Unfortunately, common clinical signs of congestive heart failure (CHF), such as
coughing and difficulty breathing, are nonspecific and may mimic respiratory
disease, making diagnosis difficult.1,2
Following a series of key steps and using some of the latest diagnostic tools
recommended by the Cardiac Education Group (CEG) and other cardiologists can
help you identify and treat CHF earlier in canine patients.1,3 The CEG recommends
the following diagnostic tools as essential for diagnosing CHF:
1. Oyama MA, Rush JE, Rozanski EA, et al. Assessment of serum N-terminal
pro-B-type natriuretic peptide concentration for differentiation of congestive
heart failure from primary respiratory tract disease as the cause of
respiratory signs in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009;235(11):1319–1325.
2. Sisson D. Valvular heart disease in dogs. Proceedings from the WSAVA 2002 Congress; October 3–6, 2002; Granada, Spain. www.vin.com/
January 21, 2011.
3. Cardiac Education Group. Canine cardiac diagnostic system:
ABCD’s of canine cardiology. September 2010. Available at: www.cardiaceducationgroup.org/common/cms/documents/
ABCD_CEG_Brochurev13_R.pdf. Accessed January 17, 2011.
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 atrioventricularvalvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy. The safe use of VETMEDIN has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 6 months of age, dogs with congenital heart defects, dogs with diabetes mellitus or other serious metabolic diseases, dogs used for breeding, or pregnant or lactating bitches. 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.