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A review of the pharmacology and clinical uses of pimobendan.


  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. Kimberly Boyle, VCA All-Care Animal Referral Center, 18440 Amistad Street, Fountain Valley, CA 92708, USA.




To review the pharmacology, research developments, and clinical uses of pimobendan

Data Sources

Original research articles and clinical studies from 1984 to August 2011.

Veterinary Data Synthesis

Pimobendan is approved for use in dogs for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to chronic valvular heart disease (CVHD) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Expert-based veterinary guidelines recommend the use of pimobendan in the management of acute, hospital-based therapy for patients with CHF attributable to CVHD.


The use of pimobendan, an inodilator with phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitory and calcium-sensitizing properties, is regarded as a component of the standard of care in the management of dogs with CHF secondary to both DCM and CVHD. Further studies are warranted to confirm the safety and efficacy of pimobendan for the off-label use of this drug in asymptomatic CVHD, pulmonary arterial hypertension, asymptomatic myocardial diseases, CHF from all other causes and in cats with CHF.