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Meloxicam - WWYD? (Long)

(3 Posts)
MsAnthropic Fri 18-Jul-14 09:30:12

I adopted a cat around 2 months ago through rescue charity who had picked up as a stray. He wasn't in great shape (fleas, underweight, parasitic respiratory infection, ear mites) and was discovered to be FIV+ too. He appeared to be a bit stiff on a hind leg when he was taken in by them, but the vet who neutered him couldn't find anything on examination. His age was estimated by that vet to be around 4 years old.

Then he came to live with us. Very soon afterwards, he developed quite a pronounced limp on one of his front legs so I took him to the vet who also couldn't find anything on examination and advised us to wait and see if it got better. They gave me some Meloxicam to give to him, but I only did for a couple of days.

It didn't get better so about 3 weeks ago he was X-rayed and found to have arthritic changes in both elbows in front legs (although I can only really see he limps with one). They called me as soon as I got home with him to say that I should not give him any of the Meloxicam I had been sent home with, pending me returning with a urine sample, because the blood test they'd done that day showed very high levels of urea.

I obtained a urine sample and they phoned me back to say that it showed his kidneys were functioning OK (but also that he had a UTI) so they told me I could give him the Meloxicam. This was about a week ago, but I didn't give him any because we've been giving him Yumove for 3 weeks and it really does seem to be helping. He never appears to be grumpy or in pain. He doesn't jump much (although has done more so since the Yumove started), but he's genuinely the happiest, most affectionate and relaxed cat I've ever encountered.

So yesterday I had a chat with the vet who said that giving him the Meloxicam will shorten his life, but that we should use it to keep him comfortable (not all the time, but if he appears to be in pain). I looked into it last night and discovered the controversy over it, with many reports of healthy cats going into acute kidney failure and dying after being on it for days. In the US, it wasn't licensed for use in cats at all and had warnings on the dog version it wasn't given to cats because it could cause kidney failure and death. It's now been licensed there for a single injection only after surgery with warnings not to give a second injection, but in Europe the oral version is licensed for use in cats.

He really, really doesn't appear to be in any pain or distress at all but I know cats can hide that, so I'm torn about what to think or do next. If he was in that much pain from the arthritis, I think I'd prefer to euthanise him than let him die from kidney failure and the vet did say it would shorten his life, but I was a bit shocked by the turn the conversation took so I didn't ask enough questions.

Any thoughts would be gratefully received. Thanks.

cozietoesie Fri 18-Jul-14 10:04:08

You might like to read this thread Ms. in particular the post by Lone. My own old boy has been on it for two years and it's made a huge difference to his quality of life although he's now on supplementary pain meds as needed because he's getting too sore at times for the meloxicam to cope.

I have a feeling that the US version of metacam is a different beast but I can't remember the details. I might be able to look that up later once I've had some coffee.

MsAnthropic Fri 18-Jul-14 11:51:04

cozietoesie - thank you so much for that link. There is so much conflicting information on it that that is very reassuring.

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