My Dog has heart disease and is on Pimobendan. What is Pimobendan?


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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – my dog has DCM – he is a 7-year-old Doberman Pincher. He was recently prescribed pimobendan. Are you familiar with this drug?

Bobbie Lou - Pearl City


Hi Bobbie Lou– thanks for your email. As a matter of fact, pimobendan is a recently approved drug for use in the United States. It has been used for years in Canada and Europe with very good success.

Pimobendan is a drug categorized as a phosphodiesterase III inhibitor with calcium sensitizing properties. The drug can help slow heart rate and enhance the ability of the heart to contract. This is especially good in dogs with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DVM) because this disease is associated with a poorly contracting heart.

It has been shown to improve the quality of life (lowered syncope, dyspnea, exercise intolerance, and ascites) in dogs suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF). Pimobendan has also resulted in significant improvement in signs of heart failure when added to standard therapy for dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy and has contributed to improved survival in some dogs (Doberman Pinschers).

An article that might be helpful to you is Pimobendan and Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.