Lasix for dogs, a brand name of the medication furosemide, is a diuretic that your veterinarian may prescribe for conditions like congestive heart failure, a serious condition that can cause symptoms including a buildup of fluid in the lungs that causes an uncomfortable cough. The medication helps the body get rid of excess fluids and helps to ease symptoms of the disease. By decreasing the fluid buildup, the demand on the heart lessens. Lasix is one part of a treatment plan that can improve your dog's quality of life and extend her life span.
Lasix for dogs uses
Lasix is commonly used to treat fluid accumulation in the lungs and abdomen caused by congestive heart failure, but it is also effective for other medical conditions in dogs. Some of these conditions include edema and fluid retention from other causes, high blood potassium or calcium levels, high blood pressure, and acute kidney failure. At low doses, it can also act as a treatment for chronic bronchitis because it opens helps to dilate and open the airways.
Your vet may administer injections of Lasix in emergency situations, but you may also take home Lasix to give your dog orally as a pill or liquid. Follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. You can give the medication with or without food and be sure your dog has plenty of water at all times.
Do not give extra medication or decrease the dosage without consulting your vet. Monitor your pet closely for side effects.
Side effects of Lasix
Increased urination and thirst are the most common side effects of Lasix medication. Be sure to give your dog plenty of potty breaks to avoid bedwetting and accidents in the house. Diarrhea and constipation are other potential side effects. Lasix only works in the system for approximately 24 hours unless your dog has kidney or liver problems that may cause medications to stay in the system longer.
The increased urine can also cause the dog to expel electrolytes with the excess water. This can cause electrolyte imbalances and deficiencies. It may also change the balance of insulin and cause high blood sugar. Dehydration is also possible, especially in dogs with kidney disease or who experience vomiting or diarrhea.
More serious symptoms may occur and require veterinary attention. Some of these include balance problems, weakness, collapse, and head tilt. You may also notice a lack of urine or a racing heartbeat. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these side effects.
Lasix drug interactions
For many conditions, Lasix is not usually the only medication given. Talk to your veterinarian about any potential drug interactions and symptoms you should watch out for. For example, if your dog has congestive heart failure, your vet may prescribe ACE inhibitors that work as vasodilators to expand the blood vessels and make it easier for the heart to move blood throughout the body. However, since Lasix decreases blood volume by expelling excess water, it may cause kidney failure.
If your dog is taking aspirin or the airway dilator theophylline, Lasix may increase the concentration of these drugs in the blood, so your veterinarian will need to adjust the dosage. Prednisone is sometimes prescribed along with Lasix to decrease calcium levels in the blood. However, this may cause low potassium levels. Using Lasix with an antibiotic increases the risk of hearing loss.
Your veterinarian will want to monitor your dog and check her kidney function and electrolyte levels approximately every six months. This will ensure the medication is working and that the dosage is correct. Regular blood work also ensures that there aren't other complications from the kidneys expelling too many electrolytes or from drug interactions.