Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories: Does carprofen or meloxicam have fewer gastrointestinal side effects?

  • Aaron Harold Andrew Fletcher Heath Lodge Vets St Albans Herts AL10 8TX



Open Access Logo



PICO question

In canines, does the oral administration of carprofen, when compared to meloxicam, result in fewer gastrointestinal side effects?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Three prospective randomised controlled trials were critically reviewed

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

Treatment with carprofen or meloxicam results in no significant difference in gastric lesion scoring, increased intestinal mucosal permeability or diminished small bowel absorptive capacity


There is insufficient evidence supporting preferential administration of carprofen or meloxicam to reduce gastrointestinal side effects


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision-making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care


Open Access Peer Reviewed


Banerjee, A., Chitnis, U. B., Jadhav, S. L., Bhawalkar, J. S., & Chaudhury, S. (2009). Hypothesis testing, type I and type II errors. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 18(2), 127–131. DOI:

Bruno, A., Tacconelli, S. & Patrignani, P. (2014). Variability in the response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Mechanisms and perspectives. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, 114(1). DOI:

Craven, M., Chandler, M. L., Steiner, J. M., Farhadi, A., Welsh, E., Pratschke, K., Shaw, D. J., & Williams, D. A. (2007). Acute effects of carprofen and meloxicam on canine gastrointestinal permeability and mucosal absorptive capacity. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 21(5), 917–23. DOI:

Forsyth, S. F., Guilford, W. G., Haslett, S. J., & Godfrey, J. (1998). Endoscopy of the gastroduodenal mucosa after carprofen, meloxicam and ketoprofen administration in dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 39(9), 421–424. DOI:

Fox, S.M. & Johnston, S.A. (1997). Use of carprofen for the treatment of pain and inflammation in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 210, 1493–8.

Innes, J., Clayton, J. & Lascelles, D. (2010). Long-term NSAID use for canine OA: is it more effective? Proceedings, 3rd World Veterinary Orthopaedic Congress, ESVOT-VOS, 15th ESVOT Congress, Bologna, Italy, 15–18 September, 341–342.

Luna, S. P., Basílio, A. C., Steagall, P. V., Machado, L. P., Moutinho, F. Q., Takahira, R. K., & Brandão, C. V. (2007). Evaluation of adverse effects of long-term oral administration of carprofen, etodolac, flunixin meglumine, ketoprofen, and meloxicam in dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 68(3), 258–264. DOI:

Monteiro-Steagall, B.P., Steagall, P.V.M. & Lascelles, B.D.X. (2013). Systematic review of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced adverse effects in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27(5), 1011–1019. DOI:

Pigott, J., Cobb, M. & O’Rourke, D. (2015). A comprehensive review of adverse events associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatments in dogs in the UK. BSAVA Congress 2015: Scientific Proceedings, Birmingham, UK, 9–12 April 2015. DOI:

Rice, J.E. & Ihle, S.L. (1994). Effects of diet on fecal occult blood testing in healthy dogs. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire, 58(2), 134–137.

Valencia Sánchez, F., Gutiérrez Pérez, E. & Pérez Carral, V. (2008). Calcinosis cutis en iguana. Argos: Informativo Veterinario, 58–60.

Vol. 5 No. 3 (2020): The third issue of 2020

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  /  Exotics  /