Side Effects of the Diuretic Lasix on Canines

by Mary Lougee
"Yes, I have to go outside again."

"Yes, I have to go outside again."

John Howard/Photodisc/Getty Images

The diuretic furosemide is marketed under the brand names of Lasix, Salix and Disal for pets. It is available by prescription from your veterinarian in a liquid or tablet form. Lasix is used for several conditions involving fluid retention in both canines and humans with few serious side effects. A pet on Lasix generally will need the medication for life. Regular vet appointments to monitor changes is an important part of the treatment. It also may be time to put a doggy door in to accommodate his frequent bathroom trips.

How Lasix Works

The diuretic Lasix works in the canine liver to produce an excess of urine output as well as minerals and electrolytes of hydrogen, magnesium, calcium, chloride, potassium, ammonium and bicarbonate. It increases blood flow to the kidneys and increases the filtering of the kidneys. The electrolytes that are lost through increasing urination usually are reabsorbed by the kidneys within a 24-hour period through the gastrointestinal tract.

Canine Lasix Uses

Lasix is useful in treatment in several areas for canines who need to excrete more fluids to maintain healthy systems. Congestive heart failure occurs when too much fluid accumulates in the chest cavity, lungs or belly. Edema patients use Lasix to remove fluids from skin tissues or body cavities that cause excessive swelling. Lasix works as an airway dilator for chronic bronchitis and coughing and is administered through a bronchodilator as a mist. This diuretic also aids the kidney production when kidney failure is imminent and removes excess calcium from the blood and high potassium levels. All of the extra fluids, minerals and electrolytes result in increased urination to carry them away. That means your furry friend will need more trips to the potty and more fluid intake.

Minor Side Effects

Using Lasix for your canine friend has the minor side effects that are expected from a diuretic. These include an increase in thirst and increase in urination for the drug to work. It makes your dog drink more water so he can urinate more and remove fluids, minerals and electrolytes from his body. These are normal side effects. Keep the water bowl full and be ready for more walks or trips outdoors.

Major Side Effects

Weakness or lethargy is an indication that the potassium levels are too low in your pet, due to the removal process through the urine. Lasix increases the calcium level in the urine and can produce bladder stones with long-term use. If your pet seems to be tired or weak, take a trip to your vet for testing and diagnosis. Your veterinarian can add electrolytes, potassium or other things your pooch is deficient in to get him back on his paws.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.