Florinef for Dogs

Florinef is the brand name of medication used to treat a condition known as hypoadrenocorticism or more commonly called Addison's disease. The clinical name for Florinef is fludrocortisone acetate. Florief is the usual treatment for Addison's disease occurring in dogs from four to five years, although dogs of any age may be afflicted with this condition. Florinef is usually distributed to the dog in pill form. Even though Florinef is used to treat dogs, it is not out of the ordinary for human's who have contracted this condition to be prescribed this medication, as well.

Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is a condition where the adrenal gland is unable to produce hormones called mineralcorticoids. These hormones are responsible for the body's balance of sodium and potassium and are also referred to as electrolytes. Electrolytes are electrically charged ions that are usually in balance with each other. The main function of electrolytes are to maintain the structure of the cells. Sodium is the mineral that maintains the integrity of the fluid inside the cell and potassium is the mineral outside the cell. There are two other electrolytes, chloride and magnesium which serve minor responsibilities of fluid integrity.

The Concern About Addison's Disease

When the adrenal glands are not able to produce adequate amounts of sodium and potassium a condition known as circulatory shock emergency is created. Essentially the integrity of the cell's fluid, both inside and outside the cell, is compromised resulting in the heart not being able to supply adequate amounts of blood to the rest of the body. When the circulatory system is unable to supply enough fluid to the body the heart may go into a fibrillated state and eventually cease to function properly resulting in eventual death.

The Symptoms of Addison's Disease

The symptoms of Addison's disease include:

  • lethargy and fatigue
  • loss of appetite leading to significant weight loss
  • diarrhea in combination with an increased need to drink
  • vomiting resulting in a potentially critically dehydrated state

Since these symptoms can be attributed to numerous other conditions the diagnosis of Addison's disease is not always obvious.

Possible Side Effects from Florinef

There are certain side effects that may result from the use of Florinef and they include: an increased thirst and need to consume liquids, an increased appetite combined with a significant gain of weight, loss of hair or a dull and visibly poor coat.

How to Use Florinef

Since Florinef is an oral medication the usual required dosage is one pill given to the patient twice daily. Usually the initial application of Florinef will result in a stabilization of the condition, however, at this point the dosage will have to be increased in order to maintain control of the affliction. Unfortunately, the cost of Florinef is quite expensive and a more affordable generic brand is not available.

Medications Used with Florinef

There is no need for any other medications to be used in conjunction with Florinef to control Addison's disease, although your veterinarian may prescribe other drugs to address the potential side effects that may result from the use of this medication.