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

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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