Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that Vetmedin Chewable Tablets have been licensed for treating pre-clinical dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Dobermans*. Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that Vetmedin Chewable Tablets have been licensed for treating pre-clinical dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Doberman Pinschers1

Boehringer says DCM is the most common form of cardiomyopathy in dogs and the second most common form of acquired heart disease in dogs. Typically, up to half (25 - 50%) of Doberman Pinschers develop DCM in their lifetime and before congestive heart failure (CHF) develops, over a quarter (25 - 30%) of these dogs will suffer sudden death.  Despite optimal treatment, survival time once in CHF is short at just 2 - 4 months, with a fatality rate of at least 90% after a year.

The new indication was granted following a study which showed that early intervention with Vetmedin at pre-clinical stages in Dobermans can significantly delay the onset of CHF, increasing life expectancy and quality of life for patients2.

Robert Lucy, Vetmedin brand manager, Boehringer Ingelheim UK, said: "The PROTECT study, and the resulting new indication for Vetmedin is groundbreaking. For the first time ever, we are now not only able to manage congestive heart failure, but to significantly delay it. By acting sooner, we'll be able to alter the course of disease progression, ultimately increasing survival and allowing more pet owners to spend more time with their beloved dogs. Key to this will be giving vets the support and confidence in recognising the subtle signs of pre-clinical DCM. We plan to support veterinary professionals with new educational materials, including a screening algorithm, to help the diagnostic process."

Traditionally, there have been no licensed therapies available to vets to slow the progression of heart disease during the pre-clinical stage.  However, peer-reviewed independent data from PROTECT, the first study in veterinary cardiology of its kind, proves that early intervention with Vetmedin at pre-clinical stages in Dobermans Pinschers can significantly delay the onset of CHF, increasing life expectancy and quality of life for patients. 

  1. Vetmedin® Chewable Tablets has a new indication for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in the preclinical stage (asymptomatic with an increase in left ventricular end-systolic and end-diastolic diameter) in Doberman Pinschers following echocardiographic diagnosis of cardiac disease. 
  2.  The PROTECT study, Efficacy of Pimobendan in the Prevention of congestive Heart Failure or Sudden Death in Doberman Pinschers with Pre-clinical Dilated Cardiomyopathy, N.J Summerfield, A. Boswood, M.R. O'Grady, S.G. Gordon, et al, J Vet Intern Med 2012.

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