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Vetmedin (Pimobendan)

By | Last Updated: 22nd February 2023

What is Vetmedin

Vetmedin is a dog medication with the active ingredient being pimobendan [1].

It is given to dogs to manage congestive heart failure [5]. A study has shown this medicine’s effectiveness in delaying the onset of the clinical symptoms and prolonging life expectancy in dogs. Another study showed pimobendan’s usefulness in improving the quality of life by reducing heart insufficiency in Dobermans.

What does Vetmedin do

Vetmedin does two significant things – it opens up the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the heart and strengthens the heartbeat. This reduces the workload on the heart as far as pumping blood throughout the body is concerned, as well it makes the heart stronger so that it can work harder [2].

The medicine usually starts to make a difference within a week of administration [2].

Quick Information


Generic Name: Pimobendan [1, 2]

Brand Name: Vetmedin [5]

Type: Inodilator [5]

Who can take it: Dogs

FDA Approved: Yes [5]

Availability: Through prescription [5]

Available forms: Chewable tablets [5]

Cost: Around $125 for fifty 5mg tablets [2]


Follow the instructions given by the veterinarian. The dosage usually prescribed is 0.23 mg/lb (0.5 mg/kg) of body weight per day given on an empty stomach. The daily dosage is usually divided into two parts that might or might not be equal, and the gap between the two doses is around 12 hours [1].

What to do in case of a missed dose

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember, but if it is almost time for the next one, skip the missed dose, and continue the standard dosing schedule [5]. Avoid administering twice within a short duration.

Vetmedin (Pimobendan) side effects

The following side effects may occur as a result of administering Vetmedin [5, 2, 4, 3]:

  • Allergic reactions including hives and labored breathing
  • Appetite loss
  • Staggering
  • Lethargy
  • Cough

Some of the more serious health effects could be a loss of consciousness, fluid build-up in the abdomen [5], seizures, and arrhythmia [4].


If any of the side effects linger on even after the vet has addressed it, it might be that your dog has had an overdose [6]. If you suspect an overdose, contact the vet immediately or get in touch with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435).

Contraindications: When not to give

  • Vetmedin is usually avoided in dogs with aortic stenosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and any other condition where increasing the output of the heart is inadvisable [1, 2].
  • Puppies less than 6 months of age are also not given pimobendan [1].

Don’t forget to let the vet know if your dog is pregnant or lactating, and be cautious about timing and amount of dosage [5].

Possible drug interactions

  • Theophylline (Theo-Dur)
  • Pentoxifylline (Trental)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Isoptin)
  • Propranolol (Inderal) [1]

Keep this medication out of reach of children and pets in general, as if even one tablet is ingested by a healthy dog or the wrong pet, it can lead to poisoning and serious health hazards.


    1. Vetmedin Chewable Tablets – Drugs.com
    2. Vetmedin (pimobendan) – 1800PetMeds.com
    3. Important safety information – Vetmedin.com
    4. What Are the Side Effects of Vetmedin in Dogs? – Cuteness.com
    5. Vetmedin – PetMD.com
    6. Pimobendan (Vetmedin) – PetEducation.com

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