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PetHealth Care

An in-depth discussion on Enalapril 


Enalapril for dogs is a very useful medicine and it is used for treating high blood pressure and heart failure in dogs. It is also used for treating other heart conditions and kidney diseases in dogs. 

Enalapril is a powerful ACE inhibitor and it is one of the most useful and effective medications for dogs suffering from blood illnesses and cardiac diseases. Though it is a very powerful medicine, it has some major side effects. 

The medicine functions in the body of a dog by blocking an enzyme that constricts blood vessels. This medicine allows the blood vessels to relax and in turn, blood pressure decreases, and more blood and oxygen can pass to the heart. This medicine reduces stress on the heart and fluid build-up in the lungs. Enalapril’s brand names are Enacard and Vasotec. 

In case your dog is a vegetarian, you can give him it by combining it with other medications such as Furosemide or Digoxin. Another thing is that, while giving enalapril to your dog, follow dosage instructions properly and make sure to report any kind of side effects or concerning reactions. 

In this blog, we will have a detailed discussion on the mode of action, uses doses, and side effects of enalapril in dogs. 

Mode of action of enalapril 

The narrowing of blood vessels leads to an increase in blood pressure as a requirement for the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. It is an ACE inhibitor and we have discussed above that it mainly blocks an enzyme that constricts and tightens the blood vessels of dogs

Its doses widen the diameter of the blood vessels since they block the production of that tightening enzyme. This increase in diameter decreases the blood pressure by making it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the vessels of the body. 

In addition to this, it also increases the flow of blood to the kidneys, which is extremely beneficial for some dogs who are suffering from kidney disease. Furthermore, Enalapril also reduces the amount of usable protein by making their escape through the kidneys into the urine. 

Dosage of Enalapril for dogs 

The usual dosage of this is 2.5 mg for dogs. Dogs who regularly take enalapril should always be given sufficient amounts of freshwater since dehydration can lead to very low blood pressure, electrolyte disorders, and kidney failure. 

The medicine is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg tablets. Always make sure to follow your vet’s instructions properly for dosage, as they can adjust it depending on your dog’s reaction to the medication. 

And another vital thing to keep in mind is that an overdose of it can lead to an unsafe drop in blood pressure or kidney failure in your dog. So always try to follow the Enalapril dosage for dogs

Now we will have a look at the side effects of this drug in dogs.

Side effects of Enalapril 

There are various side effects that doctors have observed in dogs who consume enalapril from mild to serious. It is a medication used in dogs for treating certain health conditions but if you observe any kind of side effects in your dog, then you must immediately consult your vet. 

As they may help you by adjusting the dosage or will provide an alternative form of treatment. 

Here are a few side effects of enalapril for dogs:

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting tendency
  • Nausea
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Decreased or increased urination
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Swelling
  • Easy bleeding
  • Weight gain
  • Drop-in blood pressure
  • Kidney failure

Before giving your dog the medicine, make sure that your doctor knows very well about the mental conditions that your dog has, such as diabetes, kidney disease, lupus, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Also let the doctor know about the other medications that your dog takes, like potassium supplements, ACE inhibitors, aspirin since these can impact the effectiveness of it or reach poorly with it causing severe health issues. Another thing that you should know is that these drugs cause birth defects and are very harmful to puppies who are nursing. 

Like other medications, in the case of enalapril also there is a risk of allergic reaction that can lead to potentially life-threatening condition anaphylaxis. If you notice any kind of itchiness, swelling, difficulty in breathing, hives or any other kind of allergic reaction in your dog then stop giving him enalapril and contact your doctor right away. 


The first, important thing that you need to do is to keep this drug out of the reach of children. Remember that enalapril is a prescribed drug and it should be used as per your doctor’s instructions. Only give it to the animal for whom it is prescribed, don’t give it to any other person. 

If you are giving your dog enalapril regularly then you need to check his blood chemistry, blood pressure and kidney function regularly. 

Though enalapril is used for treating kidney diseases, we have come across some of the cases where enalapril therapy has worsened the underlying kidney issues. So be careful while giving it to your pet dog. 

Enalapril is removed from the body by the kidneys. Dogs with decreased kidney function will require additional monitoring. Besides this, Enalapril may also change the insulin needs in diabetic animals. So a diabetic dog will more likely require additional monitoring. 

Avoid using enalapril for pregnant or lactating dogs or any other pets. 


Therefore properly follow the dosage routine and keep in mind the side effects and precautions that you need to take while giving enalapril to your pet dog or cat. 

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