Generic Drug Name: Furosemide
Other Common Names: Salix, Lasix
Furosemide is a diuretic that is used to treat congestive heart failure and other heart diseases in dogs, cats, and horses. It is also commonly used to treat fluid in the lungs, certain kidney diseases, high blood pressure, high potassium, fluid in the abdomen, and some kinds of tissue swelling. It is also popularly used to help prevent or reduce epistaxis (exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage) in racehorses.
Common symptoms associated with furosemide include dehydration, displayed by excessive thirst or decreased urination, and electrolyte imbalances, which often cause the patient to display signs of rapid heart rate, depression, weakness, vomiting, and restlessness. It is contraindicated in patients with anuria. Use should be discontinued in patients that suffer from progressive renal disease should increasing azotemia and oliguria be observed during treatment. Patients with preexisting electrolyte or water balance abnormalities, impaired hepatic function, or diabetes mellitus should use this drug cautiously.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to furosemide can include facial swelling, scratching, hives, diarrhea, shock, vomiting, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, and coma.
Furosemide should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected, the symptoms of which can include hearing loss, dehydration, lethargy, seizures, coma, electrolyte imbalances, heart failure/collapse, and kidney damage displayed by increased thirst and urination.
Furosemide should be kept at room temperature and stored in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. The oral form should be carefully protected from light and freezing. Should a precipitate form while the drug is being refrigerated, it can be warmed and re-solubilized without damaging the potency. Furosemide should also be kept away from the reach of children and pets.
Furosemide should be administered orally, with or without food, and with plenty of drinking water. A typical dose is 2.5-5 mg/kg once or twice daily. Should a dose be forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for the next dose. In this case, the regular schedule should be resumed and the missed dose should be skipped. Two doses should never be administered at the same time.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.