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In this randomised, multicentre clinical study, dogs with musculoskeletal pain and inflammation were treated with either vedaprofen or meloxicam administered orally at the recommended dose rates. Clinical examinations were carried out regularly and clinical severity scores assigned. In total, 214 cases (73 acute, 141 chronic) were evaluated. Treatment with vedaprofen and meloxicam was continued for 14 and 17 days, respectively, in the acute cases, and 38 and 39 days in the chronic cases. NSAID treatment resulted in a significant improvement in clinical scores. The overall response to treatment (‘responders’) at the final clinical examination was 89 per cent and 87 per cent in the acute cases and 72 per cent and 65 per cent in the chronic cases in the vedaprofen and meloxicam groups, respectively. Mild transient gastrointestinal signs were observed in both groups (11 per cent vedaprofen, 12 per cent meloxicam). Adverse effects related to NSAIDs resulted in treatment cessation in 5 per cent of the dogs in each group. Vedaprofen and meloxicam were efficacious in, and well tolerated by, most of the dogs in the study.