A picture of a happy dog on a beach with the sea in the background

Relieving short-term (acute) pain

Dogs, just like people, experience pain following an injury.

To help make your dog more comfortable at home your vet has prescribed a pain relieving medicine – Metacam®. It is important that you give Metacam® according to your vet’s advice to ensure your dog recovers as comfortably as possible.

If your dog has had a general anaesthetic then the after-effects (e.g. unsteadiness and drowsiness) normally wear off within 24 hours. If you have any concerns about your dog while they are recovering, you should contact your vet for advice.

A dog on a leash wearing a cast on one leg

Chronic pain and arthritis

The medical care of arthritis in dogs has advanced rapidly in recent years. With a little action on your part, there is every reason to expect that your dog can be comfortable for the rest of their life.

Your vet has prescribed Metacam® to treat your dog’s arthritis. Metacam® is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a type of painkiller and anti-inflammatory for dogs. NSAIDs are very effective at reducing the pain and stiffness that your dog may suffer from, and are likely to greatly improve their quality of life.

It is important to use pain relief that is prescribed by your vet as some human painkillers, such as ibuprofen, are poisonous to dogs. If you have any concerns you should contact your vet for advice.

a dog lying on a bed with a blanket over it
dog lying down looking uninterested


Change of temperament

dog looking disturbed in a dog bed


Disrupted sleep and difficulty rising

dog sitting down on a leash


Refuses walks or lags behind

dog sitting next to stairs


Difficulty with stairs

dog licking it's foot


Cries out or licks joints

dog losing it's balance


Lack of balance when walking or toileting

dog looking away from his food


Loss of appetite

dog looking happy in it's owner's arms

Oral suspension with dosing syringe

The Metacam® dosing syringe is used to accurately control the dose of Metacam® oral suspension you give your dog. See below for oral suspension instructions.

image of four metacam products

Chewable tablets

Metacam® chewable tablets can be administered with or without food, are meat flavoured, and are taken by most dogs voluntarily.

metacam chewable tablets product packaging

Metacam dosing for dogs

  1. Before administering Metacam® you should shake the bottle. Remove the cap and attach the dosing syringe to the top of the bottle.
  2. Once the syringe is attached to the bottle you can turn both the bottle and syringe upside down. Pull the plunger out until the black line is aligned with your dog’s weight in kilograms.
  3. Then turn the bottle the right way up and twist to separate the syringe from the bottle.
  4. Push the plunger to empty the syringe onto your dog’s food. Alternatively, empty the syringe directly into their mouth.
  5. For very small dogs weighing less than 10 kg, the dropper on the bottle itself can be used. After shaking the bottle, simply turn it upside down, and without squeezing the bottle, allow the prescribed number of drops to fall onto your dog’s food.
dogs metacam application video thumbnail

FAQ – Metacam® for dogs

What is Metacam®?

Metacam® is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a type of painkiller used for the treatment of long-term pain, such as arthritis and short-term pain, such as injury in dogs. Metacam® is the UK’s No. 1 medication for pain and inflammation in dogs1. Therefore, it plays a vital role in improving the quality and enjoyment of life for dogs with arthritis.


1 = MAT value, Kynetec Jun 2023

Where can I buy Metacam®?

Metacam® is only available with a prescription from your veterinary surgeon.

How does Metacam® work?

Metacam® works by relieving pain and inflammation (swelling, redness and warmth).

How is Metacam® given?

Metacam® oral suspension can be added to food or given directly into your dog’s mouth, making it very easy to give. Metacam® chewable tablets for dogs can be placed in your dog’s food or offered to them directly. Always use the dose that your vet prescribes.

What is the dose of Metacam®?

Your vet will prescribe the dose required by your dog, so always follow their instructions carefully. If you have any questions relating to the dose of Metacam® please contact your veterinary practice directly.

What is the flavouring in Metacam®?

Metacam® oral suspension has a tasty honey flavour. Metacam® chewable tablets for dogs are meat flavoured.

How long will my dog require treatment with Metacam® for?

Treating arthritis will generally involve life-long therapy for your dog. Following an injury your dog will likely be prescribed a short course. Always follow your vet's instructions on how long the treatment should be given. For shorter courses, such as following an injury, your vet will advise how long treatment should be continued for.

What if I forget a dose of Metacam®?

If you forget a dose, do not give an extra dose or a larger dose; simply give your dog the usual dose at the next scheduled time. This may mean missing a daily dose.

Does Metacam® have any side effects?

Normally, dogs tolerate Metacam® very well. If your dog becomes unwell while receiving Metacam® or you are worried at all, you should contact your veterinary practice immediately. You should stop giving Metacam® until your vet advises that you can continue using it. This is because in some cases, Metacam® and other medicines like it can cause side effects, so your vet needs to ensure any changes that develop in your dog are not related to the medicine they are taking. Very rarely, side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood in faeces, unusual tiredness or problems with the kidneys have been reported in dogs. These side effects are very rare, but if you are concerned about your dog for any reason, please discontinue treatment and contact your vet for advice.

Will my vet need to see my dog regularly?

When Metacam® is being used for arthritis, as with any long-term medicine, your vet will need to see your dog regularly to ensure they are in good health. How often this will be depends on a number of things, such as whether your dog has any other illnesses and their age. Vets may recommend performing blood and/or urine tests to check your dog’s health status when they see them.

When Metacam® is only being used for short courses your vet will tell you how often you will need to visit them.

What sizes of Metacam® are available?

Metacam® oral suspension for dogs is available in 10 ml, 32 ml, 100 ml and 180 ml bottles. Metacam® chewable tablets for dogs are available in 1 mg and 2.5 mg tablets.

How long will a bottle of Metacam® oral suspension last my dog?

Size of dog (kg)

Metacam® oral suspension for dogs bottle size

10 ml

32 ml

100 ml

180 ml

Length of treatment at maintenance dose


Approx. days

Approx. days

Approx. weeks

Approx. weeks














































What if I accidentally give too much Metacam® or another pet eats the Metacam®?

If you think your dog has had too much Metacam® (an overdose), or another pet has taken it when it wasn’t prescribed for them, you should immediately contact your veterinary practice for advice. Tell the veterinary surgeon the full details of how much was ingested and when.

I have lost my Metacam® dog dosing syringe, how can I get a replacement one?

Your vet will be able to supply you with a new Metacam® dosing syringe; ask them to phone Boehringer Ingelheim to request additional dosing syringes.

Is there anything I can do to help support the health of my dog’s joints?

With some small changes to your dog’s lifestyle, you can help support the health of their joints. As your dog can’t control what they eat and drink themselves, make sure you keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra strain on their joints. Regular, gentle exercise can prevent your dog’s joints from stiffening up so they can remain active. Hydrotherapy (which involves your dog swimming in a purpose-built pool) helps to build muscle mass to better support joints. Your vet may also suggest that you give your dog a joint health supplement, such as Seraquin®. This is a nutritional supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and curcumin; all of which help support the normal function of your dog’s joints.

How long will it take for my dog to feel comfortable after receiving Metacam® Oral Suspension to treat its arthritis?

Metacam® oral suspension for dogs is quickly absorbed and typically, signs of pain ease within 3–4 days of starting regular daily dosing, as recommended by your vet. If you have any specific concerns about your dog, please speak with your vet who is best placed to advise you.

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