Diuretics induce loss of water and sodium (naturetics), therefore reducing the volume overload (i.e. preload) and sodium retention (i.e. the anti-oedema effect). When given intravenously, diuretics may have a venodilator effect, with beneficial haemodynamic effects in congestive heart failure.
Diuretics have the potential to produce side effects when administered chronically at high doses. Cats are particularly prone to dehydration, lethargy and inappetance, and an appropriate lower dose is required. While diuretics also cause Mg++, and Ca++ loss, this rarely has clinical significance in dogs. However, it is prudent to monitor electrolyte levels and kidney function.
The response to diuretics can be assessed by monitoring the following:

Loop diuretics
frusemide (furosemide) and bumetanide
Thiazide diuretics
chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide
Potassium sparing diuretics
spironolactone, amiloride and triamterene

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