1. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested an inappropriate dose of pimobendan.
  2. Bring along the drug/medication that your animal ingested along with its label or package insert to help your vet determine the dose administered.




Clinical signs occur within 1-4 hours of ingestion. Clinical signs are dose dependent, where a higher dose results in more severe clinical signs. Pets with concurrent illness may be more susceptible to the toxic effects.

Most signs are due to low blood pressure and include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness/disorientation
  • Uncoordinated gait (ataxia)
  • Marked increase in heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Increase in respiratory rate (tachypnoea)
  • Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow tinged gums, mucus membranes and skin (jaundice)


Pimobendan lowers blood pressure so an overdose exacerbates these effects and may lead to a significant drop in blood pressure.


Your veterinarian may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage to prevent further absorption of the drug. Activated charcoal may be administered to bind any remaining circulating toxins in the system. Blood pressure support with intravenous fluids and possibly medication is recommended, as is monitoring cardiac function and rhythm.


BSAVA (2012) BSAVA/VPIS Guide to Common Canine and Feline Poisons. Gloucester: BSAVA.

Reinker LN, Lee JA, Hovda LR &Rishniw M (2012) Clinical signs of cardiovascular effects secondary to suspected pimobendantoxicoses in 5 dogs.Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.48(4):250-255