Many dog owners seem to think that their dog doesn’t need as much medical support as humans. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Over a span of time, unhealthy food habits, infection, injury and many other factors can cause your dog to fell ill. One of the most critical yet profound diseases found commonly in dogs is congestive heart disease and lung fluid retention. As the name suggests, this is about congestion in the lungs between the path to the heart, which adversely affects the heart from pumping blood frequently.
As the heart can’t pump blood properly, fluids accumulate in the chest and lungs, restricting the smooth flow of oxygen and blood in your dog’s body. The symptoms of congestive heart diseases include rapid coughing, panting, restlessness, breathing problems and fatigue. It’s necessary to immediately call the vet when you find any of these symptoms in your ageing dog.
What is Lasix?
While any heart disease can be deadly, congestive heart disease has a proven medication. Lasix(Furosemide) helps reduce the fluid accumulation inside a dog’s body by reducing the absorption of fluids, sodium, chloride, potassium and water. Lasix is a diuretic drug and increases urine formation in kidney; thus, effectively draining the excessive accumulated fluids over time.
It prevents excessive oedema or fluids from accumulating in the chest. As with other potent drugs, Lasix has its share of side effects, and your dog’s health might get adversely affected if you don’t take necessary precautions while feeding Lasix. Apart from congestive heart disease, Lasix can also treat a few other fatal diseases.
Which diseases can Lasix treat?
While the accumulation of fluids can cause heart diseases, they can also cause swelling in other body parts. These fluids can accumulate in the body cavities and peripherals, leading to a condition called Edema. Lasix can remove these fluids from the dog’s body and treat Edema.
Lasix can treat dogs who struggle breathing due to Chronic Bronchitis by clearing the airway. It acts as a respiratory dilator and provides relief to dogs struggling from Chronic Bronchitis.
High potassium levels in the bloodstream of your dog can lead to a fatal situation called Hyperkalemia. The dog might suffer from bleeding nose due to Hyperkalemia. Lasix reduces potassium levels in the blood by releasing potassium into the bloodstream, thus treating Hyperkalemia.
High calcium levels in the bloodstream of your dog result in a severe health condition called Hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is dangerous to kidneys and might result in kidney failure if left untreated. Lasix encourages the loss of calcium through urine, helping in the treatment of Hypercalcemia.
Acute kidney failure
When your dog suffers from acute kidney failure, the kidneys reduce the production and release of urine. The vet may prescribe Lasix combined with other diuretics to encourage urine production and treating kidney failure.
It’s important to note that Lasix is a prescription drug due to its powerful effects and dangerous side effects. While it can be mandatory to use in extreme fluid accumulation diseases, you should only feed it to your dog after consulting a veterinarian.
Is Furosemide dangerous for dogs?
Furosemide is a potent drug that helps in fluid accumulation by increasing the rate of urine formation, thus putting pressure on your dog’s kidneys. If your dog has a weak kidney or suffers from kidney failure, he shouldn’t be fed Furosemide as it can reduce calcium, salt, potassium and other electrolyte levels.
This can lead to electrolyte imbalance in the body resulting in worsening kidney conditions and a plethora of symptoms like weakness. It can also lead to kidney failures in those having weak kidneys. It’s thus, important to give Furosemide only under the monitoring of a registered vet.
You shouldn’t give your dog Furosemide if he already has dehydration as it can worsen the condition. A proper diet is vital in ensuring the benefits of Furosemide and reducing the harmful effects. If given as a sole medication, Furosemide may cause damage to hearing and imbalance in your dog.
Harmful drug interactions with Furosemide
Furosemide may combine dangerously with some drugs so you should always inform your vet if your dog is taking any of the following drugs. The clubbing of Furosemide with any of these drugs may result in a worsening condition of kidneys, dehydration and even liver failure.
ACE inhibitors(benazepril or enalapril), aspirin, digoxin, atracurium, tubocurarine, theophylline, amphotericin B, antibiotics, succinylcholine, tubocurarine and some other medicine can be harmful if combined with the dosage of Furosemide.
Monitoring during Lasix intake
The vet should always monitor blood sugar levels and kidney values before prescribing doses of Lasix. He must check upon the tolerance of your dog to the medicine to prevent adverse effects. He should check electrolyte balance by performing a renal panel to check electrolyte levels and ensure positive responses to Lasix.
You should ensure proper hydration during the dosage of Lasix to avoid any calamities. Your vet may also opt to monitor your dog during the medication. Lasix can also affect hearing so the vet should check if the dog’s ears are working properly during medication.
What are the side effects of Lasix in dogs?
The most common side effect of Lasix in dogs is excessive urination, coupled with increased thirst. Increase in urination is the direct consequence of Lasix intake and effectively the remedy to remove the accumulated fluid from your dog’s body. Your dog might release urine within 30 minutes of Lasix intake and may want to pee again in another 30 minutes.
Urination during sleep is a prevalent side effect of Lasix dosage. You should be ready with a padded mat below your dog while he’s sleeping as Lasix makes stopping urination an impossible task for the dog. Fortunately, the effect decreases after 2 hours and your dog will occasionally pee until the next dosage. To counter the excessive loss of water and salts, try to feed your dog with a mineral-rich diet and lots of water.
Increase in blood sugar
The vet should not recommend Lasix to dogs who are diabetic patients. Lasix results in an increase in blood sugar levels which can worsen blood pressure in dogs with diabetes. It can lead to weakness, loss of control and heart attack. The vet may choose to prescribe a different diuretic for such dogs.
The intake of Lasix facilitates the release of potassium in your dog’s urine stream. This might lead to excessive potassium loss in some cases. Excessive potassium loss can cause weakness or lethargic behaviour along with fainting. If you find your dog significantly low on energy, contact the vet soon.
Other side effects of Lasix dosage might include diarrhoea and constipation. While not all side effects are worrisome, it’s important to contact your vet for a proper recommendation in case of any abnormal behaviours from your dog during dosage.
Who should not take Lasix?
Your dog might be allergic to Lasix, which makes the pretesting and tolerance check all the more critical. You should instantly stop the use of Lasix in case of side effects like vomiting and diarrhoea, and consult your vet. Lasix would also prove ineffective and rather harmful for pregnant dogs. The vet should also check for allergies from sulphonamides which ensures a high possibility of allergy from furosemides.
How long does it take for Lasix to work on a dog?
It takes about half an hour from the dosage for Lasix to start affecting your dog. You might see a decrease in coughing and its intensity. It takes an hour or two for Lasix to become the most potent and show instant effects.
Lasix is a short term medicine whose effects that last up to 24 hours. It is mostly used for instant relief as well as complete treatment along with other medications. The vet may also inject Lasix directly into the bloodstream for instant relief in critical conditions. Injections of Lasix start showing its effects within minutes and peaks at about half an hour.
How to give Lasix?
You should strictly follow the dosage prescribed by your veterinarian to avoid the harmful side effects of Lasix. It is commonly given in the form of tablets or liquids directly from the dog’s mouth. Lasix is available in tablets of 12.5mg, 20mg, 40mg, 50mg and 80mg while it also comes in 8mg/ml or 10mg/ml liquid solutions.
You can give your dog Lasix both on an empty stomach or after eating. In the case of vomiting, try to feed him some food before every dosage. The limit of dosage of Lasix falls between 1-3 mg per pound for 1-4 times every day. Lasix isn’t a long term medical and should usually heal the patient considerably in a few days. The duration of treatment depends upon the severity of the disease.
You should measure each dose carefully while feeding Lasix in liquid form. Try to keep your dog hydrated during medication to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Try to feed him a light diet. Don’t choose bedtime to feed Lasix as your it encourages urination within half an hour of intake. Don’t directly touch Lasix if you are allergic to sulfa medications. Pick it with a glove and give it your dog.
Can you overdose a dog on Lasix?
If your dog accidentally takes more Lasix than prescribed, he may suffer from amplified symptoms of side effects of Lasix. The symptoms include electrolyte imbalance, diarrhoea, vomiting, blood volume reduction and weakness.
High overdose of Lasix may result in acute toxicity in your dog, resulting in critical health conditions. Symptoms of toxicity include cramping, dizziness, excessive urination, loss of coordination and excessive thirst in the dog.
If you happen to miss giving a dose of Lasix to your dog and you remember it 1-2 hours later, you can still give him the adequate dosage. But if the time of the next dose is nearing, skip the dose and abide by the prescribed schedule. Avoid giving extra doses to prevent Lasix toxicity in your dog.
Dog on Furosemide still coughing?
While Furosemide starts showing effects and reduce coughing in half an hour of intake, your might dog might continue less deep coughing for several days. The time of complete treatment depends upon the volume of accumulated fluid and how well your dog’s body reacts to Lasix.
If your dog is coughing more profoundly after intake of Lasix, the vet might want to increase the dosage. Never increase the dosage by yourself and contact your vet in such a case. You should also note down the timings of excessive coughing in relation to the timing of dosage to give your vet a clearer picture and help him suggest a better dose.
Can Lasix kill my Dog?
While overdosage of Lasix can cause some harmful effects and it might have adverse effects on dogs with kidney failure, liver disease and allergies, it can not kill your dog on its own. Congestive heart disease put a significant amount of pressure on your dog’s heart. If your dog is ageing, the heart might not be as strong anymore.
So if your dog died while taking Lasix, the medicine probably isn’t the reason. Similarly missing a dose or two may worsen the dog’s condition a little bit but not to a point of no return. Lasix is a diuretic that clears accumulated fluids so if you miss a day; it’s impossible for fluids to still rise up to dangerous levels.
Moreover, you should take your dog immediately to the vet if conditions worsen, and he struggles to breathe. Lasix is a potent medicine but isn’t the only treatment to such heart diseases.