Enalapril For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

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Enalapril is a drug that can be used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure in dogs, as well as several other heart conditions and chronic kidney failure. It is sometimes known by the brand names Enacard and Vasotec. Enalapril is a powerful ACE-inhibitor that is considered to be one of the most effective medications for dogs that suffer from cardiac and blood illnesses, though it is powerful and can cause serious side effects. It works by blocking an enzyme in the body that creates a substance that causes blood vessels to constrict. As blood vessels relax, blood pressure decreases, and more oxygen and blood is allowed to pass to the heart. This helps reduce stress on the heart and fluid build-up in the lungs. Veterinarians often combine enalapril with other medications such as Furosemide or Digoxin. If your veterinarian prescribes enalapril for your dog, follow dosage instructions carefully and report any concerning reactions or side effects. Here is what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of enalapril in dogs.

Uses Of Enalapril For Dogs

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Enalapril can be used to treat mild to severe heart failure and high blood pressure in dogs. It can also treat heart murmurs, chronic kidney failure, and other heart and blood illnesses. By lowering blood pressure, it helps the heart beat more efficiently and prevents fluid from building up in the lungs, improving exercise tolerance. It is a powerful medication that can only be obtained with a veterinary prescription.

Dosage Of Enalapril For Dogs

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The usual dosage of enalapril for dogs is 0.25 mg per pound of body weight given once per day. Water should be provided to dogs that take enalapril, as dehydration can lead to dangerously low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders, or kidney failure. Enalapril is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for dosage closely, as they may adjust it based on your dog’s reaction to the medication. Overdose can result in an unsafe drop in blood pressure or kidney failure.

Side Effects Of Enalapril For Dogs

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There are several potential side effects that have been observed in dogs that take enalapril that range from mild to serious. If you see concerning side effects in your dog, consult your veterinarian immediately, as they may wish to adjust the dosage or seek an alternative form of treatment. Here are some of the side effects of enalapril for dogs.

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild itching or rash
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Weight gain
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Kidney failure

Make sure your veterinarian knows about any medical conditions your dog has, especially diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, or liver disease, and let them know about any other medications your dog is taking, especially other ACE inhibitors, potassium supplements, or aspirin, as these may decrease the effectiveness or react poorly with enalapril. This drug may cause birth defects or harm puppies that are nursing. As with all medications, there is a risk of allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Contact your veterinarian right away if you see itchiness, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or other signs of an allergic reaction and stop giving your dog enalapril.

Has your dog ever taken enalapril? Was it effective? Let us know in the comments below!