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Meloxicam is hard on kidneys. I would absolutely do bloodwork. If his kidney values are already low then you're asking for trouble. A healthy dog can take a normal dose for quite a while, but with continued use there's still risk of kidney issues. Which is why yearly bloodwork or even biannually is a good idea.

Ultimately you have to weigh the risks and benefits. If he's in a lot of pain, then it might be better to opt for quality of life over quantity. If he's not doing so bad and his pain is well managed with tramadol, then I probably wouldn't think about an NSAID right now.

You may also want to look into more natural stuff. Turmeric is supposed to be great for inflammation and arthritis. There's also yucca initiative, duralactin, and a few other plant based antinflammatories.
 
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