Objective—To evaluate the safety, with respect to
the development of gastric ulcers and erosions, of
concurrent administration of meloxicam and dexamethasone
for 3 days to healthy dogs.
Animals—20 conditioned purpose-bred research
Procedure—Seven days prior to treatment, dogs
were anesthetized for endoscopic evaluation of the
upper portion of the gastrointestinal tract (ie, the gastric
and duodenal mucosa). Five regions of the gastroduodenal
area were scored by 2 investigators.
Dogs were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment
groups as follows: saline-saline, dexamethasonesaline,
saline-meloxicam, and dexamethasone-meloxicam
groups. On days 1, 2, and 3, dogs received either
dexamethasone or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution injections
SC twice daily. On days 2, 3, and 4, dogs
received either meloxicam or saline solution injections
SC once daily. On day 2, dogs were anesthetized
for a sham surgery (ie, electrostimulation).
On day 5, the gastroduodenal area of each dog was
reevaluated by use of endoscopic evaluation and histologic
examination of biopsy specimens.
Results—The total endoscopic score of the dexamethasone-
meloxicam group was significantly greater
than the scores of the other groups. The dexamethasone-
saline group had a mean cumulative score that
was significantly greater than the saline-meloxicam or
saline-saline groups. Endoscopic scores of the salinemeloxicam
group were not significantly different from
scores of the saline-saline group. No significant differences
in histologic findings were found between
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In healthy
dogs, meloxicam appears to be safe with regard to
adverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract.
Concurrent administration of dexamethasone and
meloxicam is more likely to cause gastric erosions
than meloxicam administration alone. (Am J Vet Res 2003;63:1369–1375)