Saturday, December 8, 2018

Transdermal Furosemide: Ineffective For A Cat With Heart Disease

Transdermal furosemide is likely to be ineffective for a cat with heart disease.
If you use transdermal meds for your cat with heart disease, this isn't the best news. A new study published by the Winn Feline Foundation found that transdermal furosemide (Lasix) "is unlikely to be effective."

The study looked at just six cats though, so perhaps we shouldn't leap to conclusions just yet. 

Furosemide 'The Mainstay Of Therapy'

The researchers called furosemide "the mainstay of therapy" for a cat with heart disease. A powerful diuretic, it prevents absorption of elements that cause fluid to build up in the cat's body.

According to Diamondback Drugs' websitefurosemide "increases the excretion of chloride, potassium, sodium and water, among others, thereby increasing the volume of urine." The drug reduces the fluid accumulation which often comes with heart failure.

But the researchers found that the cats they studied didn't absorb enough of the transdermal formulation for it to reach therapeutic levels, even after the cats got the medicine for several days. 

Other Options For A Cat With Heart Disease

If your cat with heart disease is difficult to pill, furosemide can be compounded into a liquid that might be more acceptable to her. Compounding pharmacies can also make it into chew treats, although they were pretty much a non-starter for my cat with heart disease. 

If you decide to try the chew treats, give your cat a few regular treats along with the medicated chew. She might eat her medicine along with the other treats.

Or if you decide to use liquid furosemide, you can disguise it in a little bit of the liquid from a can of tuna, the liquid from a Fancy Feast broth or a bite of meat baby food. Chicken, turkey and ham seem to be the most popular with cats. 

Here are some more tips on stress-free ways to medicate a cat.

And don't completely rule out transdermal meds for cats. Some drugs, like transdermal methimazole, are effective and are a perfect alternative to oral medications. It's just transdermal furosemide that doesn't work, at least for now. 

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