When all this happened I was in Palm Springs for a few months and treating Frankie for a serious case of stomatitis. 

The Metacam was prescribed by a surgical specialist down the road from there, in Palm Desert, who did one of the dental surgeries.

It was my general practice vet in Rancho Mirage who confirmed Frankie was in ARF and came back with those horrific numbers, and who told me she had maybe a 50/50 chance but only with aggressive treatment.    She spent the first night in an emergency overnight facility in the desert, then I picked her up at 5 am and we drove to the VCA hospital in West LA.

So I am sending you a picture of the amazing and beautiful Frankie (androgynous name, but very much a lady) to go with her story.

Best wishes to you and PB.  I'm glad he is doing well.


March 29th marked 2 years since Frankie was
hospitalized for acute renal failure from oral Metacam dosing. I
celebrated by filing an FDA adverse reaction form.

I did not realize at the time that the manufacturer, Boehringer
Ingelheim, was not required by law to do so (even though they told me
they would) as kidney failure was already listed as a possible side
effect. When I started the conversation with them two years ago
saying the vet's opinion was this was a direct result of oral Metacam
use, (different vet than the one who prescribed it) and that my cat
was hospitalized and given less than a 50/50 chance to live even with
expensive and aggressive treatment, they were very quick to point out
that oral Metacam was not to be used in cats.

Without rehashing the merits of that drug, I would have chosen not to
use it had I been told the truth. Frankly, the only reason I didn't
sue the prescribing vet, a surgical specialist, is because I don't
think she knew the facts, having been misled through omission by
company reps, and she was in tears herself when she found out about

In further research I have found some indication that the Oriental
breeds are more sensitive to NSAIDs, and that the safety margin for
its use is very narrow in animals weighing 10 lbs or less, hence its
more common and problem free use in larger dogs. I have since spoken
with a number of owners, and vets, who have had the same experience,
far more people than I personally know affected by the much more
widely publicized tainted food tragedy.

In retrospect, I would have looked harder at bringing suit because
that may ultimately be the only way to get the attention of the
veterinary community. Only then would it be revealed what vets are
really told by the manufacturer's reps, despite the warning labels
the company hides behind, protecting itself from liability, while
exposing well-meaning though poorly informed vets, trusting owners
and innocent victims, like my Frankie.

As the ASPCA puts it, We Are Their Voice - thank you for speaking on
behalf of Latte, my Frankie and so many more -

Deborah and Frankie


I became aware of your site after my cat went into acute renal failure following oral Metacam dosing but I never read this before - I'm pretty sure it is on my cat Frankie.  The dates, the numbers the vet recorded the day I brought Frankie in, March 29, 2006, her being referred to a 24 hour facility with an internal medicine specialist - all correspond to my experience.  I believe this account is from the general practice vet who first confirmed that Frankie was in ARF, a different vet than the surgeon who prescribed the drug following dental extractions.  I called BI myself, but I know the vet did as well.
As a follow up, she is still with me, relatively stable but the damage was done and permanent.  Her BUN is in the 30's, Crea in low to mid 3's.
The surgeon who prescribed this drug was very distraught and even offered to pay for the week Frankie spent in the hospital in West LA.  But the fact remains that had I been told the whole truth regarding this drug I never would have given it to Frankie.  Had I done the research beforehand that I've done since, I never would have given it to Frankie.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, loyal and trusting Siamese and she deserved better; all our cats did.
Thank you for your website.
Best wishes,
Deborah and Frankie

Hi Dave,

My best friend, my smart, beautiful, willful, brave Frankie, died peacefully at home on 1/26/2010, just a few weeks short of her 13th birthday.
Last summer we participated in the stem-cell transplant treatment done at Colorado State University, a process which involved numerous visits spanning several months.  Although well known for her expressiveness, Frankie was brave as ever through it all and there was some slight improvement in the glomerular filtration rate of her kidneys as measured by a scintigraph.  I am glad Frankie could participate in and contribute to this valuable program, her case written up in research journals and shared with other universities and researchers, a legacy of sorts.
This past November, Frankie was listless, her appetite disappeared and she was diagnosed with pancreatitis.   December brought a diagnosis of lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma for which we started chemo.   The bloodwork done prior to her second chemo treatment showed a sharp increase in BUN/creatinine and Frankie was hospitalized on IV fluids.  Diagnostics revealed a blockage in her right kidney, as it turned out the only one still adequately functioning, and her only chance was a risky surgery she very well might not survive but I went forward with it.  She did survive, tough girl that she was, because I believe in retrospect all she wanted was to come home and die with her little family around her.  Despite initially encouraging post-surgical results, Frankie deteriorated over the next couple days, so I took her out of the hospital and brought her home for one last night.  With the help of her regular vet we said goodbye the following evening.
Thank you for your website and the information it provides.  Had I known the risks of Metacam, had I done a minute's worth of internet research rather than just blindly following the veterinarian's instruction without question, I would have made a different decision.  In Frankie's case, she was given oral Metacam following dental surgery, pain which could have been addressed with safer alternatives, without risking the devastating consequences she suffered for nearly four years.