Using Pimodendan for Dogs for Treating Congestive Heart Failure

Pimodendan is a dog medication used to manage mild, moderate or severe heart failure symptoms and can even assist in the treatment of congestive heart failure in canines. The brand-name for pimodendan is "Vetmedin".

Since its release in 2000, pimodendan has had studies showing that the use of this drug improves the quality of life in dogs with heart problems and can extend their life time above that of past treatments for congestive heart failure in dogs.

How Pimodendan Works

Pimodendan is a pill that is taken orally. It is part of a new class of drug on the market called inodialators. Pimodendan helps open up the muscles of the heart to help ease the amount of work it needs to do. It also stimulates the heart so it contracts with more force. As a result, the heart becomes more efficient and does not have to work so hard to pump blood in and out of the organ. Pimodendan has been known to help lessen the pressure on a dog's heart.

This drug recently became available in the United States and has had good success when combined with other drugs to treat dog congestive heart failure (chf).

When Improvements Become Apparent

Improvements in canines with dog chf have been seen in as little as one week. Many vets have seen continued improvements even after several weeks of treating dogs with pimodendan.

International veterinarians that have prescribed pimodendan for dogs in their practices have reported such good outcomes that this drug is now the first choice for treating canine congestive heart failure.

Pimobendan should not be used as a replacement for other drugs that treat cardiac conditions in dogs. Rather, it should be used as a co-therapy to enhance the quality of life in dogs with congestive heart failure.

Side Effects, Interactions, and Warnings

Dogs on rare occasions have vomited while being treated with pimodendan. Poor appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, labored breathing, a lack of coordination, fainting, and fluid retention are also side effects that have been reported with the use of the drug. One should call their veterinarian as soon as possible if this medication is causing their dog to have any of the same reactions.

It is not recommended to have a dog take PDE inhibitors while they are being treated with pimodendan. However, there have been no reported drug interactions with pimodendan.

Pimodendan is not recommended for dogs with aortic stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is also not recommended for dogs that had heart disease prior to having congestive heart failure. A study has even shown that dogs with early mitral valve disease may have had an increase in valve damage when being treated with pimodendan.

If a dog is living with congestive heart disease, it may be worth your while to talk about treatment options that involve the use of pimodendan with a vet. When used in combination with other therapies such as an ace inhibitor, fursemide, or digoxin, pimodendan was well tolerated and had few adverse effects.