Pimobendan is a new and important drug that is used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs. Large clinical studies support the use of pimobendan in dogs that have clinical signs of CHF and in breeds of dogs (Doberman pinschers and others) that are at risk for developing CHF.

Pimobendan both strengthens the heart’s ability to contract, and dilates blood vessels throughout the body. It is an oral medication and in most cases is given with other cardiac medications and diuretics such as furosemide. Recent studies have shown that dogs that receive pimobendan (with other cardiac drugs) both survived longer and had better quality of life scores than dogs receiving alternate cardiac treatments.

For some breeds, including Doberman Pinschers, the increased time until the onset of clinical signs and the increase in survival time is dramatic. Dogs with clinical signs of CHF may show improvement within seven days of starting treatment. Cardiac enlargement may be improved within the first month of treatment. Pimobendan is a sufficiently well researched and important new drug.


Pimobendan is a benzimidazole-pyridazinone derivative, labeled for use in dogs to manage congestive heart failure (CHF) resulting from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) in the United States. On the basis of its positive inotropic effects combined with arteriovenous dilation, it is classified as an inodilator. In this article, we provide relevant information about the pharmacology of pimobendan based on a review of the literature providing evidence to support its use for a variety of indications. As additional research is published, the indications and recommended uses for pimobendan continue to evolve.

Pimobendan (brand name: Vetmedin®) is a heart medication used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF), usually caused by either dilated cardiomyopathy or valvular insufficiency. Its use in cats to treat heart failure is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

Features of Pimobendan For Dogs

Pimobendan is given by mouth in the form of a tablet on an empty stomach. Give this medication exactly as prescribed. This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours; however, effects may not be visibly noticeable and therefore laboratory tests may be required to evaluate if the medication is working. In some countries, it can also be given as an injection in the hospital, or by mouth in the form of an oral liquid.

Dosage and Administration of Pimobendan

Pimobendan is given orally in the form of a tablet. The drug should be administered to the pet on an empty stomach. The typical dosage for pimobendan is 0.2 to 0.6 mg/kg daily, which is then divided into two doses that are given 12 hours apart. For pimobendan to work as expected, it is important to give the medication exactly as prescribed by the veterinarian.

Pimobendan starts working within 1 to 2 hours, but the effects may not be noticeable. For this reason, lab tests may be required to determine the drug’s effectiveness.
If you miss a dose, then give the next dose as soon as you remember to or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, wait and resume with the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not administer a double dose to catch up on a missed dose. After administering pimobendan, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Possible Side Effects of Pimobendan

Pimobendan is usually well tolerated, but it can produce some side effects in some pets. When side effects do arise, the most common tend to be gastrointestinal in nature, such as decreased appetite and diarrhea. Other possible, but not as common, side effects can include lethargy, difficulty breathing, dyspnea, azotemia, and ataxia. If your pet starts showing signs of an allergic reaction after taking pimobendan, be sure to contact the veterinarian immediately.

Prices of Pimobendan For Dogs

$33.30 – $43.06

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