Stella is on a steady diet of drugs because of her dilated cardiomyopathy. I expect this to be a preview of my own life when I hit post retirement except you can be damn sure my pill cocktail will include more of the recreational variety.
Sotalol is for keeping her heart rate steady. Sotalol is given at a dosage of one quarter tablet every 12 hours.
Pimobendan is the only one of the bunch made specifically for dogs which I have to buy at the vet's office. All the others can be bought at a regular drug store as they are human meds. I wouldn't be surprised if this one becomes a human med once enough dogs have been subjected to it and it's deemed safe (already being used by people in Japan). Pimobendan is a bit of a wonder drug. It makes the heart's muscles more efficient at pumping and increases the survival time of most dogs with DCM by several months. Stella gets three capsules of Pimobendan every 12 hours.
Benazepril seems to be only available these days as a brand name drug, Lotensin, which means it costs way more than it would otherwise. Benazepril lowers blood pressure to ease the strain on the heart. Benazepril is one tablet every 12 hours.
Furosemide is a diuretic which helps keep Stella's lungs clear of fluid build up. Without this drug, Stella would basically drown. Unfortunately, it also makes her drink a lot of water, three or four times more than normal and of course that means many more washroom breaks. Stella's always also had a slight problem with incontinence because she was spayed too young (at 6 months) but before she'd just leave behind little dribbles. Now she ends up lying in big puddles without even realizing it. This drug will also ruin her kidneys so it becomes a balance between preserving one organ and destroying the other. She gets 2 of these pills every eight hours.
Diltiazem should lessen the strength of Stella's cardiac arrhythmias. If the arrhythmia gets out of control, she could collapse and die. This might actually be the best outcome considering some of the other possibilities. Diltiazem is given every 8 hours.
Pill times are:
Sotalol, Pimobendan, Benazepril, Furosemide, Diltiazem
Sotalol, Pimobendan, Benazepril