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Keywords:

  • Key words;
  • Albuterol;
  • potassium;
  • hypokalemia;
  • intoxication;
  • adrenergic activity

Summary

A suspected case of intoxication of a dog by the beta2-adrenergic agonist albuterol is discussed. Clinical abnormalities observed included hypokalemia, weakness, tachycardia, tachypnea, hyperthermia, and delirium. Treatment with high-dose potassium supplementation helped to resolve these abnormalities.

Adrenergic control of potassium homeostasis is beta2-mediated and causes the intracellular uptake of potassium, primarily in liver and muscle. The mechanism of action of albuterol in decreasing serum potassium, its clinical applications in humans, and possible application in dogs are discussed.