NOV 07, 2016 8:04 AM PST

Could One Medication Extend the Lives of Dogs With Heart Problems?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

A very large number of small dogs are impacted by heart disease issues, like mitral valve disease, and can be fatal in just about every scenario. These kinds of issues plague species like daschunds, miniature poodles, and several others.

Daschunds are just one of the species of small dogs that are affected by heart disease problems.

 Image Credit: Lauren Kaplan

But a study carried out by researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) over seven years suggests that an existing medication called Pimobendan, which is being used to treat existing heart conditions in small dogs today, could dramatically increase life expectancies of these pets if taken prior to heart disease diagnosis in the first place.
Published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the research found that small dogs may live around 15 months longer if given the medicine before heart disease is diagnosed in the animals.
The study was performed on 360 test subjects from 11 countries in order to diversify the testing as much as possible. The study was reportedly so conclusive that it actually ended earlier than planned.
One might be thinking that 15 months is hardly more than just an extra year, but for pet lovers who love their small dogs, that extra year a big deal that could seriously help pet owners embrace even more time with their beloved animals.  
“This is a major breakthrough in treatment and could extend the lives of dogs around the world,” said Adrian Boswood, the Professor of Veterinary Cardiology at the RVC.“Up until now, vets and dog owners had no choice but to wait until their dog developed heart failure before they could receive effective treatment.
“This ground-breaking research and treatment offers a lifeline to millions of dogs, by delaying heart failure for up to 15 months. Vets no longer have to adopt a 'watch and wait' approach, and owners can rest assured there is a drug available to prolong the quality of life for their pets.”
Everything sounds pretty good from the get-go, but there is a catch. One must know ahead of time whether or not their dog is susceptible to heart disease in order to know if the drug will be helpful to them. Herein lies the problem, as more than half of dog owners don’t even know if their dog as at risk.
Assuming we can tackle that boundary, this drug has the potential to significantly improve the life expectancies of small dogs around the world; specifically, those that suffer from heart disease issues.

Pet owners will now just need to wait for drug agencies to approve use of the drug for the newfound benefits it has.
Source: The Indian Express

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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