body, including the stomach lining and kidneys. It plays a role in maintaining the stomach lining's protective mucus layer and promoting blood clotting. Inhibition of COX-1 can lead to gastrointestinal side effects, such as stomach ulcers and bleeding.

COX-2 Enzyme: This enzyme is primarily associated with inflammation and pain. When tissues are injured or inflamed, COX-2 is produced, leading to the release of prostaglandins, which are chemical messengers that promote inflammation, pain, and fever.

Meloxicam primarily inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, thereby reducing the production of prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation. By targeting COX-2 more selectively, meloxicam is believed to have a lower risk of causing gastrointestinal side effects compared to older NSAIDs that also inhibit COX-1. This selectivity is what differentiates meloxicam from some other NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin, which can inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2.

How Long Does Meloxicam Last?

The duration of action of meloxicam can vary depending on several factors, including the individual's metabolism, the specific formulation of the medication, and the dose taken.

Generally, the effects of a single dose of meloxicam can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. However, it's important to note that the drug's duration of action doesn't necessarily correspond to its pain-relieving effects lasting that entire time. The pain-relieving effects might start to diminish after several hours, even if the drug is still present in the body.


Is Meloxicam a Strong Painkiller?

While Meloxicam can help manage pain, it is not typically considered a strong painkiller in the same class as opioids like morphine or strong synthetic analgesics.

Strong painkillers, often referred to as opioids or narcotics, work on the central nervous system to block pain signals and provide more potent pain relief. These medications are usually reserved for severe pain, such as that experienced after major surgeries, severe injuries, or advanced stages of certain diseases.

Meloxicam Side Effects for Dogs (Meloxicam Overdose Information)

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is for dogs to manage pain and inflammation associated with various conditions such as arthritis, post-surgical pain, or other musculoskeletal issues. While it can be effective in relieving discomfort, it's important to be aware of potential side effects that can occur when giving meloxicam to dogs. These side effects can range from mild to severe, and it's crucial to monitor your dog closely while they are taking this medication. Here are some potential side effects of meloxicam in dogs:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: Vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Stomach ulcers or bleeding
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures (in severe cases)
  • Swelling, hives, itching, or difficulty breathing
  • Fluid Retention

What Do I Do If I Think My Dog Has Overdosed on Meloxicam?

If you suspect your pet has ingested more meloxicam than prescribed or is showing any concerning symptoms, contact a veterinarian immediately. They will provide guidance on what steps to take. Treatment might involve inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal to absorb any remaining medication, and providing supportive care such as intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and manage any potential organ damage.

Meloxicam Alternatives

I can suggest some alternatives that you could discuss with your veterinarian if you're considering options other than meloxicam for your dog's pain or inflammation. Always consult a veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health. Here are a few alternatives that might be considered:

  • Carprofen (Rimadyl)
  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
  • Firocoxib (Previcox)
  • Gabapentin
  • Tramadol
  • Adequan


How Much Meloxicam for 60 LB Dogs?

The usual dosage range is around 0.1 to 0.3 mg per pound of body weight, given once daily. However, the specific dosage can vary, and your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage based on your dog's individual needs.

For a 60-pound dog, the dosage might fall somewhere around:

Minimum: 6 mg (0.1 mg/lb)
Maximum: 18 mg (0.3 mg/lb)

Does Meloxicam for Dogs Make Them Sleepy?

Drowsiness is listed as a potential side effect of meloxicam use in both humans and dogs. Some dogs may experience mild sedation or lethargy when taking meloxicam, especially when they first start the medication. However, not all dogs will exhibit this side effect, and the degree of drowsiness can vary from dog to dog.

How Long for Meloxicam to Work in Dogs?

In general, meloxicam starts to take effect within 7-8 hours after administration. However, it's important to note that the full effects may not be immediately apparent, as it can take a few days for the drug to reach its peak effectiveness in managing pain and inflammation. Some dogs might show improvement in their condition within 24 to 48 hours, while for others, it might take a little longer.

Can Pregnant and Nursing Dogs Take Meloxicam?

No, it can not. The following should also not be applied.

It should not be used in:

  • pets with bloody stools or vomit
  • pets that have pre-existing kidney or liver conditions
  • pets that have loss of appetite
  • pets that are taking other NSAIDs (e.g., carprofen, etodolac, firocoxib, and aspirin) or corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone and dexamethasone)
  • pets that are dehydrated
  • breeding, pregnant, lactating animals
  • puppies younger than 6 months of age, or in kittens under 4 months of age

Can I Buy Meloxicam Over the Counter for Dogs?

Yes, but first time use for pets is not recommended to buy without a prescription and is recommended to be used under the advice of a veterinarian

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