If your canine friend has been diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure (CHF) your veterinarian can prescribe Vetmedin to help improve his/her quality of life. Usually congestive heart failure is a result of atrioventricular valvular insufficiency (AVVI) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Many owners can be completely unaware that their dog is experiencing any problems until the later stages as it becomes CHF and there are noticeable symptoms, including coughing, lack of energy, poor appetite, and weight loss.
Breeds at risk for AVVI are small to medium-sized dogs such as Chihuahuas, toy poodles, Boston terrier, and Pomeranians. The middle-aged large and giant breeds are more prone to DCM, like the Newfoundland, St. Bernard, Boxer, Great Dane, and Doberman pinscher.
Vetmedin or Pimobendan generic is a chewable pill or tablet that you’ll feed to your dog as directed by your vet. This medication will then work by inhibiting the function of a certain enzyme, called phosphodiesterase (PDE). This action allows the blood vessels to dilate so blood pressure is lowered and your dog’s heart does not have to work so hard to pump blood to the other organs and tissues. Vetmedin also improves the hearts’ ability to contract more effectively by increasing the sensitivity of the proteins in the heart to calcium. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
AVVI is a degenerative disease that results in damaged heart valve leaflets which will prevent the heart valves from closing properly. This means there is blood leaking backward into the atrium and can impair your dog’s cardiac function and circulation and, ultimately, lead to congestive heart failure.
DCM is more prevalent in the large breed dogs and is an acquired disease that affects the heart muscle which causes weakened contractions and reduced pumping ability. As DCM progresses, the chambers of the heart become enlarged and one or more valves could leak. The first signs of congestive heart failure may be more noticeable now. It is important that you take your pet to regular vet exams so the early stages may be detected and treatment can be started before any damage progresses. You are your dog’s spokesperson, caregiver, and trusted friend.
Ask your veterinarian if Vetmedin is safe for your dog if she is pregnant or nursing a litter. Discuss other medical conditions or known allergies your dog may have and provide a list of other OTC or Rx drugs you give to your dog, including herbal and vitamin supplements. This is important for your vet to be knowledgeable of in order to avoid any possible contraindications.
If you are treating more than one dog for congestive heart failure, make certain your vet tells you the proper dosage for each animal. Vetmedin is scored so the tablet is easily broken in half to accommodate the possibility of sharing a package between more than one dog. This should only be done after consulting with your vet so you are giving the right dosage to each pet according to their weight. Keep all medications out of children’s reach.