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Metacam side effects

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Metacam side effects
  • Wow. It's been a while since I've posted here! My desperation has brought me back, and I'm hoping to stick around this time :) My problem lies with my male Chesapeake Bay retriever, Indy. Late last spring he tore his CCL, and in June had a TTA surgery to repair the knee. In addition to the knee poor Indy has pretty severe arthritis. The vet prescribed Metacam and said that Indy should remain on the drug for the rest of his life (he's 6). He is also taking Tramadol, omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin + MSM. All bloodwork was done before starting the Metacam, and he checked out fine. Indy now has TERRIBLE diarrhea as a result of the Metacam. I pulled him off it and put him back on it to confirm that that was the cause of the diarrhea. This diarrhea is worse than I've ever seen in any dog. I have to leave the door open permanently, so he can make it outside in time to go. This has lasted months. His skin and ears are now an absolute mess too. Terrible rash, welts, scabs. Horribly infected ears which I can treat, but they keep returning after treatment. Yes, I have visited my vet multiple times to express my concerns with this drug and its side effects, but she tells me to leave him on the drug. She claims the benefits of the drug far outweigh the side effects. I am seriously beginning to doubt this. So, what are your thoughts on the Metacam? Anyone else's dog go through such terrible side effects? What else can I give him to treat the joint inflammation and pain? Another prescription? Something holistic? My poor dog has been through so much this summer, and the thought of him living with the side effects of this drug for the rest of his life just makes me ill.
  • There are FAR better ways to avoid inflammation and avoid pain. 

     If you will EMAIL me (not a PM pretty please -- what I have to send you is an attachment) I will send you my arthritis stuff.  callie at critturs dot come (no spaces and use the punctuation please?)

     Milk thistle -- right away and TONS of it.  His liver is probably having a tough time managing the drug.  In addition you may want to have his thyroid tested -- NOT the typical vet lab test -- since he's a chessie, you'd be far better having the vet send it to Michigan State or directly to Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet.org -- getting a breed specific panel done, particularly in light of all the severe inflammation would be one of the first things to do.

    The other thing I'd STRONGLY tell you to do is find a vet who does TCVM -- acupuncture and the accompanying oriental herbs (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine = TCVM) -- not a Chinese vet -- this is practiced here with GREAT success.  http://www.tcvm.com is the Chi Institute which is a good qualifying agency for acupuncturists/herbalists.  It's awesome to help with this sort of inflammation (and yes, I mean the skin problems too).

    I've battled arthritis my entire life -- and *I* use acupuncture.  It gives SUCH relief from pain, and can help so much in cases like this.  Honestly your vet is just not right here -- this sounds like a pretty stiff allergic reaction -- there are other NSAIDS out there -- none of them are wonderful, mind you -- but this sort of reaction is NOT good. 

    I will email you back my phone number -- I am more than willing to talk to you on the phone.  I know I can help!!! 

     BTW -- nice to see you again!!!

  • I dont know how your vet can say that the benefits out weigh the side effects. The dog can not live the rest of his life with that extreme of diarrhea. I went to the vet because my dog had hurt his shoulder playing and was informed that he had arthritis in his elbow and shoulder. The vet prescribed Rymadil. I chose to do the glucosamine / chondroitin instead because I had had great success with my old rottie rescue. Within a week his limp was gone. Has anyone told you to raise the dose of the glucosamine. Sometimes thats all that is necessary. I had my rottie on 1500 twice a day with no improvement, when I raised it to 3000 twice a day she was moving freely and running again. This is a 125 lb rottie that when I got her if she ran she could not get up off the ground for 3 days. I think if I were you I would get a new vet. I get bashed on this site for recommending natural remedies over vet visits, but I have seen them work, so I will keep passing them along.
  • Dawnben
    I get bashed on this site for recommending natural remedies over vet visits, but I have seen them work, so I will keep passing them along.

    No, you get bashed for recommending 'natural remedies' BEFORE vet visits. IMO, the majority of herbs are NOT 'natural remedies', but something that needs to be supervised by a veterinarian, not tried willy-nilly by owners who don't have a correct diagnosis. JMHO.

    OP, I would try acupuncture if you could. Pirate had a partial ACL tear in his right knee - we saw our regular vet who diagnosed it, and I scooted him in for an acupuncture appointment as soon as I could. Our holistic vet added herbals and an extra acupuncture session (4 weeks apart in place of our usual 8 weeks) and he doesn't even have a limp now. At the 8 week recheck the holistic vet FORGOT which knee was injured. He's a small dog and it was a small tear, but it does work, and they'll be able to use acupuncture points to help with the diarrhea as well.

  • We tried Bevo on Metacam a few years ago, & he developed explosive diarrhea.  We just took him off of it, & relied on tramadol.

    I'm having very good results with Adequans injections with our arthritic boxer, Brutus.  There is also a relatively new drug called Polyglycan that is getting very good reviews from vets in our area.  It is an equine drug, but it has crossed over into canine medicine as well.  Our orthopedic surgeon put it into Bevo's joint after removing a mass in the joint capsule two weeks ago.  Because of having to go into the joint capsule, she is expecting for Bev to develop arthritis.  Her hope is that this drug will prevent that from happening.  Only time will tell if it works or not.

    We recently switched to a product called PolyChews as a glucosamine/chondrotin supplement, & the improvement since the switch has been dramamtic.  All glucosamine/chondrotin supps are not created equal.  We use a generic Omega 3 & 6 fatty acid supplement, & we dose at 5 times the recommended dose.  I also give fish oil at 1000mg per 10lbs.  I also give 400IU Vitamin E daily.  Grain free diets are also something to look at, as some grains actually encourage inflammation.

    If you haven't already, you may want to look into acupuncture.  It makes a world of difference.  According to our vets, it takes 6-10 weeks of supplementation to see results.  During that time, acupuncture can really help keep him comfortable.

  • Dawnben
    I get bashed on this site for recommending natural remedies over vet visits, but I have seen them work, so I will keep passing them along.

    Dawn, no one "bashes" you -- but it is important to get a real diagnosis first.  Every single post in this thread is about natural or alternative helps -- NOT pharmaceuticals.  Herbs most certainly can help -- and many many of us use them and promote them, but the trick is that you *MUST* know for sure what you're treating, and there have been a few times in the past when the herbs recommended were inappropriate for what the true diagnosis turned out to be.  That can be harmful so most of us advocate that a person gets a **valid diagnosis** first.  Then full speed ahead with whatever natural or alternative remedies help.  It's just critical to do it safely.

    I chose to do the glucosamine / chondroitin instead because I had had great success with my old rottie rescue

    If you read, Dawn, she's already done that.

    He is also taking Tramadol, omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin + MSM

    mOving swiftly on here -- glucosamine & chondroitin can really help but *only* if there is actually still cartilage left intact in the joint.  g&c are "hydrators" -- that means they simply plump up the cartilagenous tissue that is in the joint to make it cushier so it does it's job better with less irritation to the inflamed bone ends. 

    I've had really good luck with plain old Knox NutraJoint -- in fact, I've historically just used the plain NutaJoint altho it IS available with glucosamine & chondroitin in it as well.  (Just don't use one that contains artficial sweeteners ok?  dogs can find some of them extremely toxic and they aren't needed - so be cautious there ok?)

    NutraJoint put the basic building blocks (collagen/calcium and trace minerals) at the body's disposal so it can re-build cartilage.  It literally helps re-build that joint.

    As I said -- if you'll email me I can send you a ton of stuff on how to deal with arthritis and joint pain without using the nsaids. 

    But as Amanda and Meg have pointed out -- acupuncture truly rocks for this (sorry, that's such a "me" way of saying that) -- but it is true.  Acupuncture is not painful at all  (if you go to the videos section of the board you will see a video of my Billy getting acupuncture!!). 

    There are herbs that can help -- but even herbs (like willowbark) which are also natural nsaids ALSO can cause stomach bleeding and GI upset -- so you simply have to use an array of things -- less strong, but balanced overall so you don't get bad side effects but you DO get pain relief and healing.

    To be blunt -- I'm 56 years old and I've had arthritis since I was a child. I've used alternative methods now for many years (cos I have the same sort of reactions to all the pharmaceutical nsaids that the dogs do ... sorry!) -- but they DO work.  Particularly the acupuncture and the NutraJoint and the essential oils that I use topically (which also work on the dogs very well).

    oh ... and another small hint -- get some yucca from the frozen foods section in the grocery store (spanish section usually) -- and cook it up.  Literally cook it to GOO (just in water and let it simmer til it goes mushy).  Add a couple of spoonsful to his food twice a day -- it's another natural anti-inflammatory that you can use while you are getting everything else under control.  Don't use it long, long term -- but until you can get this under control for him it will provide a bit of good, healthy, easy relief. 

    The other thing you can do right now, is use chamomile tea --just plain old chamomile.  Brew it on the strong side, let it cool totally (and just add the soggy herbs to the tea).  Again, add it to his food -- half a cup twice a day.  It's not bad tasting and it will give him some instant relief AND it will help the gut as well.


  • Thank you ALL so much for your advice/input. These past few months have been a nightmare, from the surgery to surgery complications and now to these terrible bowel and skin problems.

    calliecritturs, I will email you now.

    It does appear a change in vets is in order. I've actually been considering it a while now, but this is just the final straw. To just leave him on the meds in the condition he is in now is just inexcusable.

    Indy is currently on a grain-free diet. He gets 2 1/2 cups of Taste of the Wild and a 1/2 can Tiki Dog daily. He gets 1500mg glucosamine, 1200mg chondroitin and 3000mg of omega-3. He was getting his weight dose of Metacam (90 pounds). He also gets 200mg of Tramadol daily. I also give him 3 teaspoons full of Missing Link daily.

    I will definitely look into acupuncture. If anyone has any vet/holistic vet recommendations in the san Diego area, I would love it.
  • Go to http://www.tcvm.com -- there is a locator on the left.


    I will definitely look into acupuncture. If anyone has any vet/holistic vet recommendations in the san Diego area, I would love it.

    There are MANY good acupuncture vets in California -- just off the top of my head (and my CA geography sux) Signe Bebe is in Davis and Cheryl Schwartz is in Alameda (Cheryl Schwartz is literally the "lady who wrote the book" on TCVM -- "Four Paws Five Directions" is the lay guide to TCVM -- it is an AWESOME book).

    But that's literally just off the top of my head.  But both of those people are actually instructors/faculty for the Chi Institute.  Dr. Dodds also offers acupuncture at her facility (if you go to Hemopet.org her address is there).  In fact that would be a superb place to send his next bloodwork -- if you haven't had it checked lately -- all the nsaids can do a number on the thyroid readings.


  •  Leslie I remember you - welcome back - sorry it is for this reason.........

    Bugsy had a TPLO in November and although we didn't have complications he had a serious issue with Rimadyl and was pooping blood on his stool so we had to stop after 10 days.  Initially the surgeon wanted us to stay on it for 30 days but we came off it immediately.

    We use Traumeel and Zeel for any pain issues (Bugsy doesn't have arthritis in his knees but has a bit in his lower back) They are safe and inexpensive and WORK.  We crush it and put it on top of yogurt or cottage cheese - they need to lick the powder.

    We use human glucosamine/chondroitin and equine MSM as well as the plain Knutra-joint (using this for years, only the MSM is new)

    We used the tramadol after surgery and a few times later on but honestly I didn't see it work as well as the Traumeel.

    Here is a link to a yahoo group that is focused on ortho issues - especially knees - they do tend to focus on the negative but there is a lot of info there.

    BTW our surgeon highly recommended acupuncture and if you haven't already I would try to locate a good PT.  The chick that owns this http://www.americandogrehab.com/AmericanDogRehab/Introduction.html goes on that yahoo board and seems awesome.  If I were in San Diego I would totally check her out!

    good luck


  • Emma took Metacam, daily, when things turned ugly for her, and tolerated it well. Sounds like Indy is allergic. That sucksStick out tongue I hope you find something that works for him, soon!!!

  • I've had to use Metacam on several occasions, some quite short-term, and some more long-term (weeks, not months). I've never seen any bad drug reactions or side effects. Hopefully you get something figured out, that can't be fun for anyone!

  • Actually I am scared of NSAIDs.  I think rimadyl is the worst of the lot.    I hae read of dogs dying after one dose.  One lady started a site, Doghealth2 after losing her chocolate lab to it and i have read story after story after story on her site of the rections ot NSAIDs.

    There are dogs that take them for years without a problem. I guess it depends on the dog.I would try safter things first and then resort to NSAIDs as a last resort. My golden retriever, had knee surger at 16 months for luxating patella and then 14 months the other knee was operated on for same condition plus ACL repair.  I had her on the gluco/chron and after learning about the Knox, had her onit as well.  I lost her 8 years 9 months to cancer, but she never had knee problems again.

    Good luck and I hope you can find a good treatment that doesn't involved dangerous meds.  But I know sometimes there is no choice.  BNy the way, I feed Taste of the Wild also.