Digoxin for Dogs & Cats

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Frequently Asked Questions

Digoxin is used to treat certain heart diseases in dogs and cats. It is a prescription medication used to treat heart diseases such as congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation/flutter, certain conditions causing rapid heartbeat and sometimes dilated cardiomyopathy.

Digoxin is for multiple species including dogs and cats.

  • Prescription medication for the treatment of certain heart diseases

  • Digoxin is conveniently available in multiple forms and strengths

  • Treats congestive heart failure and certain types of heart rhythm disorders

Digoxin is used to treat heart diseases such as congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation/flutter, certain conditions causing rapid heartbeat and sometimes dilated cardiomyopathy.

Digoxin treats congestive heart failure by causing an increase in the heart muscle contractility. Digoxin also reduces heart rate and pressure in the veins to combat conditions associated with congestive heart failure.

This is a generic medication.

Digoxin is given by mouth. Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.

This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Cats: Do not give with food unless directed by your veterinarian; absorption may be decreased by as much as fifty percent.

Digoxin is not a cure for the heart disease, but can help manage the symptoms. Its effects can be seen after several days of treatment, but will stop if therapy is discontinued.

Talk to your veterinarian about what type of outcome is expected, and what type of exams and tests will be necessary while your pet is taking Digoxin. Have your veterinarian explain the other treatment options that may be necessary to treat heart disease in your pet.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has kidney disease, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking, as Digoxin interacts with many of these. Also tell your veterinarian if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

Digoxin must be given exactly as your veterinarian prescribes and you must watch carefully for any side effects. There is only a very small difference between the dose for treatment and a dose that could cause severe side effects and death. Do not adjust the medication amount without consulting with your veterinarian.

Periodic blood testing is generally required. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has changes in behavior, vomiting or diarrhea, decreased appetite, or becomes depressed, weak, or lethargic.

Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young); the safety of the drug has not been determined in these animals. Do not use in animals with ventricular fibrillation, digitalis overdose, and certain other heart/lung conditions. Use with caution in animals who are obese; have thyroid, kidney, or severe lung disease; or electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., abnormally low or high levels of potassium, sodium, or calcium in the blood). Use with caution in Collies and other herding breeds, since they are more sensitive to some of the effects.

May see vomiting, diarrhea, depression, incoordination, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, and abnormal heart rhythms. Contact your veterinarian if you observe any of these signs.

Store at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant, childproof container. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately. Signs of an acute overdose include collapse, seizures, and coma.

Consult your veterinarian before using Digoxin with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, antacids, cimetidine, metoclopramide, oral neomycin, penicillamine, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics (furosemide, Lasix), amphotericin B, corticosteroids (prednisone, dexamethasone), laxatives, diazepam (Valium), quinidine, anticholinergic drugs (atropine), verapamil (another heart medication), tetracycline, erythromycin, and thyroid replacement therapy (thyroxine, Soloxine), since interactions may occur. Other interactions may also occur. Do not adjust the medication amount without consulting with your veterinarian.