First time with Lasix
- Hi everyone,
I've been subscribed to this list for years but almost never read it. Please
excuse me for asking questions which I'm sure have been answered many times
in the past.
Some quick background. My HCM Bengal, Lightning, will turn 7 years old next
week. He first developed a murmur in late kittenhood. Xrays, blood work, and
EKG looked normal, so we didn't have an echo done then and chalked it up to a
benign kitten murmur. Later that year, he suddenly developed severe symptoms and
we got an echo done. (Actually, we had two completed in the same week because
I wanted a second opinion.) The diagnosis was clear: Severe HCM and the
prognosis was poor.
However, we started him on Atenolol, 6.25 mg twice a day, and he showed
improvement almost immediately. Since 1999, he's had many echoes, all done by a
very reputable vet cardiologist. At first he was getting tested every couple
months, then twice a year, and now once per year. EVERY time he's gotten an
echo, the cardiologist has reported improvement since the last echo. His HCM
status was downgraded from severe to mild. The only exceptions were last year,
when Lightning didn't show any improvement but also didn't get worse, and
Lightning had what was supposed to be a routine echo yesterday as part of his
normal follow-up care. This time his echo values showed significant
progression of the disease. In addition, he's now got fluid in his lungs, which has
never happened before.
The only med he's ever taken has been Atenolol. Not even the dose has
changed. The Atenolol has worked miraculously, so we never added or changed anything
else other than diet. Yesterday, the cardiologist reported that his heart is
now beating too slowly. So we've cut the Atenolol from twice a day to once a
At this very moment, the compounding pharmacy is whipping up a batch of Lasix
for him. I have two questions about this:
1. I'll be giving Lightning his first-ever dose of Lasix in a few hours. Are
there any symptoms or side effects I should look for? I want to behave as
normally as possible around him. Typically he sleeps in an otherwise empty room
during the afternoon. He likes to nap in private during the day. Should I
keep him near me all day today to watch for symptoms or can I just peek in on him
every once in a while?
2. My vet has messy handwriting. (Don't they all?) The prescription looks
as if it says the Lasix should be compounded to a 10 mg dose. However, that
could be 16 mg. Which number is typical?
Thanks for any help. We're going to start an ACE inhibitor in a few weeks as
well, and I'm sure I'll have many more questions by then.
Save a life. Support the Ricky Fund.
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