This site provides information on the EPIC study and details on case recruitment for veterinary professionals worldwide. Pimobendan is a prescription only medicine, licensed for the treatment of congestive heart failure due to mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy.

The EPIC Trial site is intended for veterinary professionals. By clicking 'Continue' you are affirming that you are a veterinary professional.

Evaluating Pimobendan in Cardiomegaly
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Canine Heart Disease

MMVD is a slowly progressing condition that eventually leads to CHF in dogs. It thickens the cusps of the mitral valve on the left side of the heart, which is supposed to ensure that blood flows into the proper direction. Thickened valves fail to form a complete seal, which allows blood to leak back into the atrium.

Not all dogs are equally vulnerable. MMVD tends to affect older dogs; and dogs of small to medium-sized breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Miniature Poodles, Miniature Pinschers, Fox Terriers, Boston Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers.

Symptoms can include coughing; reduced tolerance for exercise; restlessness at night; and difficult breathing. The detection of a heart murmur during routine checkups usually precedes a diagnosis of MMVD.

Common diagnostic procedures for MMVD include radiographs which are used to evaluate heart size and shape, and the status of lung fields. An electrocardiogram, or reading of the electrical impulses of the heart, may identify any arrhythmias that may be present. For a more accurate assessment of cardiac function and the severity of the disease, a dog may be referred to a veterinary cardiologist for an echocardiogram, or ultrasound of the heart.

The prognosis for a dog with MMVD is poor. However, there are treatments available that improve quality of life and extend the length of life. The long-term prognosis depends on how early the disease is diagnosed and how an individual dog responds to early diagnosis and treatment.


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