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Overview of Systemic Pharmacotherapeutics of the Cardiovascular System

By Sonya G. Gordon, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM (Cardiology), Associate Professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Science, Texas A and M University ; Ashley B. Saunders, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), Associate Professor of Cardiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A and M University

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See table: Commonly Used Cardiovascular Drugs and Dosages for a listing of commonly used cardiovascular drugs and dosages. Diuretics.

Commonly Used Cardiovascular Drugs and Dosages

Drug

Dosage

Amiodarone

Dog: 8–10 mg/kg, PO, every 12–24 hr for 7–10 days, then reduce to 4–6 mg/kg/day for longterm treatment

Amlodipine

Dog: 0.1–0.2 mg/kg, PO, bid; or 0.2–0.4 mg/kg/day, PO

Cat: 0.625–1.25 mg/cat, PO, once to twice daily

Aspirin (antiplatelet dosage)

Dog: 5–10 mg/kg, PO, every 1–2 days

Cat: 1–2 mg/kg/day, PO; or ¼ of an 81-mg tablet/cat, PO, every 3 days (or twice per week)

Atenolol

Dog: 0.2–1 mg/kg, PO, bid

Cat: 1–2.5 mg/kg, PO, bid; or 6.25–12.5 mg/cat, bid

Benazepril

Dog: 0.25–0.5 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily

Cat: 0.25–0.5 mg/kg, PO, bid; or 0.5 mg/kg/day, PO

Clopidogrel

Dog: loading dose for rapid onset of action (90 min) 10 mg/kg, PO (once); 1–2 mg/kg/day, PO, longterm

Cat: ¼ of a 75-mg tablet (18.75 mg)/day/cat, PO

Diltiazem

Dog: 0.5–2 mg/kg, PO, tid (standard formulation); 1–4 mg/kg, PO, bid (sustained release)

Cat: 7.5 mg/cat, PO, tid (standard formulation); 3–6 mg/cat, PO, once to twice daily (sustained release)

Dobutamine

Dog: 2.5–15 mcg/kg/min, CRIa

Enalapril

Dog: 0.25–0.5 mg/kg, PO, bid

Cat: 0.25–0.5 mg/kg, PO, bid; or 0.5 mg/kg/day, PO

Furosemide

Dog: 2–4 mg/kg, IV, IM, SC, every 1–6 hr; 0.25–1 mg/kg/hr, CRI; or 1–5 mg/kg, PO, bid-tid

Cat: 0.5–2 mg/kg, IV, IM, SC, every 1–8 hr; 0.25–0.6 mg/kg/hr, CRI; or 1–2 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily

Heparin

Dog: 100–200 U/kg, SC, tid-qid (unfractionated)

Dog and cat: 100–200 IU/kg, SC, once to twice daily (low molecular weight)

Hydralazine

Dog: 0.5–3 mg/kg, PO, bid

Lidocaine

Dog: 2–4 mg/kg, IV; 25–75 mcg/kg/min, CRI

Mexiletine

Dog: 4–6 mg/kg, PO, tid

Nitroglycerin ointment 2% (1 in. = 15 mg)

Dog: 4–12 mg, topically, bid (maximum 15 mg/dog/dose)

Cat: 2–4 mg/cat, topically, tid-qid for 1–2 days

Pimobendan

Dog, cat: 0.25–0.3 mg/kg, PO, bid

Procainamide

Dog: 4–6 mg/kg, PO, every 2–4 hr (regular formulation); 10–20 mg/kg, PO, tid (sustained release); 2–25 mg/kg, slow IV bolus to effect, or CRI at 25–40 mcg/kg/min

Quinidine sulfate

Dog: 5–10 mg/kg, IV, qid; or 6–20 mg/kg, PO, tid-qid

Quinidine gluconate

Dog: 6–20 mg/kg, IM, qid; or 6–20 mg/kg, PO, tid-qid

Sildenafil

Dog: 1–3 mg/kg, PO, bid-tid

Sotalol

Dog, cat: 1–2.5 mg/kg, PO, bid

Spironolactone

Dog: 1–2 mg/kg, PO, bid; or 2 mg/kg/day, PO

Cat: 1–2 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily

Torsemide

Dog: 0.25–0.4 mg/kg, PO, once to twice daily

a CRI = constant-rate infusion

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