Q: Simba is a year and 7 months old and he has a luxating petal (left). First time it happened was last year in October and he’s been fine since, but it started happening again this past week- he will limp for a few minutes and then walk again. Last year he was on 4 days oral Metacam, and recently he just got off 4 days oral dose of Metacam. Before he took this last dose, his blood tests came back normal.

I am hoping after this last dose, his blood levels are still normal b/c I read a lot of scary stories online. Do you think his kidney and liver is okay after these last 4 doses? I am a worry wart. Also, I may have to consider surgery on his knee if this problem persists and I don’t know how I feel about that.

Thank you!

I am a worry wart too, so you can be sure by retesting his bloodwork.

At 7 months old, they are young healthy bucks. They don’t have many of the preconditions that make them less suitable for NSAID’s like metacam. They actually have a higher tolerance for most medications this young.

There will be people who tell you that you just got lucky, but the internet is a reality distortion field (see this post) that preys on our insecurities. As they get older, I have certain rules that I follow whenever I think about using these sort of medications.  

Knee surgery is totally a judgment call - if they are in pain such that physio or rest won’t make them better, then it’s something to think about. If it’s a once in awhile issue...well, once in awhile, my back hurts, and this week I screwed up my neck (I through my little girl up in the air, so she could ride on my shoulders...but she landed on my neck instead).

I ain’t going to surgery, but I am sure trying to be less stupid with my body. Young cat’s on the other hand will want to jump, sprint and do what they were designed to do. If the knee stops your cat from living a natural life, then that’s another reason why you might consider it.

Good luck!

Dr. Kris