Furosemide for Dogs and Cats

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Frequently Asked Questions

Furosemide is a diuretic, which is a medication used in many species to remove excess fluid from the body.

Furosemide is for dogs, cats, and horses.

  • Used to treat congestive heart failure and some other heart diseases

  • Treats fluid in the lungs and certain kidney diseases

  • Also treats high blood pressure, high potassium blood levels, fluid in the abdomen, and certain kinds of tissue swelling

Furosemide works by increasing the amount of salt and water that the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is then passed out through the urine.

This is a generic medication.

Furosemide is given orally, with or without food, with plenty of fresh drinking water. It should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. Dosage, frequency, and duration of treatment vary with each disease, disease severity, and response to treatment. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Furosemide will not cure a disease, but will help manage the symptoms. Furosemide will start to have an effect within hours of being taken. The effect is short-lived, however, and the drug must consistently be given according to your veterinarian's directions to have the full effect.

This medication comes in tablet form.

Furosemide

Talk to your veterinarian about what tests and exams may be necessary while your pet is taking Furosemide. Also discuss how long the treatment period will be and what type of outcome is expected. You and your veterinarian should talk about any other treatment options that are recommended for your pet, as Furosemide is often used in conjunction with other medications.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet is experiencing any vomiting or diarrhea, has liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or could be pregnant or is nursing.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking, and also if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications, especially sulfa drugs.

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.

Monitor your pet carefully for signs of a water or electrolyte imbalance. These would include excessive thirst, decreased amounts of urine, depression, weakness, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea or a fast heart rate. If you see these signs, contact your veterinarian. Carefully follow your veterinarian's directions on the correct dosing of this medication.

Not for use in animals who are allergic to it or sulfa drugs (furosemide is chemically similar to some sulfa drugs). Furosemide will cause your pet to urinate more often. Your pet may have more "accidents" and need to go outside or use the litter box more. Use with caution in animals with kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. Do not use in animals with anuria (inability to produce urine), progressive kidney disease, electrolyte imbalances, water loss (dehydration), liver disease, diabetes mellitus, vomiting, or diarrhea. Use with caution in pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young).

Animals that eat and drink normally are less likely to experience side effects. Side effects may include dehydration with excessive thirst and increased or decreased urine production; or electrolyte imbalances (e.g., low sodium, potassium, or calcium), often with rapid heart rate, weakness, depression, vomiting, and restlessness. If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Less commonly, you may see an increase in blood sugar level; anemia, resulting in pale gums, tiredness, or weakness; a decrease in white blood cells, making the animal more susceptible to infections; and stomach or intestinal disorders, with vomiting or diarrhea.

In cats, this medication may affect hearing or balance, or cause a tilt of the head. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects.

If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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

Signs may include hearing loss, electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, lethargy, coma, seizures, heart failure/collapse, and kidney damage, with increased thirst and urination. If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Consult your veterinarian before using furosemide with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, corticosteroids (prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone), amphotericin B, insulin, probenecid, sulfinpyrazone, gentamicin, other aminoslycoside antibiotics, digoxin, enalapril, theophylline, or NSAIDs such as aspirin, deracoxib (Deramaxx), etodolac (EtoGesic), meloxicam (Metacam), carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), firocoxib (Previcox), or tepoxalin (Zubrin), since interactions may occur.