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Meloxicam: Medical Alert for Trainers

  • Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is used for the treatment of inflammation and pain in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders in dogs and other species. The injectable form is also used for reduction of post-operative pain and inflammation following surgery.
  • In dogs, it is a Prescription Only Medicine with marketing authorisations for both oral suspension and injectable forms as Metacam and tablets as well. 
  • Brand names include Metacam, Inflacam, Loxicam and Rheumocam
  • A recent study looking at the administration of meloxicam to greyhounds has raised issues as to its safety as a drug for treating greyhounds within a “Drug-free Sport” and results from this research have demonstrated that meloxicam may persist in the greyhound for up to 25 days following a single dose. 
  • Residues of meloxicam may also be found in category 2 meat and if this meat is fed to racing greyhounds, drug residues may be found for up to 12 days. Repeat feeding of contaminated meat will result in an accumulation of the drug which may then be detected for a longer period. Cooking will not remove the risk of meloxicam residues in meat and any liquor from the meat will also present a risk. 
  • The Greyhound Board therefore issue the following warning to Trainers; 
      • Meloxicam should not be used as an anti-inflammatory within 30 days of a race or trial 

      • Category 2 meat shall not be fed to racing greyhounds within 14 days of a race or trial 

  • Trainers are advised to seek veterinary advice regarding alternative anti-inflammatory medication. 

  • Suitable alternatives include Carprofen and Cox-2 inhibitors such as Firocoxib. 

  • These are Prescription Only Medicines (POMs) and must be supplied by a veterinary surgeon