Enalapril for Dogs

Enalapril for dogs is a prescription medication which is used to help treat mild conditions of congestive heart failure. Although the stage of heart failure will determine whether a medication can be used to help treat it, Enalapril is effective at helping the valves of the heart to pump blood more efficiently.

Explanation of Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure most commonly occurs in dogs of advanced age; however, puppies and young dogs are candidates for heart failure when it has been caused by a birth defect or abnormality.

The heart works as a pump to send the much needed blood supply to various parts of the body. When the body does not receive the blood that it needs to function, effected organs and tissue structures can start to break down and suffer form lack of oxygen

Most commonly, the valves of the heart become affected due to an underlying disease and they begin to have trouble pumping blood through the body. When this happens, the heart begins to swell and fluid builds in various areas of the body, such as the lungs and around the heart. This is turn causes congestive heart failure.

Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

Age and genetics are the most common predecessors for the development of congestive heart failure. As your dog's body ages, the muscles and valves of the heart begin to wear down over time and become weak. In addition, there are genetic tendencies that can make your dog more prone to developing the condition in his later years.

Although it is not near as common, sometimes congestive heart failure can strike puppies and younger dogs. This usually occurs because of a defect created at birth which prohibits the heart valves from functioning properly. Most commonly, the heart valves are created in an abnormal fashion and they cannot be used efficiently enough to suit the body.

Symptoms in Canines

The symptoms of congestive heart failure are, for the most part, directly related to the fact that your dog's body is not receiving enough oxygen from his blood. When this happens, you will start to notice some obvious changes in your dog.

Any of the following signs should be cause for concern:

  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy or sleeping more than normal
  • Swelling of the abdominal cavity, indicating build up of fluid
  • Paleness of the eyes and gums, indicating insufficient amounts of oxygen
  • Congestive sounding cough, indicating fluid build up in the lungs


The congestive build up around the heart and lungs can usually be heard with the use of a stethoscope. When congestion is heard, it will usually be enough to suspect the condition of congestive heart failure. However, in order to get an accurate diagnosis, an ECG, X-Ray or ultrasound will probably be required.

Treatment with Enalapril

Enalapril is often used for the treatment of congestive heart failure because it allows the blood vessels to dilate, thus providing vital organs the blood and oxygen they require. The stage of the heart failure and when the condition is detected will determine how effective Enalapril is at treating it. Although it cannot reverse the condition, it can certainly help the prognosis and life-span of your dog.