Friday, October 26, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: New Hope For Dogs With Fatal Heart Disease?

An international study revealed a clear survival benefit associated with the administration of pimobendan (Vetmedin) in the preclinical phase of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

Photo by channah

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged. As a result, it cannot pump enough blood. This condition is the most common cause of congestive heart failure CHF).

The study concluded that treatment with pimobendan (Vetmedin) delays the onset of heart failure or sudden death, and brings a significant increase in overall survival time.

I am not a big fan of drugs, but there is certainly a time and place for them. Half the dogs in the study received conventional treatment, and the other half was treated with Pimobendan.

Dogs with CHF treated with conventional therapy, including an ACE inhibitor, lived  approximately four months. Dogs who received pimobendan lived about 9 months longer.

How does this drug work? It acts in two ways. It opens up the blood vessels, which reduces the workload on the heart, and it increases the strength of the heart beat, improving it's function.
Source: Vetmedin

The results seem conclusive that  pimobendan is by far a superior treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. This one is going into my notes.

Source article:
RVC researcher helps to lead pioneering study offering new hope to owners of dogs with fatal heart disease

Further reading:
Enlarged Heart (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) in Dogs
Pimobendan Can Prolong Lives Of Dogs With Heart Failure Up To Nine Months, Study Says
Efficacy of Pimobendan in the Prevention of Congestive Heart Failure or Sudden Death in Doberman Pinschers with Preclinical Dilated Cardiomyopathy

1 comment

  1. Interesting...and well timed! I just wrote a DCM post slated to go up sometime next week. Now I have something else to link to in it!