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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Low Serum Potassium (Hypokalemia)

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Condition Overview

Hypokalemia is a condition in which the dog has low serum potassium. It is a metabolic cause of generalized muscle weakness.

Symptoms

The dog will experience weakness.

Causes

Loss of potassium occurs with severe vomiting. It also occurs with the long term use of diuretics that cause the kidneys to excrete potassium, such as Lasix (furosemide). Other causes of hypokalemia include bloat, diabetic ketoacidosis, and Cushing's syndrome.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made by measuring serum potassium levels.

Treatment

Weakness disappears as potassium is replaced and the underlying cause is corrected. Close veterinary supervision is required until normal levels are restored.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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