Treatment Type: Medications
Rated for: Bichon Frise
Posted Mar. 1, 2018
By far my favorite NSAID, it's very effective and safe as long as it's used as prescribed by a vet.
ACL injury of any kind is a very painful condition, which requires use of NSAIDs, whether it's treated surgically or conservatively. What ever treatment you go for, chances are that your dog will develop some kind osteoarthritis in the knee in following years, and it will need NSAID treatment from time to time. There are a few NSAIDs to choose from, their efficacy is more or less the same, they mostly differ in price and side-effects.
Cox-2 selective inhibitors like Meloxicam and Carprofen are most used in veterinary medicine, they are very effective and much safer for dogs then older less selective NSAIDs like ibuprofen, diclofenac etc. which will just burn a hole through your dogs stomach.
Despite being safer they still produce GI side-effects and sometime even ulceration, especially if overdosed. This is highly individual, some dogs don't have side-effects while others have significant ones, in these cases you can either change the drug, or if another one produces the same effect you can use proton pump inhibitors (omeprazol) to reduce stomach acid secretion and thus reduce the problem.
Last year on a veterinary conference I attended, one anesthesiology professor from Switzerland talked about some studies done all over the world comparing meloxicam and carprofen to newer more selective cox-2 blocking NSAIDs like firocoxib and robenacoxib in which they discovered that actually old ones (meloxicam and carprofen) gave better pain relief especially in post-surgical and other kinds of pain where inflammation was involved, since they have better anti-inflammatory action then newer more selective cox-2 inhibitors. Most studies are neither here nor there, but according to most there is no significant difference in pain relief nor side-effects.
While coxib class NSAIDs are suppose produce fewer GI side-effects, studies in humans (I didn't mange to find any dogs studies confirming this) have shown that they can increase incidence of stroke and heart attack, and though this wasn't proven in dogs, they're not recommended in dogs with concurrent heart disease.
Besides being as effective and safe as the new drugs, meloxicam is among the cheapest drugs around, 10x cheaper then coxib class analgesics.
One warning! Never use human meloxicam tablets, I've seen 3-4 cases of perforative ulcers (ulcers which actually make full thickness wholes in stomach) in dogs caused by human meloxicam tablets. One of them even died before we could get it to surgery.
Always use oral solutions which are made specifically for dogs and cats!