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NSAID Analgesia for Rodents: Meloxicam

Purpose: To provide pain relief and/or reduce inflammation in cases of

mild to moderate pain in mice and rats. Mild to moderate pain may be
caused by minor surgical procedures such as castrations, tail biopsies,
injections, skin irritation, fighting wounds, eye traumas, etc.

Policy: Pain should be appropriately treated based on signs of pain in the
rodent and the likelihood that the procedure will cause pain. When possible,
pain should be treated pre-emptively (before the cause). Non-steroidal drugs
are not to be used as the sole analgesia for severe pain. Investigators should
be consulted prior to treating rodents involved in research. Contact the
veterinarian to determine the best form of analgesia for a particular animal.

Responsibility: Those persons listed on an approved Animal Care
Committee protocol that are responsible for procedures, surgeries, and post-
procedure monitoring.

Materials: Metacam (meloxicam) oral (1.5 mg/ml)
Metacam (meloxicam) injectable (5 mg/ml)
Hypodermic needles (25 or 27g, 1/2 or smaller)
1 cc syringes
Sterile vial for dilutions

Dilutions: Both oral and injectable Metacam can be diluted
with water (sterile water for injectable). For mice or small rats, dilute
oral suspension 1:10 in a sterile container giving 0.15 mg/ml or 1:5
giving 0.30 mg/ml. For mice or small rats, dilute injectable solution
1:10 with sterile water for injection in a sterile container giving 0.5
mg/ml. Discard diluted solutions after one month.


1. Weigh animal(s) to be treated.
2. Dose for rats is 1 mg/kg once daily for up to 3 days. Dose for mice is
1-2 mg/kg once daily for up to 3 days.
3. Dilute Metacam if needed to provide accurate volume of 0.05 ml or
4. Example doses:

Weight of Rat
Oral Suspension
(1 mg/kg dose)
Injectable solution
(1 mg/kg dose)
250 g 0.17 ml 0.05 ml
350 g 0.23 ml 0.07 ml
450 g 0.30 ml 0.09 ml
550 g 0.37 ml 0.11 ml

Weight of Mouse
Oral suspension (1 mg/kg
dose): diluted 1:5
*double dose if needed
Injectable solution (1 mg/kg
dose): diluted 1:10
*double dose if needed
25 g 0.08 ml 0.05 ml
35 g 0.12 ml 0.07 ml
45 g 0.15 ml 0.09 ml
55 g 0.18 ml 0.11 ml

5. While gently restraining mouse or rat administer oral suspension
directly into mouth one drop at a time until animal ingests fluid. Do
not attempt to forcefully inject entire dose at once as animal may
aspirate. Administer injectable solution subcutaneously in the scruff
(loose skin on dorsal neck) using a 25 or 27g needle.

Do not treat for more than 3 days. Metacam can be used pre-operatively and
in combination with an opioid analgesic for controlling moderate to severe
pain. Side effects may include a decrease in appetite. Use with caution in
animals with pre-existing renal, cardiovascular, or gastrointestinal disease.