Thanks for your website. Here is our story:
Killarney, 8 years old was urinating frequently, but not producing much urine. She started going outside her box and we noticed blood in her urine. She had a urinalysis and the vet said she had crystals in her urine. Diagnosis was bladder crystals, possibly caused by infection. She was put on oral antibiotics. She seemed fine until the blood came back in her urine. The vet prescribed a different diet to lower pH in her urine and metacam to help her cope with pain while passing crystals. After two does of metacam (0.7 ml oral dose, I donít know the concentration) she started throwing up, stopped eating and became lethargic and reserved. I should mention that she was urinating fine at this point and that the metacam came in three 1 ml syringes in a plastic bag with a homemade label. We did not receive any information with the medication nor were we told of any potential side effects. In fact, we had to ask if we should give it to her with food. After two days of not eating we took her to the vet, they took a blood sample and x-ray. They said she needed to be hospitalized immediately and put on IV fluids because her BUN and creatine were high. Essentially she had renal failure. She is still in the hospital after three days. We are going to get her tomorrow. They are going to try and charge me $600 for their services. Itís obvious to me that simply changing her diet dissolved the crystals and that the metacam they prescribed unnecessarily caused renal failure. Thanks for the info on your site.
We just got her home today and so far so good. BUN and creatine are down. I refused to pay for the treatment before talking to the vet. The front desk people didnít like that, but after mentioning metacam the tone changed. The vet agreed that metacam could have caused her kidney problems, but still insisted that they were justified in giving it to her and that it is normally safe. They said they would discuss what to do about the bill since I was not informed about the potential risks of using metacam.
Itís amazing that vets insist that the drug is safe for oral use, even though it has not been proven so. I might have agreed to the FDA approved one-time injection of metacam if I had been given the product literature. In my opinion, unlike the judicial system a drug is guilty until proven innocent.
What Boehringer is doing to the science on metacam (i.e. the reprimand by the FDA) is similar to what soap and detergent manufacturers are doing to the science on antimicrobial chemicals. I am a chemist and microbiologist and for the past several years have studied pollution of lakes, rivers and oceans with these antimicrobials, the ones found in soaps you buy at Walmart, Target etc. There are literally millions of pounds of these antimicrobials sitting at the bottom of our lakes. Basically when a company doesnít like the data they get on a drug or chemical they just donít report it and then they attempt to discredit any scientist that reports anything bad about their money-making compound. Unfortunately the FDA is corrupt, under budget, and under staffed to do anything about it. Iím surprised they reprimanded Boehringer, but they really should have pulled metacam from the market for a bit to punish the company. Pain is better then renal failure or death.