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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19295
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I have a question about giving my dog Gatorade

Customer Question

Hi! I have a question about giving my dog Gatorade
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My dog has Addison's disease. She takes Fludrocortisone 2mg, .4ml morning and night. She had blood work done today and her sodium was low. Last time it was checked 10/2016 it was 135 (normal is 138-160) and this time, today, it was 128. My husband is in the army and we are stationed in Korea, so the dr we saw was Korean. She said to give her Gatorade twice a day (didn't say how much) and see if her sodium levels increase. Do you think that's a good idea or would it be better to give her something else? Or adjust medicine dosage
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Everything else in her blood work was normal except:CA was 12.7 (normal 8.6-11.8)
GLU was 152 (normal 60-110)
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My dog is always very thirsty (ever since she's had Addison's, about 2 years now) and the vet today said not to let her gulp water- to just let her drink a little bit at a time. Do you agree?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.

Hi. My name is***** Thank you for your question about your girl Lily. Supplementation of oral sodium can be done in some cases to help keep their Na levels up. It is reasonable to to do this when the dose of fludrocorisone is causing them to drink excessively and urinate excessively and it is being sought to try and reduce this dose. In her case, if she's always very thirsty since being on the medication, it may be due to it. To try and get the Na levels up, increasing the dose of it through your vet could be one option, but it may increase the drinking and this may not be desired. The other option to consider is seeing if they have available the medication called DOCP - desoxycorticosterone pivalate. It is a 28 day - 30 day injectable medication for the treatment of Addison's.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you think I should try increasing it to .45 ml instead of .4 and get her rechecked in a week or two? It's just hard here being in Korea- I don't think they're familiar with Addison's disease at all. The vet was reading in the book about what it was because she didn't know
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
They don't carry any medication for Addison's disease here. I have to order it through an online compounding pharmacy in Arizona
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.

How much does she weigh? I can understand the difficulty in being in a foreign country where some medications may not be readily accessible. They may not even have access o the DOCP.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She weighs 85 pounds. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.

Here is what is stated from Plumb's veterinary drug formula.

  • For maintenance therapy of hypoadrenocorticism (extra-label): Initial dosage recommendations vary somewhat but most recommend 0.01 mg/kg PO q12h. Dosages are adjusted in 0.05 – 0.1 mg increments (1/2 to one 0.1 mg tablet) based on monitoring serum electrolyte concentrations every 1-2 weeks until stable; many dogs can be transitioned to once daily dosing. Once stable, recheck every 3-4 months. Most dogs will eventually require 0.02 – 0.03 mg/kg per day. Approximately 50% of dogs will not require supplemental prednisone, but owners should have supplemental prednisone on hand and instructed to use it when animal undergoes stress or illness (e.g. veterinary visits, boarding etc.). In dogs that develop signs associated with Cushing’s (e.g., polyuria/polydipsia) even when hyponatremia and, less frequently, hyperkalemia persist, the addition of NaCl (0.1 g/kg/day) may be useful to reduce the dose of fludrocortisone, while maintaining normal serum sodium.

What mg / ml is the solution you are getting?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Is 2 mg and she gets .04 ml twice a day
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.

Is the solution 2 mg / ml? You also meant to type 0.4 mls twice a day in that last post versus, 0.04 mls twice a day correct?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Oops, yes and yes
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.
Sorry for my delay in getting back to you. Curious to know for how long the dose has been the 0.4 mls orally every 12 hours?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That's okay! She's been on that dosage since October 2016, if not longer
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 2 months ago.

Ok. In her situation, if she's been doing well on that dose since October, then it may be reasonable to try and get her to drink the Gatorade (there are no exacts on amount) twice a day to see if that helps supplement her Na. Increasing the Fludrocortisone is something that is an option, but it may make her more thirsty and urinate more. There is no way to know unless the dose is eventually increased as it isn't keeping the Na levels in their ideal range.