New Drug for Heart Failure in Dogs Approved

FDA approves first drug in ten years for heart failure in dogs.

Posted: May 17, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for heart failure in dogs, the first drug approved to treat congestive heart failure in dogs in more than ten years.

The drug, Vetmedin (pimobendan), is for the management of the signs of mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure in dogs due to atrioventricular valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy.

Vetmedin is indicated for use with concurrent therapy for congestive heart failure as appropriate on a case-by-case basis, according to the FDA.

Congestive heart failure is one of the more common heart problems seen in dogs, especially older small breeds, according to the FDA. It is defined as the heart’s inability to function normally, leading to excessive retention of water and salt causing fluid build-up in the lungs.

Signs of congestive heart failure in dogs include fatigue and weakness, decreased ability to exercise, shortness of breath, increased respiratory rate, coughing, weak or irregular pulses, rapid or irregular heart beats, and distended abdomen.

Adverse reactions associated with Vetmedin were potentially related to congestive heart failure, the therapy of congestive heart failure or both, and included poor appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, worsening signs of heart failure, heart failure death, azotemia and mild increases in serum liver enzymes.

Vetmedin is not appropriate for use in cats.

Vetmedin is a product of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

For more information on the new drug for heart failure in dogs, visit


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Susan   Richmond, Texas

1/28/2016 2:19:24 PM

My Vet calls this a "miracle pill" and it is! Thank you, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (the company who invested in the research and creation of this product)! Our dog is a 15 year old mix (sheltie/malamute) and weighs about 22 lbs. One day my daughter woke up and found our dog lifeless and couldn't even stand up without falling on all four legs. We were so scared. The vet drained fluid out of her lungs (a result of congestive heart failure) and recovered back to her self after being on the medicine a couple of days. That was almost a year ago. She acts like a puppy again! Seriously, she runs around and plays all the time. :)

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Joan   Cleveland, OH

6/3/2009 8:17:52 AM

A 12 year old Doberman was put on Vetmedin FOUR years ago and is doing great. She is also on the enalapril and salix + thyroid medicine. She is getting excellent care from Ohio State University Teaching Hospital.

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Olivia   Highland Village, TX

4/20/2009 9:56:52 AM

Our vet gave us maybe 2 months with our little dog once she put him on Vedmedin & Enanpril (& eventually Lasix). That was 4 months ago, so I think it is a life extender!

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Chris   Lewisville, TX

6/8/2007 12:59:29 PM

My vet gave us pimobendan for our 13 year old Mini Schnauzer who was diagnosed with the early stages of CHF. We noticed a marked difference in her demeanor, coloration, and exercise tolerance after adding the pimobendan to her drug regimen (which includes lasix and enalapril). I have been very pleased by her improvements since we have added it!

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