Heart disease isn’t just a human issue; pets can get heart disease too. Fortunately, there are many effective medications used to treat heart disease in pets so your dogs, cats and other pets can live long and healthy lives.
Atenolol is a beta-blocker that’s used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm in small animals. If you’re being treated for heart disease, you and your pet may wind up on the same medication, as Atenolol is also used in humans. Pets with chronic heart failure should not take Atenolol. Instead, your veterinarian will prescribe a medication that’s safer for your pet. Side effects of Atenolol can include tiredness and low blood pressure. Ask your veterinarian what signs and symptoms to monitor for heart disease in pets.
Dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) may benefit from adding Pimobendan to their treatment regimen. This medication can improve the length and quality of life for dogs with CHF. It’s a vasodilator, which decreases heart rate in dogs with CHF. Pimobendan is not currently approved for use in cats. Dogs taking Pimobendan may experience changes in digestion. Your vet may recommend a different diet to help with digestive issues.
Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker most commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure in cats. It is sometimes used in combination with other medications especially if your feline also has kidney disease. Side effects can include tiredness, weight loss, and reflex tachycardia. Ask your veterinarian what signs and symptoms you should monitor.
You may be familiar with the use of sildenafil in humans as a medication for erectile dysfunction. But did you know that sildenafil was initially made for hypertension (high blood pressure) and chest pain due to heart disease? For dogs and cats, vets prescribe sildenafil for high blood pressure in the arteries to the lungs, also known as pulmonary hypertension, to increase blood flow. Sildenafil was reported to have very few side effects such as lethargy, weakness, gastric upset, and reddening of the skin (flushing). This drug can help improve the quality of your pet’s life when the proper dosing, precautions, and monitoring are observed.
Procainamide is used to treat abnormal heart rhythm in pets. Procainamide is generally safe and effective when used properly. However, pets with allergy to procainamide should not use this medication. Side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and hypotension. Consult with your veterinarian about the signs and symptoms to watch out for and if your pet is taking drugs that might interact with procainamide.
If your pet suffers from heart disease, these are just a few of the many treatment options available. Talk with your veterinarian to find out what’s best for your pet. We’ll work with you and your veterinarian to find the right dosage form and flavor to ensure the medications are easy to give.
If it is too difficult to administer medications to your pet by mouth, some medications are absorbed through the skin and can be applied to the inner ear tip as a cream. Ask your veterinarian or pharmacist if your pet’s medication can be given transdermally.
Give the love and comfort that your beloved pets deserve. Our knowledgeable and friendly pharmacists at The Compounding Center at Leesburg, VA will help customize your pets’ medication in a form that they will surely love.
Call The Compounding Center for more information
Reference: Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook