Furosemide for Dogs
No matter how hard we try we cannot always keep our pets from getting sick. Sometimes genetic factors come into play, sometimes environmental and sometimes there is no determinable cause for harmful conditions.
In most cases, treatments will greatly improve your dog’s condition and even cure them. In the cases where a cure is not an option, you can at least provide your dog with the medication needed to live a full, happy and comfortable life.
What is Furosemide and what is it for?
Furosemide is a diuretic – or a medication that is used to treat water retention. In most cases this medication is given to dogs for congestive heart failure, liver failure or kidney disease. This is one of those cases where it is not a cure – but a solution to keeping your pet comfortable.
This medication can also be used to treat high blood pressure in pets, though blood pressure may be due to being overweight, eating a poor diet or stress, so be sure to try and treat an underlying cause if there is one!
Diuretics are medications that help to flush all the excess liquid (and toxins) out of the body. It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. The extra salt and water is then eliminated through urine.
How Much Should I Give My Dog?
The most important thing you should know about medications such as Furosemide is that only your vet can give you an accurate dosage for your pet. The recommended dosage is 1-2mg per pound of body weight.
While this is a good rule of thumb to follow your vet will be able to be more accurate in providing dosage. They will also be able to tell you if this medication is needed once or more per day. Some conditions may only need one tablet a day, while others may require 2 doses.
You should always provide the medication in the amounts and at the times your vet suggested. If they have prescribed 25mg Furosemide twice a day morning and night then that is the routine you need to follow to see the best results.
This medication will work within a few hours of the first dose but it must be continued on the proper schedule to maintain optimum effectiveness.
How Can I get My Dog to Take a Pill?
This can be the most difficult part of getting your pet back on the track to a healthy life. Most dogs are non-to-thrilled with the idea of taking a pill – then again, we don’t enjoy it most of the time either, do we?
If you are one of few who has a dog whom is easy to medicate then I absolutely must know your secret. If you don’t fall into that category then you have a few different options, the most popular being to hide the pill in a piece of food your dog enjoys.
You can go as simple as a slice of cheese or a piece of lunch meat all rolled up with the pill in the middle – most of the time. Some dogs are slick and realize we’re trying to outsmart them. One time my dog ate the piece of cheese and spit the medication back on the floor.
Needless to say, you may need to get more creative if this happens to you. You can try out a nifty invention called a “Pill Pocket”, which is a dog treat that is hollowed out for you to hide the medication in. Most dogs think of these as just another treat and don’t get very suspicious.
If none of these techniques worked you may have to force feed the pill to your dog. You should talk to your vet about best practices to ensure your dog doesn’t choke if you have to go this route.
Should You Ask Your Vet About Furosemide?
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition such as heart failure or kidney disease you may want to ask your vet about this medication. It can help reduce swelling due to the extra liquid retention caused by the illness.
You may also want to consult your vet if your dog has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. If you suspect your dog may be retaining water for any reason you should ask you vet to do a full examination.
Only once your vet has prescribed this medication to your dog should you give it to them. Never take a friends word for it and give your dog a medication as it could be harmful and even deadly to do so. If your vet feels that Furosemide is right for your dog they will be sure they get it.
Are There Any Side Effects?
In order to avoid side effects it is best that you give this medication with a meal as well as providing plenty of fresh drinking water. Dogs who eat and drink with this medication are far less likely to experience harmful side effects.
Some of the possible side effects include dehydration, increased/decreased urination, electrolyte imbalances, rapid heart rate, depression, vomiting and restlessness.
There are also a few more worrisome side effects which include increase in blood sugar levels, anemia, pale gums, tiredness or weakness and decrease in white blood cells.
If your pet has experienced any of these side effects you should contact your vet immediately!
Common FAQs about Furosemide
Is Furosemide the same as Salix?
Yes, Salix is a brand name version of Furosemide. If your vet has prescribed Salix to your pet then you may be able to save money by purchasing the generic version Furosemide instead – but always consult with your vet first. Another common brand name is Lasix.
Is there a liquid form for tough pill takers?
Yes, there is a liquid version – at least there is for Lasix. Depending on your pharmacist the generic Furosemide may be available in liquid form as well. You should talk to your vet about the possibility of liquid over tablets when the prescription is written.