My 16 plus year old persian (tiny, tiny cat - weighs 5-6 lbs - very frail but not skinny) is on Metacam every 3 days for pain. She can't jump very well, have seen her miss and fall. In the other cat NQR/lameness thread this medication was mentioned. Can anyone give me pros and cons of this med?
She also seems to have Parkinsons-like symptoms - will stop and freeze in one place, like she can't move or has forgotten what she was doing. Sometimes when she sneezes she almost falls over - balance issue?
She has a great appetite and is very affectionate, always wanting to be in my lap. I don't think it's her time to cross the bridge, but am just concerned that I am doing everything I can for her. I love my vet and trust him very much, he's very experienced and I swear he loves my cats as much as I do.
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Metacam is a nsaid, like ibuprofen or alive. The human version is Mobic, generic name meloxicam. It works in cats the same way it works in humans--decreasing inflammation and therefore, pain. But in cats it has found to sometimes cause harmful effects of the kidneys. Sometimes, the effects are fatal. It's not a drug to use without regular labs being run to check values. But it does it's intended job very well.
I use it in my senior. But I'm also aware that it has the potential to shorten her life. Do I worry about that with each dose? No. I worry more about her quality of life.
As far as the neurological symptoms, that's out of my scope of experience. I would absolutely consult with your vet though. And be aware that senior kitties, just like humans, can experience dementia. The stopping/freezing/forgetting sounds more like mild dementia to me, but I'm not a vet. I wouldn't be surprised about balance issues in seniors either. We all get a bit more unsteady as we age.
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Is she on "metacam" or "metacam for cats". Sometimes the one specifically for cats is easier to administer a more accurate dose. Generally, cats respond very well to it and have less GI complications than dogs. However, ulcers, liver/kidney disease can still be a result of any NSAID.
Hopefully Marshfield or STB will chime in, I heard at a conference a while back (1 or 2 years) about people experimenting with low dose Cerenia (yes, Cerenia) instead of Metacam for kitties. Supposedly worked as well or even better than Metacam did when it was used for chronic stuff in the US. Worth someone looking it up. Maybe have your DVM run a VIN check for info?
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There was an interesting study on cats with chronic renal failure that showed cats given metacam actually showed improvement in their BUN/creatinine values over cats not given metacam so the effect on kidneys is not completely clear. While it is generally agreed that NSAID's like metacam can cause kidney damage if blood pressure is low as seen in anesthesia it is not certain that kitties in chronic renal failure are at greater risk if they are given metacam. It has been suggested that perhaps metacam may reduce inflammation in the kidneys in chronic renal disease. Low blood pressure does not generally occur in chronic kidney disease. There can certainly be side affects to any drug given to animals and the benefit must outweigh the risk, if metacam improves quality of life and your cat tolerates the medication I would not hesitate to use it.
The con would be that it can be damaging to the kidneys, as others mentioned. The pros would be that it helps manage arthritis very well, and I believe is the only NSAID that can be used for cats.
I had my dog on it briefly this summer. She was taken off it when she began to experience large, uncontrolled volume of urine - ie, the very housebroken older dog would suddenly pee very, very publicly in the house, and it was very dilute. Was it due to the drug, or just aging? The timing was suspicious, the bloodwork didn't show anything, and we switched her to a different NSAID just in case.
I too have heard some interesting stories about cerenia and pain management (in cats). Havent tried it. I assume it would be expensive as a daily treatment?
Kidneys are certainly a concern, but when it comes down to pain management or euthanasia its worth giving the NSAID a shot. Ensure kidney values are ok before starting, feed wet food and monitor kidney/liver values every 3 months.
Has Boswella been used or tested for cats? I was having a miserable time with significant arthritis in my lower back and hips, limping and unable to do anything that required much pressure on my back. I heard about it watching Dr. Oz and ordered some. I am painfree in that area. It's a supplement (homeopathic maybe) like glucosamine. I know cats are sensitive -- I have a houseful and rescue them or take them in all the time. But there doesn't seem to be any side effects and I just have wondered if anyone has used them on animals. Good luck with the kitty -- God bless you for your efforts.