Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Treatment of heartwater: potential adverse effects of furosemide administration on certain homeostatic parameters in normal sheep.

Abstract

Diuresis with concomitant natriuresis was significant after furosemide administration to 5 healthy sheep (5 mg/kg i.v. (n = 3) or 5 mg/kg i.v. twice (n = 2)), as was the expected plasma volume decrease. Other significant changes included metabolic alkalosis, hypokalaemia and reduced blood ionized calcium. It appears that the probable cause of death of sheep with heartwater (Cowdria ruminantium) is a drastic reduction in blood volume and decreased cardiac output that leads to general circulatory failure. A therapeutic approach that involves further loss of plasma volume due to diuresis appears contradictory. The added effects of potentiating respiratory alkalosis and the terminal drop in blood ionized calcium seen in heartwater-affected animals indicate that the use of furosemide in supportive treatment of this disease is not warranted.