Drug improves quality of life for Dobermanns with heart disease

Dec 18, 2012
Drug improves quality of life for Dobermanns with heart disease
Pimobendan (Vetmedin) slowed progression of the disease and prolonged good quality, symptom-free life for an average additional nine months.

Veterinary scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that early screening and drug treatment for Dobermann dogs with a serious heart disease can extend and improve their quality of life.

The study, which took place over the course of six years with dogs in the UK, Canada and US, examined more than 70 Dobermanns with early signs of dilated (DCM). 

Longer survival

The disease, which also affects cats and humans, causes the heart to become enlarged and death can be very sudden and unexpected if not detected in its early stages.

The cardiology team at the University's Small Animal Teaching Hospital examined whether early screening for DCM could improve the chances of longer survival with treatment of a drug called Pimobendan (Vetmedin). 

They found that the drug slowed down the progression of the disease and prolonged good quality, symptom-free life by an average of an additional nine months. 

Dr Jo Dukes McEwan, from the University's School of Veterinary Science, said: "As soon as a dog shows outward signs of the disease, it becomes more difficult to treat and the chance of surviving with the condition for any period of time reduces considerably.

"We cannot cure DCM and the of the disease is poorly understood , but we do know that Pimobendan is a drug frequently used in cardiology for the treatment of and has already proven beneficial in treating both clinical DCM and in dogs.

Screening service

"We have shown that screening dogs for DCM, and early treatment, can extend the life expectancy of Dobermanns with the condition and greatly enhance their quality of life. The team at the Small Animal will continue to offer the screening service to owners of Dobermanns who may wish to get them checked for signs of DCM."

The research is published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Explore further: Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journa… 1111/(ISSN)1939-1676

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novel gene found for dilated cardiomyopathy

Jul 13, 2009

Researchers in the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have discovered a novel gene responsible for heart muscle disease and chronic heart failure in some children and adults with dilated cardiomyopathy ...

Risk gene for severe heart disease discovered

Oct 21, 2010

Research led by Klaus Stark and Christian Hengstenberg of the University of Regensburg identified a common variant of the cardiovascular heat shock protein gene, HSPB7, which was found to increase risk for dilated cardiomyopathy ...

Genetic mutation implicated in 'broken' heart

Feb 15, 2012

For decades, researchers have sought a genetic explanation for idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a weakening and enlargement of the heart that puts an estimated 1.6 million Americans at risk of heart failure each year. ...

Recommended for you

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

Aug 29, 2014

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

Aug 29, 2014

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

User comments : 0