Youtube Play

What is Pimobendan Poisoning?

Pimobendan is a drug used for dogs to increase their heart’s pumping ability, which is usually given to dogs with certain kinds of heart disease. Some of these are congestive heart failure (CHF), dilated cardiomyopathy, and mitral valve insufficiency. It is an inotrope used for congestive heart disease and heart failure in dogs. Pimobendan works by slowing the function of phosphodiesterase enzymes that open the blood vessels and makes the proteins in the heart more sensitive to calcium, which helps it to contract more effectively. It is usually given with other medications like digoxin and ACE inhibitors. Because this medication has been made to taste good to your dog, and it comes in chewable tablets, a toxic dosage of pimobendan is possible if your dog has access.

Pimobendan (Vetmedin) is a commonly prescribed heart medication used by veterinarians. In some cases, pimobendan has been known to cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness, collapse, convulsions, and possibly death if not treated right away. In addition, if given to a dog without a heart condition, the effects can be life-threatening immediately. This type of drug toxicity can be mistaken for other illnesses, such as a virus, and may be overlooked until it is too late. That is why it is important to see your veterinarian right away if you even suspect that your dog has ingested pimobendan. There are two types of pimobendan poisoning, which are acute (taking a large dose causing immediate toxicosis) or chronic (taking small amounts on a regular basis, causing a gradual toxicosis).

Pimobendan Poisoning Average Cost

From 56 quotes ranging from $300 - $300

Average Cost

$650

Symptoms of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog may not show any signs of toxicity right away, and some of the mild symptoms, such as stomach upset and weakness, may be overlooked as a virus or anxiety. However, if your dog has gotten into the medication, you are likely to notice that the bottle or blister pack the pills came in are on the floor or chewed on. Anytime you think your dog may have ingested a medication of any kind; it is vital that you call your veterinarian or get your dog to a pet hospital or clinic. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are:

  • Allergic reaction (breathing difficulty, hives)
  • Collapse
  • Cough
  • Coughing
  • Dark sticky stool (melena)
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fluid accumulation in the lungs and/or abdomen (ascites)
  • Gagging
  • Heart murmur
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Irregular pulse
  • Itchy skin (pruritus)
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of bodily movements (ataxia)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Staggering
  • Sudden death
  • Trembling
  • Urinary accidents
  • Vomiting
  • Weak pulse
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

 Types

  • Acute pimobendan poisoning is caused by an ingestion of a large amount of the drug at once (such as with accidental overdose or if your dog gets into the medication
  • Chronic pimobendan poisoning is caused by a small amount given on a regular basis
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

  • Accidental overdose by owner
  • Dog ingesting medication left out in his reach
  • Giving the medication to the wrong dog
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

A full body examination will be done, which will include abdominal palpation, vision and hearing check, reflexes, heart rate, oxygen level, blood pressure, and body temperature. The veterinarian will also need your dog’s complete medical history, recent illnesses, injuries, abnormal behavior, and vaccination records.

Some laboratory tests will also be performed, such as serum electrolyte levels, protein and glucose, complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, and fecal examination. The veterinarian will be looking for a decrease in the platelet count, increased phosphates, high blood glucose and liver enzymes, and an increase in protein in the urine and blood. 

Chest and abdominal images through radiographs (x-rays) may be done to get a look at the heart and lungs. If the veterinarian suspects damage, CT scans, ultrasound, and possibly an MRI may be used to get a better view. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can be done to measure the heart’s electrical and muscular activity.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

The treatment for acute pimobendan poisoning is to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to bind with the medication so it can be eliminated more safely. In cases of chronic pimobendan poisoning, the damage from the toxicity has already been done, so the treatment will depend on which organs are affected by the drug. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Pimobendan Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog gets treatment right away for acute pimobendan poisoning, chances for recovery are good, depending on the dose taken and health of your dog. However, in the case of chronic poisoning, recovery chances are not good and will depend on the amount of damage done by the medication. To keep this from happening again, be sure to keep this and all other medication out of your dog’s reach.

Pimobendan poisoning can be expensive to treat. To avoid high vet care expenses, secure pet health insurance today. The sooner you insure your pet, the more protection you’ll have from unexpected vet costs.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Pimobendan Poisoning Average Cost

From 56 quotes ranging from $300 - $300

Average Cost

$650

arrow-up-icon

Top

Pimobendan Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Schnoodle

dog-age-icon

Six Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

19 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My younger dog accidentally got my older dogs medication. It was in a pill pocket so either 2.5 mf vetmedin or 50 mg theophylline. Wt is 15 lbs. is it dangerous?

Dec. 18, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

19 Recommendations

The highest dose of Vetmedin we usually would give would be 0.3mg/kg, so a 2.5mg tablet would be a slight overdose. This should be well tolerated as long as the dog is healthy as this drug has a wide safety margin, but do watch for an abnormally fast heart rate or other abnormalities. 50mg of Theophylline is a small amount and the tolerated dose goes up to 20mg/kg, so this is well within normal. Realistically, we wouldn't expect any significant adverse reactions assuming your younger dog is healthy and not on any medicine. Do monitor closely and call your vet if any concerns.

Dec. 19, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Toy Poodle

dog-age-icon

Sixteen Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Seizure, Weight Loss

Hello! I’m a critical care MD (For humans). My ancient toy poodle has been VERY healthy/active for a 16 yr old. She suddenly had new onset murmur (wide open MR) with acute CHF a few weeks ago. On Lasix and Pimobendan, she has been home and stable, but now with frequent seizure-like activity with loss of bladder control, and profound weight loss, neither of which were a problem prior to Pimobendan. I suspect the Vetmed may be the problem. Electrolytes on CMP, all other labs normal. What other inotrope would you recommend! In humans, digoxin and milrinone ... but in dogs ...?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Those are certainly not typical reactions to Pimobendan. With out more information or being able to see x-rays, an ECG, or an echo, I cannot comment on other appropriate medications - it may be best to consult a cardiologist, and your veterinarian can provide that referral for you.

Oct. 14, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

Pimobendan Poisoning Average Cost

From 56 quotes ranging from $300 - $300

Average Cost

$650

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.