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ABSTRACT: To describe the therapeutic use of pimobendan in cats, describe the patient population to which it was administered, document potential side effects and report the clinical course following administration of pimobendan in conjunction with standard heart failure therapy. It is hypothesized that cats with advanced heart disease including congestive heart failure from a variety of causes will tolerate pimobendan with a minimum of side effects when used in treatment in conjunction with a variety of other medications.
One hundred and seventy client owned cats with naturally occurring heart disease, one hundred and sixty four of which had congestive heart failure. Medical records were reviewed and owners and referring veterinarians were contacted for follow-up data. Data collected included pimobendan dose, other medications administered concurrently, data collected at physical examination, presence or absence of heart failure, adverse effects, classification of heart disease, echocardiographic data and survival time. The data were analyzed for significance between the initial visit and any follow-up visits.
All cats were treated with pimobendan. The median pimobendan dose was 0.24 mg/kg q 12 h. Pimobendan was used in combination with multiple concurrent medications including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, diuretics and anti-thrombotics. Five cats (3.0%) had potential side effects associated with pimobendan. One cat (0.6%) had presumed side effects severe enough to discontinue pimobendan use. Median survival time for 164 cats with congestive heart failure after initiation of pimobendan was 151 days (range 1-870).
Pimobendan appears to be well tolerated in cats with advanced heart disease when used with a variety of concurrent medications. Randomized controlled studies need to be performed to accurately assess whether it is efficacious for treatment of congestive heart failure in cats.
Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology 12/2011; 13(4):251-60.