Pets and Animals

Enalapril for Dogs: Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Enalapril is often considered as the wonder drug for our friendly canine creatures. Providing solutions to a range of pathological conditions through a primary enzyme-blocking action.

Enalapril for dogs is one of the most effective medications. Enalapril is often used to treat heart failure, high blood pressure, several other heart conditions and chronic kidney failure in dogs. Enalapril is available in the market in the form of Enacard and Vasotec. 

Mode of action

Enalapril is extremely potent medicine and can be classified as an ACE inhibitor. It works by dilating the blood vessels of dogs and thereby lowering their blood pressures to a considerable degree.

If not administered properly, this extremely powerful medication might be the cause of some serious side-effects in dogs. 

ACE refers to an enzyme that is produced in the kidneys of these creatures and its main function is vasoconstriction. This means that the enzymes cause the blood vessels to constrict or narrow down and thereby control blood pressure.

The ACE inhibitors have a completely opposite mode of action. They cause vasodilation; i.e. relaxation of blood vessels.

Thereby, the blood pressure decreases as well as the blood flow in the vessels. In dogs, Enalapril blocks the action of ACE and results in increased blood flow. Another important aspect is that the action of Enalapril results in enhancing the intake of oxygen in the blood. 

Uses of Enalapril

Enalapril can be classified as a spectrum drug for dogs because of its versatile range of actions. Commonly, Enalapril is used to treat any condition which is related to Hypertension or is an actual result of it. If untreated, hypertension can be the cause of several mild to severe problems. These include the following.

  • Issues with the circulatory system
  • Blood vessels being damaged
  • Heart encountering damage
  • Intolerance to exercise 
  • Kidney problems 
  • Myocardial infarction or heart attack
  • Stroke. 

Apart from these, hypertension may lead to a range of symptoms which include :

  • Seizures 
  • Circling 
  • Eye and nose bleedings
  • Impairment and even loss of vision.

Therefore Enalapril finds its usage in the treatment of any condition which causes hypertension in dogs and these can be enumerated below. 

  • Congestive heart failure – Congestive heart failure is a disease in dogs that results from the accumulation of fluid in the cardiac compartments, blood capillaries, arteries and veins. It is the causative agent of pulmonary oedema too. Enalapril is often used to combat such disorders because it significantly boosts the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood more effectively. 

  • Cushing’s Disease in dogs – This condition results from the increased usage of the hormone called Cortisol. The condition can also be regarded as Hypercortisolism and Hyperadrenocorticism.

  • Hyperthyroidism – This condition is a direct result of the hyperactivity of the thyroid gland and the excessive production of Thyroxine, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Triiodothyronine and etc. 

  • Kidney diseases in dogs – Chronic kidney disease is a common problem in pets. Dogs might succumb to the effects of hypertension or elevated blood pressure due to chronic kidney diseases and therefore might experience a sudden loss of sight or retinal detachment. Enalapril might be recommended to nullify the negative effects of hypertension. In cases of chronic kidney diseases, Enalapril works by :

Thus Enalapril enhances the survival rate in dogs by curing their various symptoms. Enalapril is also effective for lowering the blood pressure and therefore helps in the heart pump more efficiently. It helps in preventing the build-up of fluid in their lungs as well as improving their exercise tolerance.

Correct dosage of Enalapril for dogs

If your dog is suffering from certain conditions as mentioned above and has been prescribed Enalapril by the veterinarian, the perfect dosage for administering the drug should be carefully noted.

The veterinarian takes into action numerous individual factors while specifying the dosage and it could be unique for your dog. So it should be borne in mind that only the perfect dosage for your dogs could be obtained from the veterinarian. You should not try to administer the drug on your whims or experiment with its dosage. The effects could be potentially dangerous.

Normally, the usual dosage of Enalapril for dogs includes o.25 mg per pound of their body weight, administered once a day. After administering, you should always keep your dogs under the supervision and offer them easy access to fresh water. This is because dehydration could otherwise lead to extremely low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders or kidney failure. 

Accidental overdose might lead to the development of symptoms like fainting, decreased heartbeat, and collapse. If such cases are suspected, then the veterinarian should be contacted urgently. It should be remembered, that it is better to miss a dosage than to overdose your dog. Thus, if you miss a dose, then just administer the next dosage without administering double the dosage the next time. 

Side effects of Enalapril

There are several potential side effects that may develop in dogs, post administration of Enalapril. These effects range from mild to serious. However, if those effects are concerning you, you should immediately seek refuge to your veterinarian and hope for alternative treatment options… A few of these side effects can be discussed below. 

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting 
  • Coughing 
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth 
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild itching 
  • Development of rashes 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase or decrease of urination 
  • Fainting 
  • Fever
  • Bruises and bleeding occurring easily 
  • Swelling 
  • Weight gain 
  • Drop-in blood pressure 
  • Failure of kidneys.

Final Words

Thus it has been established that Enalapril for dogs is a wonder drug. But a few things should be carefully considered if the health of your pet is your priority.

The veterinarian who is treating your dog should be aware of any medical conditions that your dog possesses. These may range from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, kidney or liver diseases.

They should also be supplied with the information about any other medications or supplements which are administered to your dog. This drug should be carefully administered as it often causes birth defects or harm puppies while they are nursing. 

As is common with all medications, Enalapril might also lead to allergic reactions. These might develop into Anaphylaxis which is a potentially life-threatening condition. Any similar issue should be immediately brought before the veterinarian in charge of your dog.

Thus, the health and well-being of your dog should be conserved by careful administration of this drug; combined with proper exercise, diet, and company.

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