Heart Medicine Poisoning in Dogs

Digoxin is an effect drug that is used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF), usually in combination of other drugs such as ACE inhibitors and diuretics. Digoxin affects electrical conduction of the heart and increases cardiac activity. Use of digoxin usually results in reduce heart size, blood pressure, blood volume and heart rate. This drug is also used to treat other cardiac condtions such as atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmias, and supraventricular tachycardia. 

While digoxin is a very effective and powerful drug for heart conditions, there is a slight difference between a therapeutic dose and toxic dose. Therefore, it is imperative to use/administer this powerful drug with extreme care to avoid overdose. The veterinarian should brief the owners of the dog of signs of digoxin toxicity which are aubtle and similar to heart failure.  

Digoxin toxicity causes damage to the heart cells, a condition known as myocardial toxicity. This results in abnormal heart rhythms, often leading to heart failure. Obvious symptoms of this condition include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. 

Comatose or seizures are signs of acute digoxin toxicity. 

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