Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Document Type


First Advisor

Adebowale E. Ogunjirin

Second Advisor

Caroline Solomon


Metacam®, or meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) known for its suppression of pain and inflammation, was developed in 1993 and approved first for humans and dogs after clinical trials showed minor adverse effects on their kidney functions. NSAIDs in general work by blocking the actions of two enzymes called cyclo-oxygenase-1 (cox-1), responsible for the production of prostaglandins that produces protective gastrointestinal mucus, and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (cox-2), responsible for the production of prostaglandins (lipid compounds) that initiates inflammation and pain in the body. Metacam® blocks one of these enzymes, cox-2, causing the inflammation to decrease subsequently without disturbing gastrointestinal mucus. In 2004, veterinarians began administering the Metacam® orally and via injection in cats. Clinical trials have tested the effects of long-term administration of Metacam® in cats after reports of feline renal failure, but results are inconclusive due to the felines’ old age and kidney problems prior to trials. A critical review on the apparent controversy of the use of Metacam® in cats showed that the probable explanation for acute renal failure in cats is a low glucuronyl-conjugation capacity, or the very limited ability to metabolize plant-based substances; as a result, plant-based substances build up, leading to a high risk of renal failure. Trials with other NSAIDs in cats did not address the need for non-plant-based, cox-2 selective NSAIDs, thus calling for more research—the most promising non-plant-based, cox-2 selective NSAIDs are parecoxib and celecoxib.



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