Benazepril is an ACE inhibitor, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, medication that helps to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure in dogs. Basically, here are the key things to know about how it works:
- Benazepril blocks the formation of a hormone called angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to constrict. By blocking it, benazepril helps blood vessels relax and open up, lowering blood pressure.
- It also inhibits the degradation of bradykinin, a hormone that further helps to expand blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
- The effects help reduce the workload on the heart and improve its pumping efficiency if congestive heart failure is present.
- By improving blood flow and easing the strain on the heart, benazepril helps many dogs feel better and slows the progression of heart disease.
So in short – benazepril is an ACE inhibitor that works by blocking hormones that constrict blood vessels. This widens vessels, improves blood flow, lowers high blood pressure, and takes strain off the heart.
Pretty impressive for a small tablet! Now that you understand the medication’s mechanism of action, let’s go over proper dosage and potential side effects.
Benazepril Dosage for Dogs
- The typical dosage of benazepril for dogs is 0.25-0.5 mg per pound given once or twice daily.
- Your vet will prescribe a dosage that is right for your dog based on their weight, medical condition, and response to treatment. Never change your dog’s benazepril dosage or schedule without consulting your vet first.
- For mild cases, 0.25 mg per pound once a day is usually recommended. For more severe cases, 0.25 mg per pound twice a day or 0.5 mg per pound once a day may be prescribed.
- Benazepril is available as tablets or flavored liquids to make it easier to give the medication. Tablets should be given with food.
- When starting benazepril, your vet may begin with a low dose and gradually increase it to achieve the desired effect. Monitor your dog closely for improvement in symptoms or side effects.
- If giving liquid benazepril, carefully follow the dosing instructions provided with the medication package or dispenser. Never exceed the prescribed dosage for your dog’s weight.
- Even once an effective dosage is reached, your vet will want to see your dog for periodic checkups to determine if any changes need to be made.
By carefully following your veterinarian’s prescribed benazepril dosage and schedule for your dog, you can help manage its heart disease symptoms and give it the best quality of life possible. Let your vet know right away if you have any concerns with the medication.
Potential Side Effects of Benazepril
When giving your dog Benazepril, be aware of some potential side effects to monitor. As with any medication, some dogs may experience side effects while others do not. Common side effects are mild but there are rare, more serious risks to be aware of too.
Some potential side effects include:
- Lethargy or fatigue – your dog may seem more tired than usual
- Loss of appetite – your dog may lose interest in food or eat less
- Gastrointestinal issues – vomiting, diarrhea, or soft stools
- Allergic reactions – itching, hives, or skin irritation
Most of these side effects are mild, transient and resolve on their own. If they persist for more than 2-3 days or seem to bother your dog, contact your vet.
While rare, Benazepril can potentially cause:
- Kidney problems – leading to increased thirst and urination
- Liver issues – causing jaundice and vomiting
- Reversible reduction in red blood cells (anemia)
- These require prompt veterinary attention if they develop.
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Careful monitoring and awareness of risks allows detection of side effects early. Inform your vet promptly about concerning or persistent side effects in your dog after starting Benazepril.