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Atenolol belongs to general class of cardiac drug that is used in veterinary medicine and is indicated in treating certain heart diseases like arrythmias. During the course, the medicine controls the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and deals with rhythm irregularity in animals like cats, dogs and ferrets. In certain cases, the medication is also used in cats suffering from enlarged hearts. Atenolol, the active ingredient in the medicine is a beta-blocker, which effectively deals with certain conditions affecting the heart. When administered, this oral medication helps in controlling abnormalities in the heart as well as in the blood pressure by blocking certain nervous system impulses. The medicine is available by prescription in capsule form.
In no case should the medicine be tried on animals that are hypersensitive to atenolol or any other beta-blockers. Special care must be taken in using the medication in animals undergoing any kind of kidney, lungs or heart abnormalities or diabetic attacks. It is not advised to give the medication with metaproterenol, terbutaline, epinephrine and phenylpropanolamine, as this may result in reduced effects. Care must be taken in using the medicine in an animal that is already under another medication. Medication overdose might bring about certain adverse reactions like lethargy, cough, breathing problems or even change in the behavior of the animal.
The medicine can be used in cats, dogs and ferrets. The dosage of medication and also the frequency of administration are largely determined by the severity of the condition as well as the nature of response the animal exhibits towards the treatment. The usual dose given to dogs is 0.125 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.25 to 1.0 mg/kg) once to twice a day. The total daily dose is often 6.25 to 25 mg/dog. The usual dose for cats is 1 mg per pound (2 mg/kg) once everyday. The total daily dose in cats is often 6.25 to 12.5 mg once or twice daily.
Certain animals might tend to develop side effects to the medicine when administered. The reported side effects include lethargy, hypoglycemia, depression and hypotension. There can also be a drop in the heart rate and even diarrhea, though only in rare cases.
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