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Q:

How can Lasix (and other diuretics) affect the kidneys?

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Diuretics act on the kidneys to increase the amount of fluid being removed from the body. This will place a strain on the kidneys, which in turn can adversely affect kidney function in some cats. A few days after your cat is first placed on a diuretic, or when your cat's dose of diuretic is increased, blood work will be performed to determine how well your cat's kidneys are tolerating the increased demand on them. Often, treating a cat in congestive heart failure becomes an exercise in balancing kidney function against fluid accumulation. Cats have different tolerance levels for diuretics, so some cats can tolerate large amounts of diuretics, while others will experience impaired kidney function on small doses. Because of this, your vet will attempt to determine the smallest dose of diuretic that is required to keep your cat's chest clear after any crisis associated with fluid has passed. It is very important that you monitor your cat's general attitude and appetite when your cat is ... more
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