Dog Owners Unaware That Their Pet May be Suffering From Serious Heart Disease



    
    - But New Study Provides Hope in the Quest to Help Dogs Live Longer
    

    VANCOUVER, July 30 /CNW/ - Recently released global research shows that
over 50% of dog owners are unaware that their dog may be at risk of heart
failure. Heart disease affects one in four dogs over seven years of age(1),
yet the lack of knowledge about this serious, life-threatening condition calls
for better education amongst dog owners on how to recognise the disease, and
how to maintain their dogs' heart health.
    These statistics indicate a critical need to raise general awareness    
about congestive heart failure in dogs. If more dog owners are aware of the   
 disease and the signs to look out for in their pet, heart failure could be   
detected and treated at an earlier stage, allowing for timely management and  
 a potentially longer and more comfortable life for their dog.
    New data were also presented at the 29th World Veterinary Congress that  
  show that dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) that is due to a   
condition called myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) live longer when
treated with pimobendan (Vetmedin(R)) compared with a commonly used ACE
inhibitor(3). The results of the QUEST trial, the largest international study
of its kind to be conducted amongst dogs with congestive heart failure, are
due to be published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (JVIM)
later this year.
    The condition myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) accounts for   
approximately 75% of all cases of CHF in dogs(2). MMVD is associated with   
the thickening of the cusps of the mitral valve (one of the main one-way 
valves within the heart), affecting the flow of blood from the heart to the
rest of the body. Although there is no cure for CHF due to MMVD, there are    
treatments available to manage the condition, improving the quality and length
of the dog's life(2).
    Professor Jens Haggstrom, lead investigator of the QUEST trial from the
University of Uppsala, Sweden, commented that, "The QUEST trial is a
significant milestone in our efforts to reassure both veterinarians and dog
owners, that there is compelling evidence to show that pimobendan is an
effective treatment for CHF that prolongs their dog's life and provides the
pet and owner with more quality time together."
    The QUEST trial was a randomised, positive-controlled, multi-centre   
trial conducted at 28 sites across 11 countries, and is the largest study of 
its kind ever conducted in veterinary cardiology. The study compared a   
pimobendan group with a group treated with benazepril hydrochloride on top of
background diuretic therapy. The trial spanned three years and followed dogs
to death, euthanasia or treatment failure leading to withdrawal from the 
trial(3).

    Boehringer Ingelheim

    Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica   
belong to the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies. The Boehringer   
Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies.  
Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 135   
affiliates in 47 countries and 39,800 employees. Since it was founded in 1885,
the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing,   
manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for 
human and veterinary medicine.
    In 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of almost 11 billion euro 
 while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment
Prescription Medicines on research and development.
    The animal health business is conducted in more than 20 countries   
including USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Mexico, the Nordic
countries Japan and China. Since 1955, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is
contributing to an adequate supply of safe, nutritious food and is promoting
the emotional and physical benefits arising from the human-animal bond.

    For more information please visit http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com

    Notes to Editors

    About the survey

    The survey was conducted in May 2008, amongst 1,531 dog owners in   
Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and US.

    Useful statistics:

    
    -  80% of respondents described their dog as 'part of the family'

    -  81% of respondents follow the advice they receive from their vet

    -  49% of respondents did not think they had a 'good' understanding of
           the diseases/conditions to which their dog may be susceptible
    

    Please be advised

    This release is from Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Headquarters in  
Germany. Please be aware that there may be national differences between   
countries regarding specific medical information, including licensed uses.  
Please take account of this when referring to the information provided in  
this document. This press release is not intended for distribution within   
the U.S.A.
    References:

    
    1)  Evans T, Johnson C, Wernham J. Cardiovascular Insight: A global study
        of category prospects. Wood Mackenzie. July 2007.

    2)  Haggstrom J, Kvart C and Pedersen H. "Acquired valvular heart
        disease" in Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC (Eds). Textbook of veterinary
        internal medicine: diseases of the dog and cat. 2005 (6th edition).

    3)  Haggstrom J, Boswood A, O'Grady M, et al. Effect of pimobendan on
        survival in dogs with congestive heart failure due to myxomatous
        mitral valve disease. Abstract presented at the American College of
        Veterinary Internal Medicine 2008 congress, June 4-7, San Antonio,
        Texas.
    

    Canine cardiology experts in the following countries are available for   
comment. For country-specific information please contact:

    Australia/New Zealand
    Angela Hinchley
    Spinifex Communications
    +61-2-9954-4051
    angela.hinchley@spinifexcommunications.com.au

    Canada
    Cristiane Doherty
    +1-613-233-9191
    Delta Media Inc.
    Cristiane@DeltaMedia.ca

    France
    Dominique Kerforn
    +33-1-56-03-12-75
    I&e Consultants
    dkerforn@i-e.fr

    Germany
    Petra von der Lage
    MasterMedia
    +49-40-507-113-44
    vonderlage@mastermedia.de

    UK
    Danny Stepto
    +44-208-392-8040
    Red Door Communications
    dstepto@rdcomms.com

    Contact:
    Julia Meyer-Kleinmann
    Head Science & Technology Communications
    Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
    55216 Ingelheim/Germany
    Phone: +49-6132-77-8271
    Fax: +49-6132-77-7077
    E-mail: press@boehringer-ingelheim.com




For further information:

For further information: Julia Meyer-Kleinmann, Head Science &
Technology Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim, GmbH 55216 Ingelheim/Germany,
Phone: +49-6132-77-8271, Fax: +49-6132-77-7077, E-mail:
press@boehringer-ingelheim.com

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