Side Effects of Metacam 1.5 mg in Rabbits

rabbit in flowers image by Julia Britvich from

Metacam (also known as Meloxicam) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that a veterinarian may prescribe for the treatment of pain in rabbits, dogs and cats. Pain control is especially important in rabbits, because they are very sensitive to pain.

Rabbits that experience chronic or severe pain may completely stop eating and eventually die. The dosage for small to medium-sized rabbits is 1.5 mg in an oral liquid suspension. Metacam is effective for reducing pain, fever and inflammation in rabbits, however, there have been some side effects associated with its use.

Allergic Reaction

Metacam 1.5 mg can cause an allergic reaction in some rabbits that have a hypersensitivity to the drug. The symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling of the lips, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the eyes, difficulty breathing and hives. This is a life-threatening condition that may require emergency medical attention.

Pre-Existing Conditions

According to Pet Place, you should use Metacam 1.5 mg with extreme caution in rabbits that have pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, liver disease or kidney disease. This medication may cause stomach ulcers, so you should not use it in rabbits that have a history of bleeding or ulcers. The potential for stomach ulcers may increase with the use of corticosteroids, ACE inhibitors or aspirin in combination with Metacam 1.5 mg.

General Side Effects

Metacam 1.5 mg may cause side effects in rabbits such as dark stools, stomach ulcers, bleeding. vomiting, loss of appetite and peritonitis (associated with intestinal perforation). Metacam 1.5 mg may cause injury to the liver, therefore, your veterinarian may perform occasional liver function tests.