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Old 02-11-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default Distraught-did metacam kill my greyhound?

Yesterday my beautiful greyhound Millie died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was only 8 years old and very healthy apart from a lame front leg when she walked on hard surfaces which she was given Metacam for. She had been on Metacam previously with no problems and was due to start some physio this week after xrays didn't show any serious problems.
Yesterday she began to eat grass and had diaorreah and was vomitting grass and frothy phlem. At first I just thought she had a tummy upset. I then saw small amount of blood in her stools and she began to get distressed and panting. I took her straight to the vets who told me she probably had gastrointiritus. Her temperature and heart beat were fine. While I was in the waiting room with her talking to the vet she looked at me and suddenly collapsed on the floor. Despite their best efforts she died.
I am totally distraught. I didn't want them to do a post mortem because I couldn't bear the thought of it but now I am desperate to know if the Metacam killed her. It wasn't until I read the side effects yesterday that it says in rare cases it can cause fatal internal bleeding. The vet has said it could have been the cause. I cannot come to terms with the fact that I was poisoning her without knowing it. I would never have given it to her, especially for such a minor ailment if I had known this could happen. The guilt is killing me. She meant the whole world to me and trusted me implicitly.
I don't know how I will get over this guilt. Has anyone else experienced anything like this with Metacam?
She was too young to die like this. Please help.

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Old 02-11-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
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My condolences to you for having to deal with the loss of your beloved dog...I'm so sorry to hear this happened.

I don't know anything about Metacam...all I know is that with any drug, there are sometimes potentially harmful side effects/risks that come with it. Whether it is a drug for an animal or a human.

Please don't blame yourself for what has happened, you didn't know that Metacam had harmful side effects, you only gave it to her with the best of intentions, to help her lame leg.

I don't if he/she did, but I think your Vet should have brought this to your attention if he/she knew that there were potentially harmful side effects.

I know this is hard for you to go through, in my lifetime of having dogs, I've lost one to kidney disease and another to cancer. Its awful.

There are a lot of forum members here who know what you are going through, and we will help you in anyway we can

We offer you our sincerest condolences.


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Old 02-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #3
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I am so sorry for your loss and how upset I know you are. Whatever we do for our beloved pets, we do it with the best information available to us, and sometimes it seems like we have not helped them.

Don't take on this burden of guilt...there is no way to know for sure, the cause. The vet obviously thought she would be ok on Metacam, and you took your cue from him. I would have, too.

Others on the forum will know more about Metacam...I wish there was something I could say to help you.

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Old 02-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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O.O Thats so sad!
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:29 PM   #5
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So very sorry for your loss, what a horrible tradegy
I can only imagine the pain you're feeling..
but please do not take the blame, you did what the doctor told you to do. Your vet must be responsible for giving you a drug that killed your dog. I'd like to think that this death won't be shoved under the carpet
This isn't the first time I've heard of professional vets who do this kind of stuff!

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Old 02-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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We lost our beautiful Collie boy of 8 months about a month ago. We have no idea what happened, it happened so suddenly. I know you must feel that somehow you could have prevented this. This is normal to feel this way, but believe me you did what you knew to do.

IF you would have known more, you would have done more. It's hard I know, but don't blame yourself. These terrrible things happen and sometimes no one is to blame.

Condolences to you and your family.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies. I cant face going to bed and her not being with me.
I don't blame the vet who prescribed the metacam, she was always very kind and caring to Millie, she wasn't on duty yesterday, it was another one that I hadn't seen before. But I think that Millie would still be here if I had used some type of homeopathic remedy instead of just giving her the metacam. I am sure what happened is very rare but I don't want anyone else to go through what I am going through if it can be avoided. My partner is going to speak to my usual vet tomorrow about it.
Millie was always so pertified when I took her to the vets, it hurts me so much knowing how scared she was when it happened. I cannot even describe exactly what I saw, it is too painful,but the images will be with me forever.

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Old 02-11-2007, 08:14 PM   #8
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Donna, I am so very very sorry to hear about what you and Millie had to go through. I realize that it does not help much, but they ALL hate going to the vets. Even though the professionals there love and care so much about animals, I have yet to see the dog who goes happily to the vet clinic.

Now I don't think I have goodf news for you as far as adverse reactions to METACAM goes. The FDA has issued a regulatory letter to the producer of METACAM for misleading information regarding possible side effects, this was in 2004.

There is more info here on side effects. I regret that I am not expert enough to interpret what I am reading.
There are some forum members who are extremely knowledgable about this kind of thing. Perhaps they can be of more help.
But please, do not blame yourself. You did everything you possibly could for this little dear. I do not know what to say except that my heart goes out to you. If the metacam WAS the cause then by all means file an adverse reaction report with the FDA. Other drugs have been known to be harmful (such as Proheart) the best we can do is be on guard and file reports so that more dogs will not die if this was indeed the cause.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:20 PM   #9
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Donna, welcome to

I am so sorry for your loss, my prayers and condolences go out to you.

I have used Metacam with no issue but I have to admit I had no idea there was a side effect such as that. The only way you will ever know was to have the necropsy done but it is too late now. You may never know and maybe that is good , I do not know.

I found this warning on the Metacam website:

As with any NSAID all dogs should undergo a thorough history and physical examination before the initiation of NSAID therapy. Appropriate laboratory testing to establish hematological and serum biochemical baseline data is recommended prior to, and periodically during, administration of any NSAID. Owners should be advised to observe their dogs for signs of potential drug toxicity.

and this in their FAQ section:

Q: Is Metacam safe for long term usage on older animals?

A: Throughout the world, Metacam is used safely in older pets. Many older pets are perfectly healthy except that they are experiencing osteoarthritis. Their liver, kidney and other organ functions are within normal parameters. For this set of older patients Metacam would be expected to be safe for long term use. However, many older pets have more than one health issue occurring at the same time, e.g., OA and early renal or liver failure. Also, the health status of older patients can change. It is still possible to use Metacam for long term use, but these pets should be monitored more closely by the owner’s veterinarian to ensure that the use of Metacam does not further exacerbate other underlying conditions.

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Old 02-11-2007, 08:21 PM   #10
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I'm not extremely knowledgeable about it, but Gator (big dog in pic) has been on Metacam for over 6 months. He doesn't have to take it every day, just when he seems stiff. He seems to tolerate it well, but we were warned about the dosage--it had to be exact, and is geared directly to his weight.

I don't know if the Metacam was to blame, but it's possible. It is not your fault, certainly.

Some breeds are prone to a bleeding disease, Von Willebrand's. It can be fatal, or it can produce bleeding incidents throughout the dog's life, as with hemophilia in humans. I have no idea if this was the problem with your dog. I do know that internal bleeding is extremely difficult to catch and treat in dogs sometimes.

Maybe Vagreys has more specific information about greyhound physiology. I know they have different metabolisms and are affected differently by certain medications and anaesthisia. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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