Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the management of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MVD), which has the potential to extend the lives of dogs throughout the world.

Myxomatous mitral valve disease is common in cavalier King Charles spaniels.
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is common in cavalier King Charles spaniels.

The “Evaluating pimobendan in cardiomegaly” (EPIC) study sought to prove oral administration of the drug pimobendan in dogs with evidence of increased heart size secondary to MVD can delay the onset of clinical signs of congestive heart failure.

Results, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, showed pimobendan extended the asymptomatic period by an average of 15 months, while dogs that received the drug also lived significantly longer than those receiving a placebo.

Evidence was so conclusive, the study – involving 36 trial centres in 11 countries across 4 continents – was terminated early following an interim analysis, as it was deemed unethical to continue to withhold treatment from the placebo group.

No more ‘watch and wait’

Adrian Boswood, professor of veterinary cardiology at the RVC, led the research. He said: “Thanks to the EPIC study results, vets no longer have to adopt a ‘watch and wait’ approach to suspected preclinical cases of MVD.

“When a typical mitral valve murmur is detected, vets should now investigate further to look for cardiac enlargement. If demonstrated, this suggests the patient will probably benefit from treatment with pimobendan before the onset of clinical signs.

“It’s great that, as a trusted treatment, pimobendan has a wealth of safety data behind it in addition to that gleaned from the EPIC study, which can help support vets when prescribing it in this new way.”

  • Read more on the study, and Prof Boswood’s thoughts, in the 10 October issue of Veterinary Times.
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "‘Top tier’ study shows pimobendan MVD delay"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Adrian Boswood
Guest
2 months 4 hours ago

Thanks very much to Vet Times for covering this story so well.
As well as generating evidence I am very interested to learn about practitioners attitudes to evidence based veterinary medicine.
If you have a little time I would be very grateful if you could complete this survey
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2930840/New-Survey
Thanks in anticipation
Adrian Boswood

wpDiscuz

related content

Three leading veterinary schools have strongly defended the ethical importation of dead dogs from the US to provide UK students with essential dissection practice.

6 mins

Veterinary rehabilitation professionals can enhance their knowledge of treating and preventing injuries in agility, working and recreational dogs at a one-day symposium.

3 mins

Zoetis' Trocoxil chewable tablets are back in stock following a "supply shortage", says the company.

2 mins

Millions of dogs could enjoy longer, healthier lives if vets were to change their approach to the treatment of osteoarthritis, according to an orthopaedic specialist.

4 mins

Louise O'Dwyer takes a look at the relationship between pre-surgery fasting and anaesthesia in December's Nursing Notes.

8 mins

CVO Nigel Gibbens orders all poultry in England to be kept indoors for 30 days following confirmation of a highly infectious strain of avian flu in Europe.

6 mins