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 www.fda.gov.