ISSN 2398-2969      

Hyperkalemia

Clapis

Synonym(s): High potassium


Introduction

  • Cause: increased potassium intake, redistribution across cellular membranes (between ICF and ECF) or decreased urinary excretion.
  • Signs: vague, lethargy and muscle weakness.
  • Diagnosis: blood analysis.
  • Treatment: avoid stressing patient; administer medications to reduce potassium in ECF or to eliminate it from the body.
  • Prognosis: dependent on underlying disease.

Presenting signs

  • Vague.
  • General lethargy and muscle weakness.
  • Signs of associated disease, eg renal pathology, acidosis.

Acute presentation

  • Non-specific signs:
    • Lethargy.
    • Weakness.
    • Inactivity.
    • Reduced appetite.
    • Restlessness.
    • Tachypnea.
    • Skin discoloration.
    • Cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Hyperventilation if metabolic acidosis present.
  • Progressive neurological signs:
    • Lethargy.
    • Coma.
    • Seizures, with severe acidosis.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia or sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

Cost considerations

  • Repeated blood sampling may be required to monitor progression.

Special risks

  • Avoid stressing rabbits with known or suspected hyperkalemia, as catecholamine release will further sensitize the heart to the effects of potassium.
  • Avoid anesthesia due to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Liu H, Feng Q, Zhang W et al (2013) The diagnosis of hyperkalemia induced by potassium chloride in experimental rabbits. J Med Colleges of PLA 28 (2), 92-99 ScienceDirect.
  • Chen Y, Xue X, Wang L et al (2012) Effects of somatostatin in a rabbit model of abdominal compartment syndrome induced by prolonged intra-abdominal hypertension. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 32 (3), 387-390 PubMed.
  • Özkan C, Kaya A & Akgül Y (2012) Normal values of haematological and some biochemical parameters in serum and urine of New Zealand White rabbits. World Rabbit Sci 20 (4), DOI.
  • Yuan Y, Xiumei Z & Chunling F (2012) Establishment of hyperkalemia and analysis on the first-aid measures. J Heilongjiang Bayi Ag Uni 2012-01.
  • Kumar N, Sood S, Singh M et al (2010) Effects of sodium fluoride on the electrocardiogram of male rabbits. Fluoride 43 (2), 124-127 VetMedResource.
  • Celik S, Bal R, Durgut R (2003) Experimental hyperkalaemia in rabbits: effects of salbutamol and norepinephrine treatments on blood biochemistry and electrocardiography. Acta Vet Hung 51 (3), 331-42 PubMed.
  • Gennari F J & Segal A S (2002) Hyperkalemia: an adaptive response in chronic renal insufficiency. Kidney International 62 (1), 1-9 PubMed.
  • Antognini J F & Mark K (1995) Hyperkalemia associated with hemorrhagic shock in rabbits: modification by succinylcholine, vecuronium and blood transfusion. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 39 (8), 1125-7 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Oglesbee B L (2020) Rabbits. In: Exotic Animal Laboratory Diagnosis. Eds: Heatley J J & Russell K E. Wiley Blackwell, Hoboken, USA. pp 63-79.

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