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Desmopressin Acetate for Veterinary Use


by Barbara Forney, VMD

Overview

Therapeutic Class
Hormone analogue

Species
Dogs and Cats

May Be Prescribed by Veterinarians for:
Central diabetes insipidus, Von Willebrand’s disease

FDA Status
No FDA-approved veterinary products.

Search for Available Dosage Forms

Basic Information


Desmopressin acetate is a synthetic vasopressin analogue that is used both diagnostically and therapeutically in cases of central diabetes insipidus in dogs and cats. Less common uses for desmopressin acetate are the treatment of type 1 Von Willebrand’s disease, and peri-operatively in cases of canine mammary gland cancers. Desmopressin aceteate is frequently referred to in the literature by the acronym DDAVP, which is the registered trademark of a human drug.

Ask your vet these questions about compounded medications.
Desmopressin acetate decreases urine production and increases urine osmolality by increasing water reabsorption in the kidneys. At routine doses, it does not affect urinary sodium or potassium excretion. Desmopressin also causes a dose dependant increase in certain clotting factors. Desmopressin acetate is destroyed in the GI tract and consequently is given intravenously, subcutaneously or topically in the conjunctival sac

Dogs and Cats

Desmopressin acetate is the treatment of choice for central diabetes insipidus in both dogs and cats. It is also used diagnostically to differentiate between central and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. As a diagnostic test, desmopressin acetate may be used instead of a water deprivation test. The onset of action in the dog is within one hour of administration. When it is used to treat central diabetes insipidus it is generally given once or twice a day in the conjunctiva.

Desmopressin acetate may be used peri-operatively to treat surgical patients with type 1 Von Willebrand’s disease. The onset of action is 15 to 30 minutes and the duration of action is between 3 and 4 hours. Repeated doses within 24 hours are unlikely to prolong response.

Side Effects

  • Conjunctival irritation

Precautions

  • Desmopressin acetate should not be used in animals that are susceptible to thrombosis.
  • Desmopressin acetate should not be used in animals with type II b or platelet type Von Willebrand’s (pseudo). German Short Hair Pointers are a sub population that is more likely to have this form of Von Willebrand’s.
  • Desmopressin acetate becomes less effective with repeated administration over a short period of time, an administration technique that might be used when attempting to stimulate Von Willebrand’s factor.
  • Desmopressin acetate has not been studied in pregnant companion animals. Large doses have been given to pregnant laboratory animals without apparent harm to the fetus.

Drug Interactions

  • The following drugs may increase the antidiuretic effects of desmopressin acetate: fludrocortisone, chlorproamide and urea.

Overdose

  • Overdose may cause fluid retention and sodium depletion.

About the Author

Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.

She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.

Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.

You can purchase books by Dr. Forney at www.exclusivelyequine.com

The information contained on this site is general in nature and is intended for use as an informational aid. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the products shown, nor is the information intended as medical advice or diagnosis for individual health problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of using a particular product. You should consult your doctor about diagnosis and treatment of any health problems. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), nor has the FDA approved the products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

Wedgewood Pharmacy compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals.