Monday 10 July 2006
Canine Heart Drug Breakthrough
Dogs suffering from heart failure can gain an extra nine months of life
over conventional treatments by using a newer therapy, according to a
The most common heart disease in dogs is caused by degeneration of the
heart valves, causing them to become leaky.
The study found that dogs with congestive heart failure, due to valve
problems, treated with a conventional ACE inhibitor lived on average for
128 days – some four months. However those who started on the newer
drug, pimobendan (Vetmedin, Boehringer Ingelheim), lived on average 415
days – around 13 months.
The study also found a rapid response to the newer treatment. Boehringer
claims that within seven days over 50% of dogs were symptom free.
Around 20,000 dogs a year in the UK develop a type of heart failure
called mitral valve disease. The problem is most common in small breeds,
with Cavalier King Charles spaniels being especially vulnerable.
Overall, of the 6 million dogs in the UK around one in ten (10%) will be
diagnosed with various forms of heart disease during their lifetime.
Mr Simon Swift, a veterinary cardiologist from Liverpool University, who
has a special interest in canine heart problems, said the latest study
added to a growing pool of data that pimobendan increased longevity as
well as improving quality of life.
"The evidence increasingly pointed to pimobendan being used as
first-line treatment for canine heart failure rather than an ACE
inhibitor, instead of being kept in reserve as rescue therapy," he said.
Submitted by: Steve O'Malley