Vetmedin for Dogs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Vetmedin (Pimobendan) is in a class of heart treatments named "inodilators" used in the management of certain types of congestive heart failure in dogs. These medications increase the heart muscle's ability to pump blood.

Dogs. The safety of pimobendan has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 6 months of age.

  • Intended to increase life expectancy in dogs with heart failure

  • Reduces stress on the heart muscle

  • A new clinical approach vs. other medications

Vetmedin increases the ability of the heart muscle to contract and also open up the blood vessels taking blood to and away from the heart. This reduces the heart's workload as it pumps blood throughout the dog's body.

Specifically used for the management of the signs of mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure in dogs.

Vetmedin should be given by mouth. Unless otherwise recommended by your veterinarian, the total daily dose should be divided into two portions. The portions should be administered 12 hours apart (i.e., morning and evening). The tablets are scored and dosage should be provided to the nearest half tablet increment.

Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.

This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.

Vetmedin will not cure heart disease, but can be helpful in reducing some of the symptoms. It may take several weeks to see an improvement in your pet's condition.

Chewable tablet.

Please click on "More Information" for possible drug and food interactions with this medication.

Talk to your veterinarian about what type of outcome is expected. Have your veterinarian explain the other treatment options that may be available to treat your pet's condition. Understand what type of monitoring may be necessary while your pet is taking Vetmedin.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, diabetes, other serious metabolic disease, may be pregnant, or may be used for breeding.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking, and if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

Give Vetmedin exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. Do not stop the medication or decrease the dose unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian. If your pet experiences poor appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, difficulty breathing, or the symptoms worsen while on Vetmedin, contact your veterinarian. There can be a risk of heart arrhythmias developing with the use of Vetmedin.

Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to pimobendan. Vetmedin should not be given to animals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, or any other clinical condition where increased cardiac output is inappropriate. The safety of the drug has not been evaluated in breeding, pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young). If the mother is receiving pimobendan, consider placing the offspring on milk replacer after they have received the colostrum (first milk immediately after birth). Use with extreme caution in animals prone to cardiac arrhythmias.

Side effects may include loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, weakness, incoordination, fainting, cough, and sudden death. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects or if your pet's condition worsens.

Store at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant, childproof container. Keep out or reach of children and pets.

If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any side effects listed on the Patient Information Sheet for this medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications, including vitamins and supplements your pet is taking while your pet is receiving pimobendan. Consult with your veterinarian before using pimobendan with verapamil, propranolol, theophylline, and pentoxifylline, since interactions may occur.