Pimobendan is an inodilator used to treat overt or impending congestive heart failure in dogs. Studies have either demonstrated
or suggested a favorable influence when pimobendan is used as adjunctive therapy (e.g. with an ACE inhibitor, furosemide, digoxin) in patients with advanced dilated cardiomyopathy or degenerative mitral valve
disease.9,13,14 In our experience with more than 100 dogs, pimobendan is well-tolerated and has few adverse effects. Pimobendan should not
be used as a replacement for, but rather as cotherapy with, other cardiac drugs to enhance the quality of life in dogs with
overt or impending congestive heart failure.
Justin D. Thomason, DVM, DACVIM (small animal internal medicine)
Department of Clinical Sciences
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Tiffany K. Fallaw, BS, RVT
Clay Calvert, DVM, DACVIM (small animal internal medicine)
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30605
1. Lefbon BK. Sildenafil and novel cardiovascular therapies, in Proceedings. Am Coll Vet Intern Med 2005.
2. Hagemeijer F. Calcium sensitization with pimobendan: pharmacology, haemodynamic improvement, and sudden death in patients
with chronic congestive heart failure. Eur Heart J 1993;14:551-566.
3. Fuentes VL. Use of pimobendan in the management of heart failure. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2004;34:1145-1155.
4. Chu KM, Shieh SM, Hu OY. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of enantiomers of pimobendan in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy
and congestive heart failure after single and repeated oral dosing. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1995;57:610-621.
5. Breazile JE, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla: Personal communication, 2006.
6. Goto Y, Hata K. Mechanoenergetic effect of pimobendan in failing dog hearts. Heart Vessels 1997;12(suppl):103-105.
7. Fox PR, Sisson D, Moise NS. Myocardial diseases of dogs. In: Textbook of canine and feline cardiology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co, 1999;581-620.
8. Matthew L, Katz S. Calcium sensitizing agents in heart failure. Drugs Aging 1988;12:191-204.
9. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Vetmedin (pimobendan) tablets package insert. St. Joseph, Mo., 2007.
10. Aiba T, Ishida K, Yoshinaga M, et al. Pharmacokinetic characterization of transcellular transport and drug interaction of
digoxin in CACO-2 cell monolayers. Biol Pharm Bull 2005;28:114-119.
11. Rosenthal SL, Ferguson MJ, Lefbom BK, et al. Association of pimobendan with ventricular arrhythmias in dogs with congestive
heart failure, in Proceedings. Am Coll Vet Intern Med 2006.
12. Ruegg JC. Effects of new inotropic agents on Ca++ sensitivity of contractile proteins. Circulation 1986;73:III78-III84.
13. Fuentes VL, Corcoran B, French A, et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of pimobendan in dogs with
dilated cardiomyopathy. J Vet Intern Med 2002;16:255-261.
14. Smith PJ, French AT, Van Israel N, et al. Efficacy and safety of pimobendan in canine heart failure caused by myxomatous
mitral valve disease. J Small Anim Pract 2005;46:121-130.