Heart Disease

New drug to treat early signs of heart disease — June 2022:

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conditionally approved Vetmedin-CA1 (pimobendan) chewable tablets, the first drug indicated for delaying the onset of congestive heart failure in dogs with Stage B2 preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). MMVD is a condition in dogs where an abnormal heart valve allows blood to leak backward (regurgitation), impacting the ability of the heart to pump blood and resulting in an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly). If left untreated, this condition may lead to heart failure and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Stage B2 preclinical MMVD refers to dogs with MMVD that have not yet developed signs of heart failure but have a moderate or loud mitral murmur due to a leaking mitral heart valve and have an enlarged heart.

here’s no single cause of heart disease in dogs. Aging, obesity, breed, and nutrition can all play a role. Heart valve problems are the most common issue and typically affect small breed dogs that are five years or older.

No matter what heart condition your dog has, it’s important to spot the signs early. Since 95% of heart conditions in dogs come on as they age, it’s easier to manage as soon as it develops.

Two Main Heart Conditions in Dogs — according to Veterinary Centers of America:

These are the two most common types of heart disease:

Valve Disease

Mitral regurgitation, a valve disease, is a common cause of a heart murmur in dogs. Blood flow becomes turbulent and creates the murmur. Murmurs are graded on a scale of 1-6… the higher the number, the more obvious the murmur. Your dog can lead a normal life with a heart murmur. A board-certified dog cardiologist can diagnose and help treat the condition.


Heart Muscle Disease

DCM, or dilated cardiomyopathy, is the most common form of heart muscle disease. With DCM the muscles degenerate and begin to wear thin. That thinning decreases the heart’s ability to contract and pump blood, and leads to congestive heart failure. DCM in dogs is irreversible but can be controlled through medications available through your board-certified dog cardiologist.


Credit: Veterinary Centers of America