The trade name for the drug Pimobendan, Vetmedin is a medication used to treat dogs suffering from heart failure. Vetmedin helps increase the output of the heart, while decreasing the amount of pressure and stress placed upon it. Vetmedin is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim, and can only be obtained by prescription from a licensed veterinarian.
Vetmedin is administered orally to dogs, and is available in tablets of 1.25 mg or 5 mg strength. The dosing level, as well as frequency, will depend on the severity of the dog's condition and body weight.
Duration of Treatment
Vetmedin is generally given for the rest of the dog's life once treatment has started. There is no cure for congestive heart failure; therefore, the medication is used to aid the heart and make it as productive as possible.
Common Side Effects
Vetmedin is regarded as a very safe drug, although some minor side effects are sometimes noticed, the majority of which include loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy, vomiting, and overall weakness.
More Serious Side Effects
Some more serious side effects of Vetmedin are shortness of breath and ataxia (uncoordinated neurological movements). Call your veterinarian immediately if either of these conditions occurs.
Usage with Pre-existing Heart Conditions
Vetmedin is not recommended for use in dogs that have displayed previous heart conditions prior to congestive heart failure, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or aortic stenosis. A veterinarian will determine if Vetmedin is safe to use based on the medical history and current health of the dog.