Dog Heart Stimulants
Digitalis exerts its action specifically on the heart and leads the list of effective heart stimulants. The dried leaves of the lovely garden flower, foxglove, are the source of this remarkable drug. Several other plants produce the so-called digitalis principles: quill, a sea onion; osteopaths, a tree whose seeds are used; and even the bulb of the lily of the valley.
Of the active ingredients of digitalis, one is most effective for dog sand which is dioxin. Dioxin directly affects the muscle of the heart, whose force of contraction greatly increases. The rate is also slowed. It is useful in many disturbances that result from heart failure and heart weakness is heart failure. Dropsy and edema of the tissues may be due both to heart and kidney failure. Dioxin gives relief in some cases. It is not, however, the universal remedy some people think. Dioxin is not a useful stimulant when a quick one is needed, because it takes too long to establish the desired effects. It is useless in some forms of heart trouble, pneumonia, and shock.
When your veterinarian establishes the fact that your dog requires dioxin he or she has two avenues to consider. Either he or she may administer doses that will build levels of the drug in the heart muscle rapidly and then reduce the dose to a maintenance dose. Or the maintenance dose, which will require five or more days for its full therapeutic effect, may be prescribed. The disadvantage of the first approach, which is called a loading dose, is that the patient may become so ill one wonders if the cure is worse than the disease. The loading dose should be done under the direct observation of a veterinarian. The maintenance dose may be administered at home.
Epinephrine (Adrenalin) in a small dose may be injected by your veterinarians into your dog to treat it for shock after an accident or severe intestinal bleeding because of certain lifesaving properties that this drug, produced by the adrenal glands, has demonstrated. Of its many effects, the desired one here is a contraction of the capillaries and arterioles sufficient to cause a clot to turn without being washed off the injured tissue or organ. When this occurs, blood pressure may increase enough to help the dog recover from shock, breathing may be easier, and oxygen absorption promoted. Epinephrine’s effects are of short duration only a matter of minutes but those minutes may be all that is required to save the pet’s life. This wonderful drug can be relied upon to produce all these effects.
Mixed with procaine and used as a local anesthetic in surgery, epinephrine helps prevent capillary bleeding. In cases of heart failure adrenalin, injected directly into the heart, may sometimes cause it to beat again. Acute bronchial asthma brings relief. The dose is very small. Your veterinarian usually uses i:l000 solution and injects fractions of a cubic centimeter.
Ephedrine, a drug of plant origin, has similar properties. Unlike epinephrine, it has the advantage of being absorbed from the digestive tract; it need not be injected unless quick action is required. Moreover, it has much longer effects. Practically everything said regarding epinephrine applies to ephedrine, except that it is sometimes harmful when used in shock treatment. In pet medicine, it finds use in emphysema in old, wheezy dogs. Animals that cough constantly, apparently trying to raise phlegm from the lungs, often benefit from a little ephedrine. A mixture with atropine sometimes works wonders.
See more: Dog Heart Worms
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