Enalapril For Dogs – What It Does And When To Use It

Enalapril for dogs

Has your furry friend recently been prescribed the medication Enalapril? Or perhaps you’re doing some independent research before taking your pooch to the vet. Are you wondering what Enalapril for dogs does? How does it work? What are the possible Enalapril side effects in dogs? Luckily, those are the very questions this article is going to explore! We’ll look at scientific studies involving Enalapril for dogs, explore how this medication works, and take a good long look at any possible side effects.

What is Enalapril for Dogs

Enalapril for dogs, also known as Enacard and Vastotec, is a medication commonly used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure in dogs. It is a powerful ACE-inhibitor. Basically, this means that it helps to relax blood vessels by preventing the production of an enzyme that causes blood vessels to restrict. This narrowing can cause higher blood pressure and cause the heart to work harder to pump blood.

In other words, Enalapril prevents this restriction of the blood vessels, which can improve the condition of dogs with heart failure and high blood pressure.

What is Enalapril used for in dogs?

Mostly, Enalapril is used to treat heart failure in canines. This is because it allows your pooch’s blood vessels to relax, which reduces the strain on the pumping heart. One study found that Enalapril was very effective at treating heart failure. Specifically speaking, it was discovered that without this medication, the dogs studied had a particularly higher chance of dying or progressing further.

Another study also found that dogs treated with Enalapril actually had significantly greater decreases in the severity of heart failure. In other words, this medication not only prevented them from getting worse, but it also allowed them to get slightly better.

Enalapril is also used to treat dogs with renal insufficiency. This is because Enalapril for dogs reduces the production of the enzyme that commonly causes the disease to progress. It does not necessarily cure the disorder. However, it can go a long way to prevent it from progressing.

One study in 2003 discovered that dogs who were given Enalapril progressed much slower in the disease than dogs who were not. In other words, Enalapril was found to be effective at treating renal insufficiency.

Enalapril for dogs is also used to treat heart murmurs, chronic kidney failure, and other heart and blood disorders. It is also sometimes used to treat very high blood pressure, due to its ability to relax the blood vessels. Occasionally, it is also used to prevent the buildup of fluid in the lungs and improve exercise tolerance in sickly canines. However, Enalapril for dogs can only be obtained through a veterinary prescription.

Is Enalapril for Dogs Safe and Effective?

These are perhaps the two most important questions many pet owners have when it comes to a new medication: Is it safe and is it effective? After all, we want whatever medications our furry friends are on to work correctly and work well. Is Enalapril, then, safe and effective for dogs? Let’s look at a couple of studies to find out:

One study found that Enalapril had surprisingly few side effects when weighed against the effectiveness. This was true when used in dogs even with severe congestive heart failure.

A different study, as well, found that Enalapril had no major negative effect on dogs, even when taken for periods of up to two years. This study, therefore, also concluded that Enalapril was a safe option for dogs who needed it.

Another study focused specifically on the effectiveness of Enalapril when compared to other drugs of the same type, specifically Imidapril. It was discovered that both drugs were about as equally effective, with very similar statistics of side effects. Basically, neither drug was more safe nor more effective than the other.

This makes Enalapril a very safe and effective choice for dogs who are prescribed this medication. However, just because this drug is generally very safe does not mean that it is okay to attempt to self-treat your pet without vet supervision. This medication can have negative effects if it is not suitable for a certain dog.

Furthermore, Enalapril can be harmful if given to a pet that does not first have a diagnosis. This is why it is always important to take your pooch to the vet whenever they start showing troublesome symptoms. It is really important to only attempt to use medication under the instruction of your dog’s vet.

What is Enalapril for dogs?

Enalapril Dosage for Dogs

Like most medications, the dosage for Enalapril for dogs really depends on your pup’s particular weight. Your veterinarian will be able to provide more information about the specific dose you should give to your canine. Enalapril is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets. The specific tablet your pup will take depends on their size and dosage.

Always follow your vet’s instructions when giving your dog Enalapril. This is especially true when it comes to dosage. Every possible step should be taken to ensure that your pet gets the correct amount of medication. Water should always be provided to dogs who take Enalapril, especially directly after taking the medication. Enalapril can increase the likelihood of dehydration in dogs, so it is very important to always ensure that your canine has access to water.

If Your Dog Missed Dose Enalapril

Should you accidentally forget to give your pup their normal dose of Enalapril, give the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is already almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Never give two doses to your pet at the same time or close together.

Enalapril for Dogs Side Effects

Every medication has the chance to cause side effects, even if taken and used correctly. Only your vet can decide if any possible medication is worth the side effect risk. Enalapril for dogs is observed to cause a number of occasional side effects in dogs, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Coughing
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching
  • Increased urination
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Weight gain
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of appetite

If you have any specific questions regarding your dog’s chances for side effects, your vet should be able to help. If your pup ever shows strange behavior after taking the medication, even if it is not one of those listed, it is important to contact your vert as soon as possible and report it.

Only stop giving Enalapril if you pup exhibits serious side effects, such as fainting or severe diarrhea. If your pet only has minor side effects, contact your vet before stopping the medication. Always contact your vet if your pooch exhibits side effects.

Enalapril for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Using Enalapril for dogs in canines with kidney disease is usually not recommended. However, it is important to remember that your vet is the number one person to decide if the risks are worth the benefits in terms of your particular dog. You should also let your vet know if your pooch has any other previous medical conditions, especially diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. You should also inform your vet if your pup is on any other medications.

Your canine guide to Enalapril - Dog health & care information from The Labrador Site. Enalapril Use in Dogs

Enalapril is a medication that primarily works by relaxing the blood vessels in the body, which lowers blood pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump. A number of studies have shown that Enalapril is effective and safe for treating a number of disorders. These include heart failure, renal insufficiency, high blood pressure, and many more.

Enalapril is only available by vet prescription, and for good reason. You should never attempt to self-treat a dog with Enalapril without a vet’s instruction. Use of Enalapril for dogs without a diagnosis can lead to all sorts of issues. Just like with every medication, Enalapril has been observed to cause a number of side effects. However, luckily, most of these side effects are very minor.

References and Further Reading

Woodfield, Jerry. “Controlled Clinical Evaluation of Enalapril in Dogs With Heart Failure: Results of the Cooperative Veterinary Enalapril Study Group The COVE Study Group.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 1995.

Sisson, David. “Acute and Short‐Term Hemodynamic, Echocardiography, and Clinical Effects of Enalapril Maleate in Dogs With Naturally Acquired Heart Failure: Results of the Invasive Multicenter PROspective Veterinary Evaluation of Enalapril Study: The IMPROVE Study Group.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 1995.

Brown, Scott. “Evaluation of the effects of inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme with enalapril in dogs with induced chronic renal insufficiency.” American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2003.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Atkins, Clarke. “Effects of long-term administration of enalapril on clinical indicators of renal function in dogs with compensated mitral regurgitation.” Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. 2002.

Amberger, Chris. “Comparison of the effects of imidapril and enalapril in a prospective, multicentric randomized trial in dogs with naturally acquired heart failure.” Journal of Veterinary Cardiology. 2004.

Shi, Yanfen. “Enalapril effects on atrial remodeling and atrial fibrillation in experimental congestive heart failure.” Cardiovascular Research. 2002.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website