Many prescription medications have side effects. Many natural remedies can provide a safer alternative. This link takes you to an article discussing the subject. Aalthough it's American, the weblinks therein are very interesting.
My galgo Polar had a damaged hind knee and I was able to find a canine physiotherapist who use the same treatment on him as I had after my broken shoulder operation. I also used CBD oil for pain relief for him instead of Metacam.