Will Enalapril Help My Dog

Will Enalapril Help My Dog

Author WDF Staff


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Like humans, dogs can be prone to different health issues. In cases of heart or kidney problems, there is a chance your vet might prescribe your dog enalapril. Naturally, you want to know more about the drug your dog has to take and what effect on your dog’s body it will have. Here’s what you should know about enalapril for dogs.

What is enalapril?

Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor. It is used to treat different issues, but it is mainly used in cats, dogs, ferrets, and birds to treat heart failure, chronic kidney disease (not its primary purpose), high blood pressure, and proteinuria. Enalapril will block the enzymes that create a substance that causes blood vessels to constrict. When blood vessels are relaxed, they become wider. That means more oxygen and blood can flow through them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enalapril is a potent ACE inhibitor. If your vet prescribed it to your dog, chances are it is combined with another drug. It is absolutely crucial you follow your vet’s instructions to the dot.

Where to get enalapril?

As you can imagine, enalapril can only be prescribed by a licensed vet. That means you can pick this medication up in your local pet pharmacy or Chewy’s online pharmacy. In both cases, you will have to present a valid prescription.

Is it effective?

Cardiovascular issues like heart failure or high blood pressure can be extremely dangerous. It takes a specially strong medication to treat them. Luckily, enalapril is considered one of the most effective medications for dogs with heart failure and high blood pressure. It is very effective and potent. This medication should take effect about 2 hours after its administration. However, clinical improvements can be hard to spot, so additional tests might be needed.

Heart failure in dogs is terrible, and the average survival time after the diagnosis is 9 months. However, enalapril can significantly improve the diagnosed dog’s life. Some dog owners reported they got additional 2 years with their beloved pets. We would consider that highly effective since heart failure is, unfortunately, not curable.

Is it safe for my dog?

Enalapril is a very powerful medication, and it should absolutely never be given to dogs without consulting a vet first. Considering the situation and illnesses this drug treats, it can be regarded as reasonably safe. If you think about what might happen if the dog doesn’t take the medication, enduring a few side effects doesn’t seem bad.

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Enalapril side effects

Potent meds usually pack a punch, and enalapril is no different. Due to its potency, dogs will probably have some side effects. However, the reactions different dogs have are vastly different. Some dogs simply take this medication better than others. These dogs only end up with mild side effects, but dogs that don’t handle the drug that well might develop severe side effects. You can’t be sure in which of these two groups your dog will fall into, but you should know the most common enalapril side effects for dogs are;

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

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enalapril is not safe for pregnant dogs and their puppies. This powerful medication should not be given to pregnant or nursing dogs because it can cause birth defects.


Before your vet prescribes this medication to your dog, they should ask you many questions about your dog and their medical history. The good thing is that your vet probably knows your dog medical history pretty well, so they will know if your dog has any bad reactions to ACE inhibitors or any other drugs. However, you should tell your vet if your dog takes any supplements or aids because they can influence the effectiveness of this medication.

How is it given to dogs?

Enalapril is usually given to dogs as a tablet or a liquid at home. However, in hospitals, vets can give this medication through an injection in the vein. It is usually given on an empty stomach, but some dogs seem to vomit after that. If that happens, add some food for the next dosage. Most dogs take it once every 24 hours, but your vet might adapt the dosage or frequency, so make sure to follow their instructions.

World Dog Finder team

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