Enalapril for Dogs

A potent ACE inhibitor, Enalapril, is mainly used for managing hypertension, proteinuria, and heart failure in dogs, ferrets, cats, and other animals. Promoted under brand names including Epaned®, Xanef®, Reniten®, Renitec®, Lotrial®, Vasotec®, and Enacard®, Enalapril also helps in treating chronic kidney disease. Vets more often prescribe Enalapril as an 'extra-label' drug for dealing with and controlling specific health issues like CHF (congestive heart failure) and heart murmur.

Enalapril is recurrently used with numerous other heart medications, such as beta-blockers or diuretics. FDA has approved the use of Enalapril for dogs and not for other pets like cats, birds or ferrets.

Enalapril at a Glance

Brand Name

Enacard®, Vasotec®

Generic Name

Enalapril maleate

Drug Type

ACE inhibitor

Is it FDA-approved for dogs?

Yes; only for dogs

Recommended for

Cats and dogs



Available in Forms

Oral solution; tablets (1mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg)


How safe is Enalapril for Your Dog?

Enalapril is relatively safe for dogs when used the medication for coping with hypertension and CHF. However, it is a powerful drug that can lead to adverse side effects if you don't follow recommended dosage instructions.

Enalapril Pharmacokinetics

Enalapril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme controlling the flow of blood and fluids by transforming angiotensin into vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. The conversion of angiotensin, a hormone, into vasoconstrictor angiotensin II causes constriction of blood vessels, boosting blood pressure. Once blood starts flowing at increased pressure, the heart automatically has to pump out blood at the same pressure to maintain the consistency of flow throughout the body.

As Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor, the drug interferes with the functioning of the angiotensin hormone, eventually preventing angiotensin II production. The resultant effect enables blood vessels to transport blood in a usual manner, thus helping maintain normal blood pressure.

Dosage: The Appropriate Amount of Enalapril You Should Administer

The dosage your vet may prescribe will, for the most part, depend on your dog's age, body weight, and specific health condition. The typical dosage is approximately 0.25 mg/lb, depending on the importance of your dog and should be administered once daily. The severity of the health issue and your dog's responsiveness to therapy will determine the treatment's duration.

Vets suggest offering the tablet in whole (instead of crushing it) together with food for maximum effect. Enalapril is usually administered orally in a liquid or a pill but can also be given as an injectable in a vet hospital. Make sure that your pet takes medicine with food and drinks plenty of water to reduce the chances of emesis. 


Potential Side Effects

Side effects associated with Enalapril range from moderate to acute. In case you notice any of the following adverse effects in your pet, then contact your vet at once:-

  • The abrupt drop in blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Change in weight
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Blackout
  • Increased or reduced urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

The vet may consider adjusting the dosage, and if that doesn't work, they might suggest an alternative therapy.

Overdosing Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of overdosing is a drastic drop in blood pressure—other signs and symptoms include pale gums, acute lethargy, and loss of consciousness. Sometimes Enalapril overdose for a prolonged period could cause kidney failure, especially if your dog already has kidney disease, though it's rare.  

Contraindications: When Not to Offer Enalapril to Dogs?

Your vet may think twice before prescribing Enalapril if your dog is:-

  • Allergic to the drug
  • Nursing or pregnant
  • Afflicted with kidney disease

Enalapril interacts with diuretics, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, anticoagulants, etc. Therefore let your vet know if your pet is taking any of these medications for a preexisting condition.

Disclaimer: The above content is based on multiple research articles referred to online. Global Dog Breeds intends to share information, but it's strictly advised to consult a veterinarian and seek advice before using any medications described. We believe each condition and dog is unique, and only after careful evaluation from a qualified professional should you be offering any medications to your pet.

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