Vetmedin

Vetmedin is a medication that has been prescribed by your vet to treat your dog’s heart condition. To find out more about the use of Vetmedin in Congestive Heart Failure see the video below. Should you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s condition or treatment then you should consult your vet.

Your Vetmedin questions answered

Vetmedin is a treatment for dogs with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) due to Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) or Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), or for use in the preclinical stage of DCM in Dobermans. It acts in two ways:

  • To open up blood vessels carrying blood to and from the heart, which reduces the work your dog’s heart has to do to pump blood around it’s body.

  • To increase the strength of your dog’s heart beat, improving the pumping action.

This combined action is called inodilation. Your vet may also prescribe other medicines at the same time, if your dog is in CHF.

How can Vetmedin help?

Vetmedin can relieve the symptoms of heart failure and help your dog have a more comfortable life. If used in preclinical DCM it can extend the symptom free time in Doberman Pinschers before the onset of CHF and extend overall survival. A recent global trial called QUEST also showed how Vetmedin can help prolong the life of dogs suffering from heart failure relating to underlying mitral valve disease.

How is Vetmedin given?

Vetmedin is available as a chewable tablet or capsule. It should be given to your dog by mouth twice a day, approximately one hour before food, ideally in the morning and evening (about 12 hours apart). Use the dose that your vet prescribes.

Is it safe to split Vetmedin tablets in half?

Yes – Vetmedin tablets are deeply scored and are designed to be split into 2 halves for more accurate dosing. There are no harmful effects of splitting these tablets in half.

How long does Vetmedin take to work?

Every dog is different, and in CHF their response depends on how ill they are to start with. You should start to see an improvement within 1 week of your dog starting treatment on Vetmedin which may get even more noticeable in the following weeks.

For treatment in preclinical DCM as the disease is generally silent you will likely not notice any change in your dog on treatment. However be assured below the surface Vetmedin is demonstrating its effects.

What if I miss giving a dose of Vetmedin?

Don’t worry. Just give the next dose at the normal time. There’s no need to give a higher dose.

How long will my dog require treatment with Vetmedin?

For as long as your dog is responding well to treatment. This is likely to mean for the rest of his or her life. During this time Vetmedin may be given alone or alongside other medication.

Does Vetmedin have any side effects?

Normally, dogs tolerate Vetmedin very well. It is rare for adverse effects top be observed but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, a reduced appetite or a slight increase in heart rate. Other signs are very rare, but if you are concerned about your dog for any reason, please contact your vet for advice.

How long will my dog live on Vetmedin?

It’s not easy to predict how quickly an animal will go into heart failure from the preclinical stage being diagnosed or how quickly heart failure will progress in an individual dog. Your vet will be able to advise you more on this and what medications are appropriate for your dog’s condition.

Will I need to revisit my vet?

As with any long term medication, you should let your vet see your dog regularly. At first these visits may be more frequent. When your dog has been stabilised on Vetmedin, the interval between visits may increase. However, if your dog’s condition deteriorates, you may need to visit your vet more frequently.

How can I monitor if my dog’s heart is getting worse?

There are two ways in which you can monitor your dog’s heart condition:

  • Regular check-ups with your vet when they can listen to your dog’s heart and find out about how their activity level and demeanour is at home.
  • By monitoring your dogs breathing rate and keeping a diary of their day-to-day activities you can track any changes which may help to indicate if their condition is stable or worsening.