Managing Congestive
Heart Failure in Your Dog

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What is Congestive Heart Failure?

The term ‘Congestive Heart Failure’ (CHF) is used when the pumping mechanism of the heart becomes compromised or defective leading to a back-up of blood in the vessels, resulting in ‘congestion’. This causes fluid to build-up in the lungs and/ or the abdomen, the kidneys to retain sodium and water, and blood vessels to constrict.

What is the difference between Heart Disease and Heart Failure?

Heart disease refers to abnormalities in the structure and/or function of the heart. Heart failure refers to patients whose bodies can no longer compensate for these abnormalities and develop clinical signs of the disease.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for heart failure that doesn’t involve expensive and highly specialised surgery, but there are several effective medical management options.Your vet will most likely prescribe medications to help to minimise this congestion, improve the clinical signs of the disease and to help improve the quality of life for your dog.

My dog has been diagnosed. What happens now?

Depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s heart issues and the level of progression of disease, your vet may have prescribed one or more medications.

What if my dog is not showing any signs of heart failure?

Even if your dog is not yet showing signs of heart failure, your veterinarian may have prescribed medication to delay the onset of clinical signs of heart disease. In these cases it is just as important to administer the medication every day.

Why should I administer the medication that the vet has prescribed?

Treatment with heart medications have been shown to improve longevity and quality of life of dogs with heart disease by reducing the associated signs of the disease.

How important is it to keep administering the medication?

Medications prescribed for heart disease will need to be administered to your dog for the rest of their life. Short periods without the prescribed medications may cause your dog to become seriously ill as the body is unable to compensate for a failing heart.

Keep an eye on your dog’s health

Signs of Heart Failure:

Increased respiration rate, panting or difficulty breathing
Reluctance to exercise, decrease in physical activity, or generalised weakness
Enlarged abdomen
Muscle wasting or anorexia
Episodes of collapse



Each product plays a different role in the management of heart failure, so it is important to be aware of what each medication does:


CorMedin can be used to treat canine congestive heart failure. The active ingredient is pimobendan, which has a dual action to both strengthen the heart’s contractions, and dilate blood vessels helping to reduce resistance to blood flow around the body.


Frudix is a diuretic that is used to reduce fluid retention. Frudix is usually prescribed in conjunction with one or both of the other medications (CorMedin & VetACE). Diuretics increase thirst and urine production so your dog may drink more and may need to go to the toilet more frequently, particularly at night time. Always ensure there is plenty of fresh water available if your dog is on diuretics.


VetACE is an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, and works by decreasing pressure on the heart by reducing fluid retention and limiting blood vessel constriction.
Staying on top of your dog’s medication is crucial to improving the longevity and quality of their life. However, with our busy lives, staying on top of everything without missing a beat can be a challenge.
That’s why we’ve created the Beats – Heart Health for Dogs App to assist you in remembering to administer your dog’s medication every day.

App Features

Fun Virtual Pet

A fun virtual pet that reacts to your compliance level.

Dosing Reminders

Handy reminders about when to give your dogs medication.


Access to information about your Jurox cardiac medication.

Resting Respiratory Rate Monitor

A resting respiratory rate monitor for you to use at home and share these details on request with your Vet.

Clinic Information

Clinic Information

Clinic contact information for quick re-prescription.

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