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Furosemide is a diuretic, which is used to treat congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, kidney disease, high blood pressure and edema. This drug is essentially a ‘loop diuretic drug’, which works on a specific area of the kidney known as Henle’s loop. Furosemide restricts the increased absorption of chloride, sodium, potassium and water into the kidney, thus supporting the removal of excessive fluid. Furosemide significantly lowers accumulation of fluid and prevents the occurrence of edema.
Certain precautions should be taken prior to administering Furosemide to the pet. The drug should not be prescribed for animals that are allergic to it. Never use it in pets that have disorders associated with electrolyte imbalance. Furosemide should be used with extreme caution in animals suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, dehydration, specific electrolyte abnormalities, and liver disease. Furosemide exhibits the tendency to interact with various other drugs including ototoxic antibiotics such as gentamicin or streptomycin; NSAIDS such as aspirin or Rimadyl; Phenothiazines such as acepromazine; and Insulin, digoxin, and beta blockers such as propranolol. Therefore, consult a veterinarian and pharmacist before administering the drug to the pet.
Furosemide is available in 12.5 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg and 80 mg tablets. The dose of furosemide recommended for dogs and cats is 1-2mg/pound once or twice a day (at 6-8 hour intervals). Cats are usually given a lower dose of the drug.
Furosemide might be responsible for numerous side effects. Some of the side effects of furosemide include nausea, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, increased urination, electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, itching and rash. Symptoms of overdose may include electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, seizures, hearing loss, anemia, heart failure, kidney damage and coma.
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