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Effects of long-term use of the preferential COX-2 inhibitor meloxicam on growing pigs
  1. Ben M C Gorissen, DVM1,
  2. Joost J Uilenreef, DVM, MSc, DipECVAA2,
  3. Wilhelmina Bergmann, DVM , DipECVP3,
  4. Ellen Meijer, DVM, PhD4,
  5. Bert van Rietbergen, PhD5,
  6. Franz Josef van der Staay, PhD, Dr habil4,
  7. P René van Weeren, DVM, PhD, DipECVS6 and
  8. Claudia F Wolschrijn, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1Department of Pathobiology, Anatomy and Physiology Division, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Anaesthesiology Division, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Pathobiology, Division of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Farm Animal Health, Behaviour and Welfare Group, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Biomechanics Division, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  6. 6Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. E-mail for correspondence; b.m.c.gorissen{at}uu.nl

Abstract

Meloxicam, a preferential COX-2 inhibitor, is a commonly used NSAID in pigs. Besides having potential side effects on the gastrointestinal tract, this type of drug might potentially affect osteogenesis and chondrogenesis, processes relevant to growing pigs. Therefore, the effects of long-term meloxicam treatment on growing pigs were studied. Twelve piglets (n=6 receiving daily meloxicam 0.4 mg/kg orally from 48 until 110 days of age; n=6 receiving only applesauce (vehicle control)) were subjected to visual and objective gait analysis by pressure plate measurements at several time points. Following euthanasia a complete postmortem examination was performed and samples of the talus and distal tibia, including the distal physis, were collected. Trabecular bone microarchitecture was analysed by microCT scanning, bone stiffness by compression testing and growth plate morphology using light microscopy. Animals were not lame and gait patterns did not differ between the groups. Pathological examination revealed no lesions compatible with known side effects of NSAIDs. Trabecular bone microarchitecture and growth plate morphology did not differ between the two groups. The findings of this in vivo study reduce concerns regarding the long-term use of meloxicam in young, growing piglets.

  • pigs
  • Nsai
  • Wel
  • skeletal development

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was reviewed and approved by the ethical committee of Utrecht University (no. 2014.I.11.085, date of approval December 17, 2014), The Netherlands, and was conducted in accordance with the recommendations of EU directive 86/609/EEC.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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