For a general discussion of commonly seen adverse effects and treatment of NSAID toxicosis, see Toxicities from Human Drugs: Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID).
Etodolac is an indole acetic acid-derivative NSAID labeled for use in dogs to treat pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It is rapidly absorbed orally, with peak serum concentrations seen 2 hr after dosing. It is primarily eliminated through the bile. The elimination half-life is 8–12 hr. Etodolac appears to be well tolerated by dogs when used at the labeled dosage (10–15 mg/kg, PO, sid) for 1 yr. With multiple doses, clinical signs of toxicity such as GI ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss can be seen at 40 mg/kg. Six of 8 dogs died or became moribund due to GI ulceration at 80 mg/kg.
Meloxicam is an enolic acid derivative NSAID approved for use in dogs and cats for controlling pain and inflammation. Meloxicam is available as a solution for injection (5 mg/mL) and as an oral suspension. In cats, the approval has been only for a single SC injection of 0.3 mg/kg. In dogs, the recommended initial dosage is 0.2 mg/kg, followed by 0.1 mg/kg, PO. Meloxicam has a good margin of safety in dogs. Oral administration at 0.1 mg/kg for 26 weeks was well tolerated in dogs. Some dogs at 0.3 or 0.5 mg/kg, PO, for 42 days have shown clinical signs consistent with NSAID administration (vomiting, diarrhea, renal effects). In cats, the margin of safety appears to be narrow; extra-label dosing at 0.1–0.2 mg/kg, PO, for a few days has caused adverse effects.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Safdar A. Khan, DVM, MS, PhD, DABVT