It is important to remember that treatment for CHF does not cure the disease, but it can help your dog resume a more normal life.
Your veterinarian may recommend one or more of the following medical treatments:
Diuretics are medications to remove excess fluid buildup from the lungs or abdomen, eg, furosemide.
ACE inhibitors, or inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme, are a group of medications that open up constricted blood vessels and are used primarily in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. Commonly prescribed ACE inhibitors are enalapril, benazepril, and ramipril.
Inodilators are medications that both increase myocardial contractility and open up constricted blood vessels, reducing the workload on your dog's weakened heart. Currently, there is only one dual-acting inodilator available, Vetmedin® (pimobendan) Chewable Tablets.
There are a number of other medications that your veterinarian may recommend for the treatment of your dog's heart failure. These will depend on the specific needs of your dog.
Also, your veterinarian will closely monitor your dog's medication(s) to determine if adjustments need to be made.
Always consult your veterinarian if you notice any change in the behavior or activity of your dog, particularly during the first few days of treatment.
Important safety information: VETMEDIN should not be given in case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, or any other clinical condition where an augmentation of cardiac output is inappropriate for functional or anatomical reasons. The safety of VETMEDIN has not been established in dogs with asymptomatic heart disease or in heart failure caused by etiologies other than atrioventricular valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy. Use only in dogs with clinical evidence of heart failure. The most common side effects reported in field studies were poor appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, dyspnea, azotemia, weakness, and ataxia. If side effects should occur, pet owners should contact their veterinarian. Please refer to the Full Prescribing Information here.
VETMEDIN is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.