Vetmedin® is approved by the FDA as an inodilator. With the active ingredient Pimobendan, this prescription medication works to improve the quality of life and extend the life expectancy of dogs with a CHF (congestive heart failure) diagnosis. When administered at 12-hour intervals, the dual action of this medication improves heart muscle contraction and works to dilate the blood vessels that carry blood from and to the heart, leading to a reduction of workload on the heart. Pimobendan is shown to decrease heart muscle stress and increase cardiac output, but it does not raise energy consumption or oxygen. Because dogs with congestive heart failure are known to have weak circulatory systems, Vetmedin® helps these dogs continue to enjoy their favorite activities. As a dog ages, they become more susceptible to heart failure and heart disease. When these conditions are diagnosed and treated early, the dog's life can be prolonged and improved. Speak to your dog's veterinarian to decide if this treatment would benefit your dog.
Vetmedin (pimobendane) helps the heart by sensitizing it to the effects of calcium, which in turn helps the heart relax and contract more effectively and pump more efficiently. How Vetmedin helps your dog’s heart is twofold. The heart pumps more blood to the rest of the body, and the heart has less resistance to pump against. Vetmedin (pimobendane), available in 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg strengths, is one of the most helpful and unique drugs in veterinary pharmacopeia. No other veterinary dog prescriptions work, in the same way, to help the heart do its job better.
This drug is prescription-only and cannot be purchased over the counter. It can only be purchased from your veterinarian or a veterinary pharmacy with a prescription. Your veterinarian can only provide a prescription if they have recently examined your dog. In addition, you will need to have regular check-ups with your veterinarian to make sure the medication and dosage are still appropriate for your dog’s condition. Once your dog is stable, your veterinarian will want to see them every 3-6 months.
What is Vetmedin?
Vetmedin is a prescribed chewable tablet used to manage heart disease in dogs caused by atrioventricular valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy. Vetmedin is classified as a phosphodiesterase III inhibitor (PDE III inhibitor). The enzyme PDE III usually degrades cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a messenger that helps your dog’s heart pump efficiently. PDE III inhibitors help increase the strength of the heart’s contractions and release the blood vessels it pumps blood to. Vetmedin also slows down the contractions so that the heart’s ventricles can be filled with more blood.
Who is Vetmedin for?
For use in dogs at least 6 months old with a canine heart disease diagnosis.
Why use Vetmedin?
Vetmedin® is formulated for dogs suffering from canine heart disease and/or congestive heart failure. It works in cases associated with dilated cardiomyopathy or atrioventricular valvular insufficiency. This drug is intended to improve the dog's quality of life and extend his or her life expectancy, and it comes in a chewable, tasty, twice-daily tablet with a beef flavor.
How does Vetmedin work?
This prescription medication:
- Works by opening up the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from and to the dog's heart
- Strengthens the heartbeat
- Improves the blood-pumping efficiency of the heart
- Pumps blood throughout the body to reduce undue strain on the dog's heart
- Decreases heart pressure
The active ingredient of Vetmedin® is Pimobendan.
How is Vetmedin sold?
This medication comes in 50-count bottles, which are available in a single or a 2-pack of bottles (50 or 100 tablets total). The chewable, twice-daily, beef-flavored tablets are formulated in 4 different strengths (to be determined by your dog's veterinarian): 1.25, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg.
What are the side effects of Vetmedin?
Vetmedin should be used only on the recommendation of a veterinarian and under their direct supervision. In addition, pimobendan, the active ingredient in Vetmedin, has not been researched at length in dogs with conditions such as heart defects, diabetes, or puppies less than 6 months of age.
USE CAUTION WHEN ADMINISTERING THIS DRUG TO LACTATING OR PREGNANT PETS
Dogs generally tolerate Vetmedin well. Vetmedin (pimobendane) may result in the following side effects:
- Allergic reaction (labored breathing, hives, etc)
- Labored breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Build-up of fluid in the lungs or abdomen
Pimobendan may react with these drugs:
You are the best judge of whether or not your pet is feeling well, so monitor their general mood while they are on Vetmedin. If you see that your pet isn’t feeling well, this may mean they are suffering from side effects or their condition is getting worse. Keep in close contact with your veterinarian about their mood and any side effects that you notice.
What special precautions are there?
- Safety is not proven for use in lactating, pregnant, or breeding dogs, or in puppies under the age of 6 months.
- Always follow the prescribing veterinarian's directions for use.
- If accidentally ingested, seek medical treatment.
- Keep away from children.
- Not for human use.
- Only administer this medication to dogs with a congestive heart failure diagnosis and symptoms thereof.
What to do if overdose?
In case of accidental overdose, seek treatment at a nearby emergency veterinary hospital. The dosage range of Vetmedin is narrow, therefore an overdose can happen easier than with other medications. Signs of an overdose include diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If you notice these symptoms, call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately. Because the dosage range is so narrow, Vetmedin 2.5 mg and Vetmedin 5 mg chews are scored for precise dosage amounts. If you miss a dose, give the regular dose at the normal time, DO NOT give a higher dose.
How can I store Vetmedin?
This medication should be stored between 68° and 77° Fahrenheit (20° and 25°Celsius). Excursions are allowed between 59° and 86° Fahrenheit (15° and 30° Celsius).