Adverse Reactions to Vetmedin

Veterinary hypertension and heart disease medications can be a lifesaver for dogs, but they come with the potential risk of side effects. One such medication is Vetmedin, which has a wide range of possible adverse reactions.

Vetmedin Adverse Reactions

Can Vetmedin be harmful?

No drug is completely safe, including Vetmedin, and it’s possible that your dog may have an adverse reaction to it. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • increased heart rate
  • increased respiratory rate

The above side effects are typically mild to moderate and go away on their own once your dog adjusts to the drug. It’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian at the first sign of adverse reactions.

The following adverse reactions/new clinical findings are listed: syncope, weak pulses, irregular pulses, increased pulmonary edema, dyspnea, coughing, gagging, pleural effusion, ascites, hepatic congestion, melena, depression, collapse, shaking, trembling, ataxia, seizures, restlessness, agitation, pruritus, increased water consumption, increased urination, urinary accidents, azotemia, dehydration, etc.


Do not give Vetmedin to dogs that are pregnant or nursing. Do not give this medication to dogs that are allergic to it or similar drugs.

Vetmedin may interact with other medicines. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Vetmedin.

If your dog experiences any type of allergic reaction to Vetmedin you should seek medical attention right away. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, hives or skin rash, swelling of the face or limbs, and chest pain.

Can Vetmedin kill my dog?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, yes. But Vetmedin is a medication that can save lives in dogs with chronic congestive heart failure. It’s a drug that your veterinarian has prescribed for your dog for a reason, and you should not stop giving it to your pet unless directed by him or her. Most dogs do very well on Vetmedin, and the benefits of the medication far outweigh the risks.

Dogs can die from taking too much Vetmedin, but this is very rare and easily prevented. If you suspect that your dog has accidentally taken more than one dose of the medication, call your veterinarian immediately.

How long do dogs live on Vetmedin?

On average dogs live between 3 and 12 months with Vetmedin. The earlier in the disease process that treatment is started the longer dogs will respond to therapy. Dogs are usually treated for life with this medication. It is considered the gold standard of therapy for canine congestive heart failure (CHF).

The best way to estimate how long your dog will live on Vetmedin is to do an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) before starting the drug. This will tell you if a dog has severe heart disease or mild heart disease. If they have moderate heart disease, then the drug can improve their life expectancy significantly – almost doubling it in some cases.

If the dog has severe heart disease, then the drug may not extend their life expectancy by much, but it can help them feel better while they’re alive – improving exercise tolerance and quality of life.

How much Vetmedin should a dog take?

The recommended starting dose is 0.2 mg to 0.6 mg pimobendan/kg body weight per day. The recommended daily dose may be administered as a single dose or in two divided doses, given 12 hours apart. Vetmedin should be administered at the same time every day.

If you are in any way concerned about giving your dog Vetmedin, speak to your vet for further advice.

Does Vetmedin have to be given on an empty stomach?

Vetmedin should be administered on an empty stomach, preferably 30 to 60 minutes before feeding.

Conclusion of Vetmedin adverse reactions

Vetmedin is a medication used for the treatment of heart failure in dogs. This drug is a calcium sensitizer, which causes the heart muscle to contract more strongly and also helps to improve blood flow through the body. However, Vetmedin can cause many side effects and adverse reactions.

The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and weakness. Some pets may also experience low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness or lightheadedness. In some cases, these side effects may be mild enough that your pet will recover without any further treatment. In other cases, however, you may need to call your vet so that they can prescribe medications to help manage your pet’s symptoms until they resolve on their own.

More severe side effects may require hospitalization at an animal hospital where your pet can receive intensive care. These serious reactions include:

  • dyspnea
  • azotemia
  • pleural effusion
  • syncope
  • sudden death
  • ascites


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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