Pimobendan for Dogs

Dosage Forms Available:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Oral Liquid
  • Chew Treats
  • Transdermal Gel


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Pimobendan  is a heart medication used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF), usually caused by either dilated cardiomyopathy or valvular insufficiency.

What is Pimobendan?

Pimobendan is a veterinary medication. It is a calcium sensitizer and a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 3 with positive inotropic and vasodilator effects. 

Pimobendan is used in the management of heart failure in dogs, most commonly caused by myxomatous mitral valve disease, or dilated cardiomyopathy. 

What is Pimobendan Used for In Dogs?

Pimobendan is used to manage mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure in dogs caused by atrioventricular valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy.

 It differs from other commonly used heart drugs because it helps the heart pump more efficiently. Pimobendan requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

 Pimobendan Side Effects in Dogs

Side effects of Pimobendan for dogs are uncommon.

Common Side Effects 

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea

Less Common Side Effects

  • Lethargy
  • Breathing problems

If you notice any of these Pimobendan side effects in dogs, contact your veterinarian right away. In the event of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention for your animal.

Pimobendan Precautions

Pimobendan for dogs may not be the best treatment for all veterinary patients.

Who Should Not Use Pimobendan .

  • Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Patients who have aortic stenosis

Are There Any Drug Interactions With Pimobendan?

Tell your veterinarian if your pet is also being given verapamil (Isoptin, Calan, Verelan), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur), and pentoxiphylline (Trental). 

Talk to your veterinarian before giving any prescription or over the counter medicines, including vitamins and minerals. 

Are There Any Risk Factors Associated With This Medication?

If any of the following serious side effects occur, stop giving Pimobendan and seek emergency veterinary medical attention; an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of the lips, tongue or face; hives), scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, coma.

 Discontinue giving Pimobendan and contact your veterinarian if your pet develops; poor appetite, drowsiness, diarrhea, labored breathing, weakness, incoordination, fainting, accumulation of fluid in the lungs or abdomen, and cough. Other side effects may also occur. 

Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the pet. 


Pimobendan tablets are best stored in a cool dry place. Tablets should be in a tightly sealed container and kept away from direct sunlight.

Liquid pimobendan should also be stored at room temperature. Shake well before administering the dosage.

Medications should not be ingested by humans. In homes with children, a childproof container is recommended. If a human accidentally swallows this medication, call your doctor right away.


Give this medication exactly as directed by your veterinarian. If you do not understand these directions ask the veterinarian to explain them to you. 

Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian, the total daily dose should be divided into 2 portions to be given 12 hours apart. 

The portion to be given should be to the nearest 1/2 tablet increment. 

Store Pimobendan at room temperature away from moisture and light.

Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. 

Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.

Timeline Tips

  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions as they may differ from these recommendations.
  • Finish the package and administer all doses. Don’t cease medication until your veterinarian has instructed.

Pimobendan for Dogs Dosage

For dogs, the labeled dosage recommendation for pimobendan is 0.25 to 0.3 mg/kg PO q12h. 

The total daily dose can be administered in 2 unequal portions by using whole or half tablets.

 For initial use, especially if a more rapid onset of action is desired, the tablets should be administered on an empty stomach; however, for more chronic use, they can be administered with food. In dogs the oral preparation is rapidly absorbed; peak effect occurs within 2 to 4 hours in dogs. 

Pimobendan for Cats Dosage 

Although pimobendan is not labeled for use in cats, several retrospective studies have reported the use of pimobendan in cats with congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to a variety of cardiomyopathies and other forms of heart disease. 

Pimobendan dosing for cats is similar to that for dogs (0.25 to 0.3 mg/kg PO q12h).

Always follow your veterinarian’s directions exactly.

Missed Dose

To maintain the effectiveness of the medication, be careful not to miss a dose, and have the refill on the way before you run out.

In the case of a missed dose, keep up the regular schedule whenever possible. Skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for the next dose, then with the regular schedule. Doubling up is not advised.

Pimobendan Overdose 

Poisoning can result in inappetance, lethargy, an elevated heart rate, collapse, low blood pressure, weakness, etc. Accidental ingestion should be treated immediately.


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