A recent study has been published showing the quite profound benefits of using one of our medications in early heart disease. Many small breed dogs will develop heart disease later in life due to disease in one of the heart valves - a condition called Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). Up until recently there was no evidence that any medication would help the early stages of this debilitating disease, with vets having to wait until these dogs developed potentially life-threatening heart failure and fluid retention before being able to treat the disease.
This new study, 'Effects of Pimobendan in dogs with Cardiomegaly', colloquially called the EPIC trial (http://www.epictrial.com/canine-heart-disease/), has now confirmed that a medication called Pimobendan can delay the onset of heart failure by, on average, 15 months.
Chris Booth (our Cardiologist) is very excited about these findings. He reports "this means that we can help patients in early heart disease and so give them a better quality and longer life with this medication". All dogs with MVD will have a heart murmur; common breeds developing this condition include Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds, some terrier breeds and Border Collies. If you would like more information on the medication please contact Chris or one of the other vets at the hospital on 01572 722646.