Lanoxin for Dogs

Updated March 24, 2017

According to, Lanoxin is made from the leaves of a digitalis plant. The plant makes the heart beat stronger and more regularly. It also treats congestive heart failure. Lanoxin can be used for dogs and humans alike.

Dogs and Heart Failure

Dogs also suffer from heart failure. Heart problems affect larger dogs more often than smaller dogs, usually between the ages of 4 and 10. There are two kinds of cardiac failure in dogs. The first is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and is rather rare. The second is dilated cardiomyopathy, which causes the chambers of the heart to increase and the muscles to thin. The latter typically causes congestive heart failure. Lanoxin can treat these disorders.

History of Lanoxin

Lanoxin belongs to a group of medicines titled "positive inotropic agents which increase the concentration of calcium in heart muscle cells," according to Digoxin is the active ingredient in the medication. It increases heart muscle contraction and reduces heart rate. According to Pet Care RX, "the increase in the contraction strength of the heart in turn results in an increase in the amount of blood pumped out of the heart. This action puts a control on the fluid build-up in the lungs."


Caution is required when using Lanoxin. The medication should not be used with dogs who have hyperthyroidism, ventricular fibrillation, kidney failure or allergies. Dogs being treated with Lanoxin should not use diuretics, chemotherapy drugs or corticosteroids. The medicine should be kept at room temperature and away from excessive heat, moisture or light. Tell your veterinarian or pharmacist about the medications the pet is taking.

Side Effects

According to Pet Care RX, dogs may experience side effects that include vomiting, diarrhoea, appetite changes, uneven heart rhythms and depression. These symptoms may be caused by too high of a dosage. A veterinarian should be able to adjust the dosage and monitor the dog's behaviour when using the drug.

Other Brands and Dosages

Lanoxin may also be prescribed as Cardoxin and Digitek and is available in capsule, tablet, liquid, and injection forms, according to Pet Care RX. The recommended dosage for dogs is 0.0025--0.005 milligrams every 12 hours for dogs on an empty stomach.

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About the Author

Lisa Basile has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2003. She has a Master of Fine Arts in writing and has contributed to local news and national magazines such as "Billboard," "Maxim" and "Cosmo!Girl." Basile also edits an online magazine and writes daily content for Alloy Media.