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Digoxin, a cardiac glycoside, is indicated for the treatment of various heart diseases including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and congestive heart failure. The medication is also used for certain conditions creating rapid/irregular heart beat and sometimes dilated cardiomyopathy. Digoxin, the active ingredient, slows down heart rate and increases heart muscle contraction. The ability of the medication to increase the contraction strength of the heart results in an increase in the amount of blood pumped out of the heart and reduces fluid buildup in the lungs.
Digoxin is a prescription medicine and is available as tablets, capsules, injection and elixir. The elixir is available in two strengths - 0.05mg/ml and 0.15mg/ml. The standard dosage of digoxin in dogs is 0.0025 to 0.005 mg/lbs every 12 hours, and 0.0015 to 0.002 mg/lbs every 12 hours in cats. The medicine should be given on an empty stomach. The treatment plant should be completed, even if the pet shows signs of improvement.
Cardoxin (Evsco), Lanoxin (GlaxoSmithKline)
The commonly observed side effects in cats and dogs include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and irregular heart rhythms. High dosage could result in side effects including cardiac arrhythmias, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
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