In response to a shortage of Vetmedin (pimobendan), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not intend to object to the temporary importation of Vetmedin capsules and Vetmedin chews by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc., from Canada, the United Kingdom and  Ireland to immediately increase the availability of Vetmedin in the United States. Vetmedin is a critical medication used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure due to valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy. There is no FDA-approved alternative to Vetmedin. This measure should help fill recent gaps in the supply of Vetmedin in the U.S.


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.

Uses/benefits of Vetmedin For Dogs

Vetmedin (Pimobendan) is in a class of heart treatments named “inodilators” used in the management of certain types of congestive heart failure in dogs. These medications increase the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood. Vetmedin increases the ability of the heart muscle to contract and also open up the blood vessels taking blood to and away from the heart. This reduces the heart’s workload as it pumps blood throughout the dog’s body. Specifically used for the management of the signs of mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure in dogs. The safety of pimobendan has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 6 months of age.

  • – Intended to increase life expectancy in dogs with heart failure
  • – Reduces stress on the heart muscle
  • – A new clinical approach vs. other medications

Features of Vetmedin For Dogs

Vetmedin is a medication that has been prescribed by your vet to treat your dog’s heart disease.

Vetmedin treats dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) caused by two types of heart disease

  • Mitral valve disease (MVD)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Vetmedin tablets are also used to treat dogs with asymptomatic MVD; when given to dogs with an enlarged heart, Vetmedin delays the onset of heart failure and increases overall survival time. Vetmedin tablets are also used to treat Dobermans with asymptomatic DCM; delaying the onset of heart failure and extending overall survival. Should you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s condition or their Vetmedin treatment then you should consult your vet.

Formulation and Dosing

Pimobendan is available as Vetmedin ( in oblong, half-scored chewable tablets (1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, or 10 mg). Because the stability and efficacy of the drug in suspension are unknown, reformulating as an oral suspension should be avoided. In some countries outside of the United States, an intravenous preparation is available.

For dogs, the labeled dosage recommendation for pimobendan is 0.25 to 0.3 mg/kg PO q12h. The total daily dose can be administered in 2 unequal portions by using whole or half tablets. For initial use, especially if a more rapid onset of action is desired, the tablets should be administered on an empty stomach; however, for more chronic use, they can be administered with food. In dogs and cats, the oral preparation is rapidly absorbed; peak effect occurs within 2 to 4 hours in dogs and 0.9 hours in cats.


  • Drug Name: Vetmedin
  • Common Name: Vetmedin®
  • Drug Type: Inodilator
  • Used For: Congestive Heart Disease and Failure
  • Species: Dogs
  • Administered: Tablets
  • How Dispensed: Prescription only
  • Available Forms: Vetmedin® 1.25 mg and 5.0 mg chewable tablets
  • FDA Approved: Yes

Prices of Vetmedin For Dogs

$47.99 – $73.99

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