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Disorders of potassium homeostasis.

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Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Texas A & M University College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station.


Hypokalemia and hyperkalemia are common problems that may be artifactual, iatrogenic, or due to altered body homeostatic mechanisms. ECG may help one to recognize hyperkalemia but not hypokalemia. Excessive K supplementation is a common iatrogenic cause of hyperkalemia whereas fluid therapy is a common cause of iatrogenic hypokalemia. The most common causes of spontaneous hyperkalemia are renal failure and hypoadrenocorticism whereas the most common causes of spontaneous hypokalemia are vomiting, diarrhea, and renal wasting. Symptomatic therapy is usually done until the underlying cause(s) is resolved.

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