Furosemide for Dogs

Furosemide is a powerful diuretic drug that is oftentimes used to help address heart failure, edema and other related conditions in dogs. This medicine works to increase the volume of urine that your pet produces, which in turn helps to flush out his system. Also known as Lasix and Diuride, two of the most popular brand name formulations of this drug, furosemide is available for both human and animal use. It has been approved by the FDA for treatment in dogs of all breeds and sizes, though you'll need a veterinarian's recommendation and prescription in order to use this drug.

Furosemide Overview

Furosemide is known as a loop diuretic, meaning that it works specifically to target a certain portion of the kidneys called Henle's loop. As a diuretic, this medicine prevents calcium, sodium and other minerals from being absorbed into the kidney. The result is that the kidney must produce added urine in order to flush those minerals out of your pet's system. This process helps to remove excess fluid from the kidneys and other parts of your pet's body too.

In removing fluid, furosemide is able to help treat heart failure conditions in which fluid builds up throughout your pet's body. It can also be useful at addressing edemas, where fluid builds up in the lungs and elsewhere. Additionally, furosemide can be used to help address electrolyte imbalances that come about as a result of your pet's inability to properly process a variety of minerals.

Using Furosemide for Your Pet

Furosemide is a potent drug that should only be given to your pet under the watchful care and recommendation of a vet. If you suspect that your pet might benefit from a treatment involving this medicine, contact your vet for an appointment. Furosemide is given in tablet form primarily, although it is also available as an injectable drug and as a solution. In most cases, the drug is given between one and four times per day and is dosed between 1 and 3 milligrams per pound, per dose. The exact amount of furosemide that you'll give to your pet will be dependent upon the type and severity of his condition, as well as his size and other health issues.

Risks and Side Effects of Furosemide for Dogs

Furosemide is generally safe for use in dogs, but it should be avoided in pets suffering from dehydration, kidney impairment or damage, diabetes, liver disease, and certain other conditions. Inform your vet of any and all medicines and other medical issues that your pet is facing before you provide him with furosemide.

The most common side effects of furosemide include the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Kidney damage
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Lowered blood potassium levels

In extreme overdose cases, some dogs have experienced anemia and hearing loss. If you suspect that your pet has suffered from any of these side effects, take him in to the vet for a prompt examination. The dosage may need to be adjusted or another treatment plan attempted.