The Uses and Effects of Diuretics in Dogs

Friday, July 22, 2022 11:36:37 AM America/Los_Angeles

With kidney and cardiac disease being some of the most common ailments affecting canines, many dog pawrents are no stranger to diuretics. But what exactly is a diuretic and what effects will it have on your fur baby? While the name of the medication might be intimidating, diuretics have an important function for doggos dealing with kidney and heart problems. 

Photo by Ryan Stone 

What Are Diuretics?

Diuretics are a type of medication used to treat illnesses that cause fluid retention. The main purpose of diuretics is to help the body release those fluids.This is why it’s commonly used to treat the symptoms of diseases like congestive heart failure and kidney failure, which cause dangerous levels of fluid retention. 

Fluid retention can reach critical levels for canines with kidney and heart problems. Whether it’s fluid in the lungs or the inability to eliminate toxins through urine, diuretics help the body perform normal functions to force fluid release. 

What Do Diuretics Do for Dogs?

Diuretics for dogs are actually used for many of the same reasons as for humans. Diuretics help manage fluid retention, which prevents the normal release of excess fluids in the body. Kidney failure, for example, causes disruptions in the ability to produce urine. This is where diuretics like Furosemide come in–the medication helps stimulate the kidney so that it produces more urine

What Are the Side Effects of Diuretics in Dogs? 

Given that diuretics are commonly used to treat illnesses that affect the heart and kidney, there are a number of important side effects that can result from this drug, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Low potassium levels 

Typically, two of the most notable side effects seen by dog pawrents are increased thirst and urination. Though it may seem like your fur baby is drinking more water on diuretics, do not withhold water. Consult your vet if you have concerns about water intake and keep an extra wee wee pad around in the meantime. 

An indoor pet potty is a helpful addition to the home for pooches that need to frequent the dog bathroom. Having a pee pad inside not only helps with frequent urination, it also minimizes the physical stress of waiting and walking for dogs whose illnesses are a bit more severe.