Vetmedin is a medication that has been prescribed by your vet to treat your dog’s heart disease.
Vetmedin treats dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) caused by two types of heart disease
- Mitral valve disease (MVD)
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Vetmedin tablets are also used to treat dogs with asymptomatic MVD; when given to dogs with an enlarged heart, Vetmedin delays the onset of heart failure and increases overall survival time.
Vetmedin tablets are also used to treat Dobermans with asymptomatic DCM; delaying the onset of heart failure and extending overall survival.
Should you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s condition or their Vetmedin treatment then you should consult your vet.
Your Vetmedin questions answered
Vetmedin is a treatment for dogs with heart disease due to both MVD and DCM. It acts in two ways:
- To open up the blood vessels carrying blood to and from the heart, which reduces the work your dog’s heart has to do to pump blood around their body.
- To increase the strength and efficiency of your dog’s heartbeat, improving the pumping action.
Your vet may also prescribe other medicines at the same time if your dog is in heart failure.
How can Vetmedin help?
Vetmedin can relieve the symptoms of heart failure and help your dog have a more comfortable life. When used in asymptomatic MVD or DCM, it can extend the symptom free time, before the onset of heart failure and extend overall survival.
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 (roughly 12 hours apart). Use the dose that your vet prescribes.
Is it safe to split Vetmedin tablets in half?
Yes – Vetmedin tablets are scored and are designed to be split into 2 halves for more accurate dosing.
How long does Vetmedin take to work?
Every dog is different, and in heart failure their response depends on how unwell they are to start with. You should start to see an improvement within 1 week of your dog starting Vetmedin which may get even more noticeable in the following weeks.
In dogs with asymptomatic MVD or DCM, you are less likely to notice any obvious changes in your dog after starting treatment with Vetmedin. In the asymptomatic phase, the disease is generally silent therefore no symptoms will be visible on the outside. However be assured that below the surface Vetmedin is demonstrating it’s effects and helping to slow down disease progression and extend your dog’s symptom-free time. If you have any concerns about your dog’s heart disease, please contact your vet.
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 side effects to be observed but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, an increase in mitral valve regurgitation, 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 refer to the adverse reactions section on the package leaflet or contact your vet for advice.
How long will my dog live on Vetmedin?
It’s not easy to predict how quickly a dog will go into heart failure from the asymptomatic 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 take your dog to see your vet 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 often. Your vet will advise you how frequently they will need to check your dog based on their individual condition.
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 dog’s 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.