Cat just starting Lasix - how long before I should see effects?
July 9, 2008 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Cat just starting Lasix - how long before I should see effects?

My 9 year old cat developed allergies about 3 months ago and the vet treated him with antihistimines and a round of antibiotics (the x-rays showed some spots on his lungs that she thought could be bronchitis) and he got much better.

About 2 weeks ago, he started having difficulty breathing and asthma attacks, so I took him back to the vet. After several additional tests, it was determined that he has heart/lung problems, most likely an early symptom of heart disease (causing fluid to build up in his lungs). He has just started Enalapril and Lasix (Furosemide). These are the same medications used to treat humans as well, so I am hoping someone here might have some experience with how long it takes to see results. The vet said it varies by animal and can take days or weeks. But I am hoping for a few first-hand experiences. And I'm crossing my fingers that the poor guy can breathe easy soon.
posted by giddygirlie to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Just out of curiosity, what tests did he get? Did he have an ultrasound?

(My cat has asthma and takes puffers plus occasionally a round of prednisone/prednisolone.)
posted by loiseau at 8:25 PM on July 9, 2008

Lasix works faaaaaaaaast. I can't really say about the -pril drug I'm on, because I was put on a bunch of meds at the same time, but the diuretic there's no question about. If I don't take it for several days (or weeks, lately) and then I take a dose, I'm running to the bathroom within a few hours. When I was first put on Lasix, I was given a bolus dose at the hospital. That night I didn't sleep more than 5 minutes at a time because I was going to the bathroom so much; prior to that, I had been unable to sleep lying down because I had so much fluid in my lungs. 2 days later, I was able to sleep almost horizontal and I slept through the night for the first time in several months.
I hope your poor kitty gets some relief soon. Good luck!
posted by katemonster at 8:39 PM on July 9, 2008

I'd expect that (depending on the dose) you'd see some improvement pretty quickly, like in a day or two, and then additional improvement over the coming days and weeks.
posted by biscotti at 8:40 PM on July 9, 2008

It took the vet bumping up the dose for my pug to get any relief but once the dose was correct, it was very fast. Right before she died the vet gave us the wrong dose on a refill (the lasix) and I noticed a difference almost immediately, it's quite a powerful diuretic. I was never very sure what part the enalapril was playing in her treatment, I mean I understand what it's supposed to do but it seemed like it was really the lasix that made the big difference in her quality of life. I'd say if the kitty doesn't seem better in a day or two to maybe take him back and see if the dose needs to be adjusted.
posted by yodelingisfun at 9:36 PM on July 9, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! It looks like it started to work in about 6 hours or so for him (which is funny, because it's supposed to have a 6 hour efficacy, thus the name Lasix). He was still breathing fast, but much easier than before (not as much force).

He also seemed to get very drowsy, which is a known side effect. He slept like a log, which I suppose is good -- and probably a combo of meds and exhaustion from all that effort!

loiseau - he did a series of x-rays and full blood and urine panels. He hasn't done the echocardiogram yet, because it's so expensive (about $500) and the vet says that is the echo confirms the diagnosis, the treatment would be the same, so we're starting with meds and in 2 weeks he'll go back for more bloodwork and such. If things are the same or worse, he'll have to do the echo (ultrasound). But for the time being, the vet is trying to help me manage costs. Since this is going to be long-term treatment and we've already invested a LOT of money into the diagnosis. (I don't want to 'brag' about my debts, but it has already cost over $1,000 to get to this point)

katemonster - thanks for sharing your experience!

yodelingisfun - thanks for the input. I'm in touch with the vet already today, so I think we'll give it through the weekend to spot any noticable improvement, and then maybe the dosage needs to be adjusted. (He's a big cat, 19 lbs, so I'd expect some guessing about dosage for him)
posted by giddygirlie at 10:44 AM on July 10, 2008

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