The suspicion of heart disease, the presence of asymptomatic heart disease and overt heart failure are common in
veterinary practice. Multiple and powerful drugs are available to treat symptomatic heart disease, and often have
been prescribed already in the asymptomatic phase. Ideally, cardiac drugs should only be prescribed after an exact
diagnosis has been obtained, their choice based on the specific needs of the individual patient, and on the best
available evidence. However, in view of only few prospective randomised trials in canine cardiology, more often
drugs have to be chosen based on pathophysiological logic. This article summarises the actions and indications of
the commonly used cardiac drugs and provides practical treatment recommendations to be used at the different
stages of heart failure.