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:
Body weight change (particularly valuable
if this has been regularly noted prior to the development of heart failure).
Hydration status (based on clinical examination
Respiration (e.g. resting respiratory
rate at home).
frusemide (furosemide) and bumetanide
chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide
Potassium sparing diuretics
spironolactone, amiloride and triamterene
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