Major Uses

Piroxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation in animals suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It is most often used in combination with certain other medications to treat a type of bladder cancer in dogs called transitional cell carcinoma. It works by inhibiting synthesis of chemicals in the body called prostaglandins. Piroxicam may also be used to treat fever in animals.

Piroxicam is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in animals, but it is prescribed legally as an extra-label drug for this purpose.

Common Precautions

Side effects associated with use of piroxicam include vomiting, stomach and intestinal bleeding or ulcers, bloody or tarry stools, loss of appetite, and peritonitis. These side effects may be life-threatening in some cases and require immediate evaluation by a veterinarian. The potential for ulcer development is higher when piroxicam is used along with aspirin, phenylbutazone, or prednisone and other corticosteroids. Piroxicam should not be used in animals with a history of inflammation, bleeding, or perforation of the stomach or intestinal lining. It should also be avoided in animals with hypertension, and it should be used cautiously in animals experiencing heart failure. Piroxicam use can decrease kidney function, resulting in severe injury. It may also cause liver injury and impair blood clotting. This drug may falsely elevate blood glucose levels in animals.

It is not known if this drug is safe for use in pregnant, lactating, or breeding animals.

Piroxicam may interact with certain other drugs and supplements, including methotrexate, cisplatin, steroids, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Use of multiple NSAIDs at the same time increases the risk of dangerous side effects, particularly kidney failure and stomach ulceration.

Piroxicam should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Signs of overdose include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, bloody stools, pale gums, increased thirst or urination, jaundice, lethargy, incoordination, increased respiration, behavioral changes, and seizures. Any known or suspected overdose is potentially fatal and is considered a medical emergency that requires prompt attention by a veterinarian.


Piroxicam should be stored in its original packaging, at room temperature, and out of the reach of children and animals. It should be protected from light.


Piroxicam is available in 10 mg and 20 mg capsules.

The typical dose for an anti-inflammatory effect is 0.15 mg/lb (0.3 mg/kg) every 48 hours. When used to treat transitional cell carcinoma, the typical dose is 0.15 mg/lb (0.3 mg/kg) once daily.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose of piroxicam is missed, it should be given as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular schedule resumed. Two doses of this medication should not be given at the same time.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.