American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Long Term Use of NSAIDS in Cats

2010 AAFP/ISFM Long Term Use of NSAIDS in Cats

Download - Long-term Use of NSAIDs in Cats Guidelines
Translated - Spanish | French | German | Japanese

Download - Client Brochure
Translated - Spanish | French

These Guidelines have been produced to help veterinarians use NSAIDs effectively and safely in cats. In the pursuit of this ambition, the panel has covered much valuable ground including:

  • Setting the scene to consider how common chronic pain can be in cats, typically related to degenerative joint disease, idiopathic cystitis, trauma and cancer.
  • Explaining how and why NSAIDs can have such positive and, potentially, negative actions.
  • Considering the best ways of enhancing owner and cat compliance, make suggestions about sensible dosing frequencies, timing of medication and accuracy of dosing, and emphasize the importance of always using the "lowest effective dose". These Guidelines also cover the things that need to be considered when switching between NSAIDs.
  • Discussing the common concurrent conditions that, while not necessarily precluding the use of NSAIDs, require careful consideration in terms of pros, cons and potential complications - including renal disease, gastrointestinal disease, cardiovascular disease and liver disease.
  • Making a number of recommendations relating to the importance of pre-treatment screening, and the potential for interaction between NSAIDs and concomitant drug therapy (eg, glucocorticoids and anticoagulants).
  • Helping to classify those patients that may have a higher risk of developing side effects, and hence need very careful monitoring during therapy.
  • Tabulating detailed dosing information for each of the NSAIDs that have so far been licensed in cats, as well as suggested monitoring protocols. Although data is still limited and NSAIDs have only recently become licensed for long-term use in cats in some countries, these Guidelines conclude that this group of drugs has a major role to play in the management of chronic pain in this species. However, they underline that careful patient selection, dose titration and ongoing monitoring for the early signs of toxicity are essential.

AAFP statement regarding Metacam.

Submitted by: Danièlle Gunn-Moore BSc BVM&S PhD, MACVSc MRCVS, Professor of Feline Medicine, Head of Companion Animal Sciences, Royal (Dick), School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, UK