Vetmedin Killed My Dog

It is painful to lose your dog, it leaves one devastated and with unbearable pain. The boiling emotions might make you blame the death on something or someone. So, you end up concluding that Vetmedin killed your dog. But how could vets prescribe a drug that would end the life of your furry friend?

In this article, we will help you understand everything about the Vetmedin drug, its prescription, how it works, its alternatives, and how you can cope with losing your dog.

What is Vetmedin?

Veterinarians recommend the drug Vetmedin for canines with mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure. It is a prescription medication that may only be purchased with a prescription from a vet. In a 56-day field research, Vetmedin showed clinical benefit in avoiding arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, which can result in sudden cardiac death.

Vetmedin killed my dog?

Vetmedin didn’t necessarily kill your dog just because he had an adverse reaction to it. There can be additional factors at issues such as an underlying medical condition, a drug interaction, or an allergic reaction. So before prescribing Vetmedin treatment, make sure your veterinarian is aware of your dog’s overall health. Furthermore, discuss with your vet the possible side effects of Vetmedin. 

Why you shouldn’t give your dog Vetmedin?

Below are several reasons why you should not give Vetmedin to your dog.

  • Pimobendan or any other ingredient in Vetmedin causes an adverse reaction in your dog.
  • Your dog is lactating or pregnant.
  • Your dog has liver or kidney illness.
  • Your dog is under medication that can interact with Vetmedin.
  • There is a possibility that the ailment your dog is suffering from can be treated using an alternative drug.

How Does Vetmedin Work?

 Vetmedin is also sold under the name Pimobendan. It functions by boosting the amount of intracellular calcium available to the muscle. The higher calcium sensitivity of contractile proteins causes the heart, which is a muscle, to pump more forcefully.

Blood can travel more swiftly throughout the body because of stronger heart wall contractions that pump blood with higher force. The largest advantage from this is shown in dogs who have issues with blood supply to far-off capillaries.

Vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, is another effect of pimobendan. The amount of blood pumped through a blood vessel increases with its diameter.

Because of its two main effects, the medication is widely used to delay the onset of atrioventricular valvular insufficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs who are predisposed to the illnesses.

It works wonders in extending the lifespan of dogs that have already been diagnosed with one of these ailments. 

What heart conditions does it treat?

Vetmedin is designed to treat congestive heart failure (CHF), which can be brought on by either dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or mitral valve disease (MVD).

When the mitral valve starts to leak or “wear out” over time, it results in mitral valve disease. Blood leaks through the leaking mitral valve and into your dog’s left atrium, which commonly causes a cardiac murmur.

Dilated cardiomyopathy generally damages the cardiac muscle, making it harder for the heart to generate enough pressure to circulate blood through the dog’s vascular system.

What breeds are most susceptible to these heart conditions?

Small-breed dogs and dogs 8 years old or older are most commonly affected by MVD. These breeds include;

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Miniature poodles 
  • Shih Tzu
  • Maltese
  • Dachshunds
  • Pomeranians 

On the other hand, larger dog breeds are mainly affected by DCM. These breeds include;  

  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Great Danes
  • Boxers
  • Cocker Spaniels 

 It is advisable to take your dog for a regular checkup if you own any of the mentioned breeds.

Can You Crush Vetmedin for Dogs?

Crushing the pills makes it easier to give your pet the medication. The likelihood is that your dog will swallow Vetmedin chewable tablets for dogs without protest because they usually have meat flavor.

Vetmedin can be administered with food if your dog dislikes the taste of the medication.

Vetmedin Directions

Observe the instructions on the medication’s label or those that your veterinarian provides. Taking your pet’s weight into account, your veterinarian will decide on the proper dosage. This dosage is frequently divided into two doses, which are typically taken 12 hours apart. Be sure to thoroughly follow your veterinarian’s instructions because the morning dose may be different from the evening dose. It is advised to administer Vetmedin on an empty stomach.

The administration of Vetmedin frequently lasts a lengthy time. Do not discontinue giving your pet Vetmedin without first consulting your vet.

Missed a Dose?

To find out what to do if you forget to administer a dosage of Vetmedin®, consult your veterinarian. Usually, they may suggest you 

provide the medication as soon as you remember. Also, your veterinarian may advise you to forgo the missed dose and resume your regular dosing plan if it is almost time for your next dose. You should not give a double dose in whichever circumstance.   

How Long Does Vetmedin Take to Work?

Each animal is unique, and how well they respond to the medication relies on its overall health. You should start noticing changes in your dog’s health within a week of using Vetmedin.

It is less likely that a dog with asymptomatic MVD or DCM will exhibit any changes after starting treatment. In the asymptomatic stage, the disease is silent and exhibits no symptoms of illness.

Contact your veterinarian if you have any worries about your dog’s heart condition while they are taking medicine.

How long can a dog live on Vetmedin?

The average lifespan of dogs with heart disease who take Vetmedin is difficult to estimate because the drug’s effects depend on the individual dog and the underlying cause of the dog’s heart illness. In general, dogs with cardiac disease may live shorter lives than dogs in good condition, though the precise time frame may depend on several factors.

It’s crucial to talk to your dog’s veterinarian about their prognosis because they can provide you with more details about their particular condition and any potential side effects of Vetmedin. They can also recommend certain foods or exercises that might help in improving your dog’s life.

Vetmedin® Possible Side Effects

After administering Vetmedin to your dog, you can observe the following side effects;

  • Decreased energy (lethargy)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated kidney enzymes
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination

Vetmedin Recommended Dosage

Vetmedin is most commonly administered to dogs with CHF at a total daily dose of 0.23 mg/lb. If the recommended dosage is 10 mg per day, you should divide it in half and administer it twice daily. For example, if you need to provide 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg at night, you should do so preferably 12 hours apart and around an hour before breakfast. The table below will help you in determining the dosage. However, you should always consult your vet before making a conclusion. 

Dog’s weight (lbs)Vetmedin dose (tablet)
5.5 lbs1/2 tablet of 1.25 mg1/2 tablet of 1.25 mg
8.3 lbs1 tablet of 1.25 mg1/2 tablet of 1.25 mg
11 lbs1/2 tablet of 2.5 mg1/2 tablet of 2.5 mg
16.5 lbs1 tablet of 2.5 mg1/2 tablet of 2.5 mg
22 lbs1/2 tablet of 5 mg1/2 tablet of 5 mg
33 lbs1 tablet of 5 mg1/2 tablet of 5 mg
44 lbs1 tablet of 5 mg1 tablet of 5 mg
66 lbs1 tablet of 10 mg1/2 tablet of 10 mg
88 lbs1 tablet of 10 mg1 tablet of 10 mg

Symptoms of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

There are two forms of poisoning from Vetmedin, i.e. acute and chronic pimobendan poisoning. Acute pimobendan poisoning is brought on by ingesting a significant amount of the medication all at once while chronic pimobendan poisoning is brought on by a tiny dose administered frequently.

Your dog might not exhibit any poisoning symptoms immediately after taking the medication. Furthermore, some of the milder ones, like nausea and weakness, might be mistaken for a virus or anxiety.

Some of the common signs of Vetmedin poisoning include;

  • Excess fluid around the lungs
  • Loss of consciousness due to low blood pressure
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Heart murmur
  • Coughing
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Irregular pulse
  • Itchy skin (pruritus)
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of bodily movements (ataxia)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures

Causes of Vetmedin Poisoning In Dogs

Overdose by the owner accidentally.

Taking the medication by the dog when accidentally left within his reach. 

Administering the medication to the wrong dog.

Effect Of Vetmedin Toxicity

Due to pimobendan’s ability to lower blood pressure, an overdose can amplify these effects and cause a considerable reduction in blood pressure.


To stop the medicine from being absorbed any further, your veterinarian may perform gastric lavage or induce vomiting. To bind any lingering poisons in the system, activated charcoal can be given. Monitoring heart function and rhythm is advised, as well as blood pressure support with intravenous fluids and maybe medication.


Immediately seek emergency veterinarian care or get in touch with an animal poison control center if you suspect an overdose. 

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435

Alternative to Vetmedin

There are alternatives to Vetmedin therapy, but their effectiveness isn’t regarded to be sufficient to warrant shifting. There is no other FDA-approved medication for dogs with illnesses that Pimobendan can effectively treat.

Benazepril is frequently prescribed for several ailments, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart failure. It is an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin-converting enzyme. Due to its broad range of uses, it will not be as effective as Vetmedin for CHF brought on by DCM or AVVI, although the adverse effects are typically not fatal.

Bear in mind that only canines with medical disorders that make them ineligible for pimobendan and those who are allergic to its pharmacology can experience catastrophic outcomes. To prevent these risks, it’s important to get the right diagnosis and undergo testing while taking Pimobendan.

Benazepril and pimobendan both increased longevity after a diagnosis of CHF, but QUEST—which stands for Quality of Life and Extension of Survival Time—showed that pimobendan was more effective.

Nevertheless, there are other things you may do to support them through their illness outside of using drugs. One strategy is to keep their exercise to the ideal level until they are happy. To help children stay healthy and reduce the chances of getting overweight, do this several times per day.

Vetmedin Storage

Vetmedin® must be kept between 68° and 77°F in a controlled environment, but brief exposure to temperatures between 59° and 86°F is permitted. Maintain a tight seal on the container to keep out moisture and light. Always check the label to validate the storage requirements.

Medication that has been compounded should be stored in accordance with the compounding pharmacy’s label.

Keep out of children’s and pets’ reach.

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

There are two ways you can keep an eye on your dog’s heart health:

Visits to the vet regularly so they can hear your dog’s heart and assess their activity level and demeanor at home.

You can keep note of any changes that might suggest that your dog’s condition is improving or getting worse by tracking their daily activities and breathing rate.

Should I put my dog down with congestive heart failure?

Any pet owner who must make the painful and emotional decision to put down a dog knows how difficult it is. When choosing if euthanasia is the right course of action for a dog with congestive heart failure, several things may be taken into account. These may consist of:

  • The dog’s cardiac condition’s severity and how well it’s responding to treatment.
  • The canine’s state of health and capacity for routine activities.
  • General health and any underlying medical issues with the dog.
  • Age and anticipated life span of the dog.
  • The price and viability of continuing care.

The choice to put a dog down is ultimately a personal one that should be discussed with your veterinarian and other members of your dog’s care team.

What to do if your dog died from Vetmedin?

Your dog should have an autopsy performed as a first step. Even though it could be challenging, this is one of the finest approaches to identifying the precise reason for their untimely demise. Vetmedin can indeed cause death, however, other factors such as underlying health conditions other than heart failure or a toxic environment may also play a role.

If it was discovered that Vetmedin was the actual cause of death, you could lodge a complaint with the pharmaceutical firm that produced the Vetmedin that was prescribed. Make sure you have a complete set of medical records and evidence of the circumstances leading up to their untimely demise.

Pet Bereavement Services And Support Groups

Losing your furry friend leaves you lonely but you don’t have to grieve alone. Pet loss support groups offer a safe environment where you may interact with other pet owners who have experienced the same thing as you and discuss it.

Some of the groups are;


Lap of Love

Pet Loss Support Group


Vetmedin should never be given to a dog without a vet’s prescriptions as the consequences can be fatal. You should always discuss with your vet on any underlying medical conditions for your dog and if he is under any medication. Sharing your problem and experiences will help you in the healing process and also help another affected paw parent.

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