If your furry friend is suffering from congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, or certain kidney or liver diseases, your veterinarian may prescribe Lasix (furosemide). This diuretic drug can help remove excess fluid from the body and ease breathing difficulties. However, Lasix can also have severe side effects that can worsen or even end your dog’s life. Here are some reasons why Lasix causes death in dogs and what you can do to prevent such a tragedy.
1. Lasix can cause dehydration
One of the primary mechanisms of Lasix is to block the reabsorption of sodium and water in the kidneys, which leads to increased urine production. While this can help reduce fluid accumulation in the lungs or abdomen, it can also deplete the body’s essential electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Dehydration can make your dog weak, dizzy, lethargic, and prone to cramps, seizures, and heart arrhythmias. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to acute kidney failure, shock, and death.
2. Lasix can worsen kidney or liver problems
If your dog already has impaired kidney or liver function, Lasix can put more stress on these organs and cause them to fail. The excessive urine output can also flush out important nutrients and waste products that the kidneys or liver need to maintain their balance. Additionally, Lasix can lower the blood flow to these organs and reduce the oxygen and nutrient supply. If your dog’s kidneys or liver stop working, toxins can build up in the blood and cause systemic damage.
3. Lasix can alter the blood chemistry
In addition to electrolyte imbalances, Lasix can also affect the pH and oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. By removing more water and sodium than normal, Lasix can lower the blood volume and the concentration of proteins and cells in the plasma. This can lead to a drop in the blood pressure, a decrease in the oxygen delivery to the tissues, and an increase in the risk of blood clots, bleeding, or infections. Moreover, Lasix can change the acid-base balance of the blood, which can trigger metabolic or respiratory acidosis or alkalosis. These conditions can affect the vital functions of the heart, lungs, brain, and other organs.
4. Lasix can mask other problems
Lasix can also be dangerous if it covers up or delays the diagnosis of other underlying health issues. For instance, if your dog has a tumor, infection, or inflammation that causes fluid accumulation, Lasix can remove the fluid but not the cause. This can make the disease more advanced and harder to treat. Additionally, Lasix can mask the signs of dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to delayed or incorrect interventions. If your dog is taking Lasix, make sure to monitor their appetite, thirst, urine output, behavior, and overall health closely and report any changes to your vet.
Make sure to follow the dosage and frequency instructions, provide plenty of fresh water and electrolyte-rich foods, and observe your dog’s response to the treatment. If you notice any signs of dehydration, kidney or liver dysfunction, or blood chemistry abnormalities, seek emergency veterinary care. Your dog’s life may depend on it.
FAQs about Lasix for dogs
1. What is Lasix?
Lasix is a brand name for the drug Furosemide. It is a diuretic medication that is used to treat conditions that cause fluid accumulation in the body.
2. What conditions can Lasix treat in dogs?
Lasix can be used to treat several medical conditions in dogs, including congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
3. How does Lasix work in dogs?
Lasix works by blocking the absorption of sodium, chloride, and water in the kidneys. This causes the kidneys to produce more urine, which helps to eliminate excess fluid from the body.
4. How is Lasix administered to dogs?
Lasix is usually given to dogs orally in the form of tablets or capsules. It can also be given as an injection in a veterinary clinic.
5. How long does it take for Lasix to work on dogs?
Lasix starts to work within one hour of administration. However, the effects can last for up to six hours.
6. Can Lasix cause side effects in dogs?
Yes, Lasix can cause side effects in dogs, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and low blood pressure. It is important to monitor your dog for any adverse effects and consult your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.
7. What are the signs of dehydration in dogs?
Signs of dehydration in dogs include dry nose, dry mouth, sunken eyes, lethargy, and decreased urine output.
8. Can Lasix be used in pregnant or lactating dogs?
Lasix is not recommended for use in pregnant or lactating dogs unless it is deemed necessary by a veterinarian.
9. Can Lasix be used in dogs with liver disease?
Lasix should be used with caution in dogs with liver disease. It is important to consult with your veterinarian before administering Lasix to a dog with liver disease.
10. Can Lasix be used in dogs with heart disease?
Lasix is commonly used in dogs with heart disease, particularly congestive heart failure. It helps to reduce the workload on the heart by eliminating excess fluid from the body.
11. Can Lasix be used in dogs with kidney disease?
Lasix can be used in dogs with kidney disease, but it should be used with caution. It is important to monitor kidney function and electrolyte levels in dogs with kidney disease.
12. Can Lasix be used in dogs with high blood pressure?
Yes, Lasix can be used in dogs with high blood pressure. It helps to reduce blood volume and lower blood pressure.
13. How often should Lasix be given to dogs?
The frequency of Lasix administration will depend on the medical condition being treated and the dog’s response to the medication. Your veterinarian will provide specific dosing instructions.
14. Can Lasix be given with other medications?
Lasix can be given with other medications, but it is important to consult with your veterinarian before administering any new medications.
15. Can Lasix be given to dogs with diabetes?
Lasix should be used with caution in dogs with diabetes. It can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
16. How should Lasix be stored?
Lasix should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture. It should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
17. Can Lasix be crushed or broken?
Lasix tablets should not be crushed or broken unless directed by a veterinarian. Breaking or crushing the tablets can affect the medication’s effectiveness and absorption.
18. What should I do if I miss a dose of Lasix for my dog?
If you miss a dose of Lasix for your dog, you should give it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for the next dose, you should skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing schedule.
19. Can Lasix be used in dogs with allergies?
Lasix should be used with caution in dogs with allergies. It is important to consult with your veterinarian before administering Lasix to a dog with allergies.
20. When should I contact my veterinarian about Lasix?
You should contact your veterinarian if you notice any adverse effects in your dog, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or low blood pressure. It is also important to consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about the use of Lasix in your dog.