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Vetmedin (Pimobendan) For Cardiac Conditions In Dogs

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#1
Esylum

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So yesterday I took Biko in for his annual Cardiac exam, and we got overall good news that his disease is slowly progressing with his age. this year Biko's regular vet ( An amazing man with super experience in Cardiology) is away on sabbatical so we had a new vet who was just filling in for a few weeks on a rotation, She was very nice, and seemed very thorough. But in the past few years his regular vet has said that Biko doesn't need any medication at this point. This year the new vet has mentioned that I do not need to put him on meds, but said that this medication called Vetmedin can be very beneficial to dogs with heart enlargement.

 

She mentioned that she was not 100% sure why Biko's regular vet wouldn't have mentioned it to us last year, in August when we attended his annual appointment then. She said the study for this drug came out in October, but all Vets were aware of the study results in June of that year...  I really trust Biko's regular vet. I cannot help but wonder why he didn't recommend the meds... Does he really need them?

 

The new vet mentioned that I didn't have to put Biko on the meds, but there is study evidence that they could prolong Biko's life living with this disease. Deep down, I don't want to make the wrong choice... 

 

I'm going to do as much research as possible online and am going to try and make an educated decision on this before I start him on it... but honestly right now I'm looking for any information on this medication that has been given to our kids... Does any one have any experience, good or bad with this drug?

 

 

 


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#2
Queen of Sheba

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Two years ago Sheba was found to have a grade 2 heart murmur. At that time he said to wait and see if she would need medication. Last year she got a very bad case of pneumonia and my vet recommended she see a specalist . So last August 2016 we saw a cardiac specialist and she was diagnosed with Myxomatous Mitral Valve Degeneration (MMVD) she was placed on 1.25 mg of Pimobendan(Vetmedin) then. She has done very well, in fact she will have a check-up tomorrow. The pills are flavored and she eats them with no extra stuff. She seems to tolerate this medicine very well. It has cut down on her coughing and lack of energy. I know this is not a cure for her problem. I know someday she will eventually go into congestive heart failure. But this does seem to slow the progression of the MMVD. It will hopefully give me a few more years with her.
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#3
Esylum

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Thank you for sharing this with me! I too hope you get many more years with Sheba, It is hard, he is so important to me, I need to be optimistic!

Do you mind if I ask if your went over any risks, or cons to the drug with you?

The only thing they told me was about the possible GI upset, and she just said that if he had any trouble she would just say to stop the drug at this time... 



#4
jakksmum

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my Chihuahua had an enlarged heart for quite a few years , and was not put on any meds for it . She lived to be almost 17 years old. I don't know if this helps to know . Also....she didn't die of heart related issues.



#5
Davyde

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The pills are flavored and she eats them with no extra stuff.

Rosie would like to inform Sheba that she is missing a trick there, and ought to demand her tablets in something tasty (paté is Rosie's favourite)

 

In fact we ran out of paté yesterday morning, and despite Rosie getting her tablet wrapped in ham, she stayed grumpy all day and hung around the corner of the kitchen where she gets her tablet until I bought more paté in the evening for her.

 

Spoiled much, Rosie?

 

(To be fair, Rosie is on gabapentin for her back problems, and that does taste really foul)


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Put a sane man alone in a room with a teacosy, and it is only a matter of time until he puts it on his head.

#6
Queen of Sheba

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For me the benefits outweighed the risks. Sheba does have an occasional GI upset. But her vet has me give 5mg of Pepcid every day and that does seen to help. I also give her some Pumkin a couple of times a week. She is fed grain free Fomm and I add Stella and Chewy's meal mixers for some extra protein.



#7
GrandCynth

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My Harley's heart disease history sounds just like Biko's.  Before the "EPIC" Trial, Vetmedin was only prescribed once the dog actually became clinical for congestive heart failure. The results of this large study, which was done internationally, and over a 5 year period, showed that starting a dog on pimobendan (Vetmedin) before it went into congestive heart failure, could on average, give the dog an extra 15 months of healthy life before the onset of clinical CHF.  Harley has been on Vetmedin only, since the beginning of January 2016. Her last echocardiogram was this past May 2017, and while her disease has slowly progressed, she is still free from CHF. Her next echo will be in November. 

 

She has had no side effects from this drug, and eagerly gobbles it down twice a day!  It's made me a believer. I trust her cardiologist with her life. He told me that the patients/owners that he sees most often tend to live longer with this disease. She was diagnosed with it at the age of 6, and will be 10 this November. She was doing well enough that her echos only needed to be done once a year. After this last one in May, he wanted to echo her again in 9 months, as she's definitely progressing. Even her murmur is a grade 4 now, but she remains symptom free. Fingers Crossed!!  

 

Oh, and I researched the heck out of it, too! That's how I found out about the EPIC Trial. He put her on Vetmedin before the results were made public last October. Even my vet couldn't understand why he did it. Obviously she wasn't in the know, either! lol


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#8
Esylum

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This is all huge for me to hear! Thank you all for sharing this info with me! here in Canada we don't have the flavored tablets, we can only get the capsules, so I am hoping that if I do start him on them he decides that he will take them easier. He loves his hydroxizine and will eat those capsules right out of the bottle, but they smell like vanilla... I'm guessing a powder filled capsule isn't going to be as appealing to him lol...



#9
Davyde

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That's where the paté comes in!
:-)

(Or you can hide it by squidging a pinch of grated cheese around it.)
Put a sane man alone in a room with a teacosy, and it is only a matter of time until he puts it on his head.




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