Hyperkalemia: High Potassium in Dogs

Potassium is a primary electrolyte in dogs, which means it serves various functions in their bodies. Potassium and salt work together to keep the blood in equilibrium and avoid dehydration. These two components govern the pH of the blood and transfer water in and out of the cells.

Hyperkalemia is when a dog’s blood contains far more potassium than usual. This is a hazardous disease, and it’s critical to get the proper diagnosis since it might lead to heart failure or dysfunction. Potassium levels in the bloodstream are sensitive to the heart, and too much can cause the heart to cease pumping.

However, high potassium levels might be deceiving. False hyperkalemia is when a dog’s potassium level is elevated for a short time before reverting to normal. Pseudohyperkalemia is a frequent condition that does not require treatment since the blood levels recover to normal on their own.

Hyperkalemia

Consult your veterinarian for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment if you notice the indications, especially if your dog has renal or urinary tract problems. Here’s everything you should know about hyperkalemia in dogs, including symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Symptoms

Cardiac arrhythmia and other heart symptoms, muscular weakness, and final collapse of the dog are all risks when too much potassium is present in the dog’s blood. Instead of the muscles hardening, flaccid paralysis occurs, in which the dog becomes entirely limp and unable to move. Gastrointestinal issues and trouble peeing, in which the dog has to struggle or is unable to urinate, are prevalent.

Hypokalemia can also be caused by fluid tablets that often lead dogs to pee. Certain antibiotics, glucose, and insulin are examples of medicines that can reduce potassium levels. Low potassium levels can be caused by malabsorption, a poor diet, and frequent vomiting and diarrhea.

Veterinarians use a set of blood tests to identify low potassium levels. They will give potassium-containing fluids to boost blood concentration and avoid dehydration after a precise diagnosis has been obtained.

Causes

Inability to pee owing to injury to or sickness of the bladder, kidneys, or urethra is often the primary cause of very high potassium levels in dogs. If the dog is hardly passing pee or not passing any at all, it may have an abnormally high potassium level in its blood.

Gastrointestinal illnesses might also play a role in this situation. Potassium levels greater than usual are also caused by acidosis, leukemia, and kidney stones. Look up “Oakwood veterinarians” for the best results.

Diagnosis

The veterinarian must review the dog’s whole medical history, including any injuries, and not neglect even the most minor symptoms to determine a diagnosis. The doctor will discover which organs are damaged, resulting in elevated potassium levels, and tailor the medication to repair those organs.

Urinalysis and complete blood testing are conducted. An ECG is performed to check the heart function, and X-rays are acquired using a radiopaque dye. For bone surgeries for your dog, you can consult a veterinary orthopedic surgeon.

Treatment

The condition’s etiology determines treatment. The veterinarian concentrates on treating the organ that has failed. While the therapy is underway, the fastest approach to reduce potassium levels is to inject a saline solution into the dog.

The doctor will have more time to conduct extensive tests and provide an accurate diagnosis when the levels are reduced. While only temporary, saline aids in the removal of the primary issue, allowing the body to heal to some extent. Consult your veterinarian for more info.

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