Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

3850 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066



(for veterinary information only)




10 mg and 20 mg



The need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in human medicine is profound. There are a plethora of products both over the counter for routine aches and pains (aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen etc.) and stronger prescription products (celecoxib, rofecoxib etc.) Piroxicam is one of the prescription NSAIDS for human use.

Arthritis pain is an important cause of loss of mobility in the dog as it is in humans. Before there were NSAIDs available for dogs, human medications were used. Aspirin was the most commonly used medication during that time but when aspirin was not effective there were few alternatives. Piroxicam was sometimes used for such cases though now there are numerous much safer products for canine arthritis pain.

Piroxicam might have completely faded into obsolescence were it not for the discovery that this medication has anti-tumor effects against certain types of carcinomas. Questions persist as to how piroxicam is able to suppress such tumors and currently it is believed that this effect relates to immune system related effects rather than direct action against the tumor cells.



The Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the urinary bladder is the most common target of this medication though it is also used against mammary adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.



Piroxicam should not be used in combination with other NSAIDs nor with steroids. The use of more than one anti-inflammatory in this way increases the potential for dangerous side effects especially ulceration of the stomach and kidney failure.

The use of piroxicam reduces the necessary dose of the chemotherapeutic medication methotrexate. This sounds like a good thing but it will increase the potential for toxicity of methotrexate unless the dose is adjusted accordingly.

Piroxicam can exacerbate the renal toxicity properties of cisplatin. Concurrent use with bisphosphonides, as might occur with osteosarcoma, greatly increases the tendency towards ulceration of the stomach.



As with other NSAIDs, side effects include GI ulceration, prolonged bleeding, and potential for kidney insufficiency. This medication should not be used in patients where such conditions are pre-existing.

Humans taking this medication occasionally report ringing of the ears and headaches. We, obviously, do not have a good way to assess whether animal patients also experience these side effects.

Piroxicam can falsely elevate blood glucose levels.



Piroxicam should be stored so as to protect it from light exposure.

Vomiting or diarrhea may indicate that GI ulceration has occurred. If either of these symptoms are noted, discontinue the medication and contact your veterinarian promptly.

This medication is usually given once a day or every other day.

Some blood test monitoring may be recommended with long term use.

Page last updated: 10/7/2015
Last reviewed: 8/20/2018