• Open Access

Acute Effect of Pimobendan and Furosemide on the Circulating Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System in Healthy Dogs


  • Study results were presented at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, June 9, 2007.

Corresponding author: Dr Margaret B. Sayer, c/o Dr Clarke Atkins, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606; e-mail: pegbooth@yahoo.com.


Background: The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is activated in states of decreased cardiac output and by certain cardiovascular therapeutic agents, such as loop diuretics and vasodilators.

Hypothesis: Short-term treatment with the inodilator, pimobendan, will not activate the circulating RAAS because its vasodilatory action will be offset by its positive inotropic property, thereby ameliorating RAAS stimulation at the juxtaglomerular apparatus. Furthermore, pimobendan will suppress RAAS activation produced by furosemide.

Animals: Nine healthy laboratory dogs were used in this study.

Methods: Experimental, cross-over study. Dogs were administered pimobendan (0.5 mg/kg q12h) for 4 days followed by furosemide (2 mg/kg q12h) and then, after a wash-out period, a combination of the drugs. Aldosterone : creatinine (A : Cr) was measured at the end of each treatment cycle.

Results: There was no significant increase in the average urinary A : Cr with the administration of pimobendan (control urinary A : Cr = 0.46, standard deviation (SD) 0.33; pimobendan A : Cr = 0.48, SD 0.28). There was a significant increase in the average urinary A : Cr after administration of furosemide (urinary A : Cr = 1.3, SD 0.70) and with the combination of furosemide and pimobendan (urinary A : Cr = 2.9, SD 1.6).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Short-term administration of high-dose pimobendan, does not activate the RAAS in healthy dogs. Pimobendan did not prevent RAAS activation associated with furosemide therapy. These results in healthy dogs suggest that furosemide therapy, with or without pimobendan, should be accompanied by RAAS suppressive therapy.