If your furry friend suffers from heart failure, you may have heard the name pimobendan before. Pimobendan is the generic name for Vetmedin. Vetmedin is a FDA approved prescription that manages severe congestive heart failure in dogs. It is different from other heart medications because it allows the heart to pump more efficiently.

How Does Pimobendan Help Dogs?

Dogs with mild to severe congestive heart failure can have poorly performing circulatory systems. Weak circulatory systems do not push enough blood around the dog’s body. Blood is required to be circulated to carry nutrients and oxygen to your dog’s muscles and organs. Pimobendan opens the blood vessels so that more blood can be pumped to the heart. As a result, it will decrease the pressure around the heart. Your vet will have more information on how pimobendan can affect your dog. Clinical signs of congestive heart failure include fatigue, coughing or wheezing, and water retention.

Side Effects of Pimobendan Use in Dogs

Ask your vet or Pet Poison Helpline®, at (855) 764-7661 if you have any questions before starting Vetmedin, especially if your dog takes any other medications, is pregnant, or is very young or old. There are potential side effects of using Vetmedin and they can include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Staggering
  • Lethargy
  • Cough 
  • Diarrhea 

This is a commonly prescribed medication so many vets are familiar with any potential symptoms. It is possible to overdose on pimobendan. Your vet will write clear instructions on how to give your dog pimobendan.

Pimobendan Overdose 

Avoid medication overdoses by closely following your vet’s instructions but accidents can happen. Dogs can think that pills are treats and will want to eat them all or eat through the medication bottle. Put all medication in a place where your dog cannot reach it. Any overdose is a medical emergency, and your dog must be treated immediately. Your veterinarian will make a treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to Pet Poison Helpline® and your vet right away for effective advice and help.