There is nothing worse than watching your pet fall sick, and nothing more rewarding than nursing them back to health in the process. Even if your pet has is showing certain signs that betray a deeper underlying condition, this is no cause for alarm. In recent times there have been remarkable advancements in medicine that can treat chronic illnesses in dogs to a large extent and help to control the symptoms.
One such drug often prescribed to pets for organ related issues is Enalapril. This medicine when used in the proper manner can cure a variety of severe problems and nurse your dog back to health. The key is to remember that no matter how widely Enalapril may be used to treat diseases in dogs, it must be given only as the vet advices for maximum effect.
Enalapril is a commonly used drug used to cure heart and kidney diseases in dogs. It is also frequently used to cure other heart related problems such as high blood pressure, or hypertension. This drug cannot be purchased without a prescription from the vet, and sometimes may be available for purchase only through the vet’s office.
How does Enalapril help your dog?
This medicine works by relaxing your pet’s blood vessels, thus making the blood circulation easier in their bodies. Consequently, this reduces the blood pressure and makes the pumping of blood easier for the heart. It is essentially an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor that restricts the enzyme causing the blood vessels to shrink.
This medicine is often prescribed in combination with various other medicines required to treat such health conditions, but is nevertheless an integral aspect of the treatment. Usually it is available as tablets of 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg strength. The accepted dosage is 0.25mg a pound a day for dogs. It is decided taking into consideration other factors such as medical history, and allergic reactions, among others.
As a medicine it can be remarkably effective, but it is not without side effects when given in the wrong manner. One must not take it lightly and be aware of the exact method of administering the medicine, and when to proceed with caution.
The Do’s of Using Enalapril
Keep in mind the following points while your dog is on this medication. Most of them are very crucial and useful tips the vet may have already shared with you:
- The medicine must never be given without consulting the vet first. It is also necessary to note that the medicine must be given in the exact dose prescribed by the vet.
- If the medicine is in the form of a suspension it must be refrigerated. The tablets may be stored in a cool, dry space away from moisture.
- If any dosage has been missed, it is advisable to give it as soon as one remembers. If it happens to be too close to the next scheduled dosage, it is best to stick to the original routine.
- If you are afraid you have exceeded the required dosage by mistake, attempt to empty their gut naturally.
- Be sure to mention to the vet any other conditions your dog may have or other medicines they take, because Enalapril has been found to react with other drugs.
- Always monitor your dog while they are required to take this medicine to watch for any possible reactions. Contact your vet immediately if side effects such as dizziness, dry cough, nausea, loss of appetite, swellings, stomach upsets, or rashes are visible.
- Watch for allergic reactions when giving the medicine for the first time. Such reactions may include breathlessness, hives, allergic swellings, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis, which may be fatal if not treated at once.
- If your dog has improper liver function or is diabetic, take extra care since this medication affects both the liver and the level of daily insulin requirement.
- While on this medicine do not give your dog any synthesized potassium supplements unless directed by the vet.
- The medicine may be in the form of a tablet or administered through a liquid, or injected intravenously. Discuss with the vet the best option which will benefit your dog the most and hurt them the least.
- Avoid giving this medicine on an empty stomach as it may lead to vomiting. You may also choose to mix this in with their food if the vet allows it.
- Ensure that while your dog is on this medicine, he or she has adequate supply of clean drinking water all through the day. Sufficient drinking water cannot be compromised on.
The Don’ts of Using Enalapril
There are several precautions that one must take if their pet is taking this medicine, and one can never be too cautious when it comes to their furry loved ones. Here are some of the basic things to keep in mind when giving this medicine to your dog:
- Never give this medicine to any other animal except for the one for whom it is intended. If you have multiple pets at home then take care to keep Enalapril out of their reach. Also keep out of reach of children as it can have disastrous results if ingested.
- Do not forget to closely monitor your dog’s condition while they are on this medicine. Such monitoring includes a regular check up of their blood pressure levels, a complete blood report, and kidney function tests. This makes sure that you are aware the medicine is working and not worsening the condition.
- Do not give this medicine if your dog is pregnant or nursing little puppies, as it may cause birth defects or harm the puppies.
- Always stick to the usual dosage prescribed by the vet, regardless of whether you have missed a dose. Maintain a chart or an alarm system if necessary to remind you to give them their medicine.
- Overdosing may lead to sudden drops in blood pressure or kidney failure. It may also cause severe hypotension which can lead to hospitalization to monitor vital signs.
- Never allow your dog to be dehydrated while taking the medicine because this may lead to fatally low blood pressure, or disorders pertaining to electrolyte levels of the body.
- Self-medicating is not an option when it comes to using this medicine. Do not stop administering the dose abruptly or use it beyond the required number of doses as prescribed by the vet.
- If you do not see your pet responding suitably to the medicine within a few hours of taking the first dose, do not take it lightly. Inform the vet at once and perform the necessary tests required to evaluate the condition.
What other precautions can be taken?
There are also other ways to ensure your pet’s safety while giving them Enalapril. Usually pets that are advised to take this medicine suffer from other complications of health and are already on other kinds of medication. In these stages certain adjustments may have to be made before getting the proportions absolutely right for best results, and some side effects may appear.
These side effects usually go away with time or by changing certain other drugs they may be bypassed easily. Sometimes it also helps by phasing out the timings of doses to allow the body to adjust naturally. However this is no cause for alarm as close monitoring of the situation and following the do’s and don’ts can ensure they are safe and sound.
What will help your dog the most?
Paying close attention to diet and certain lifestyle changes can go a long way. Rest, limited exercise, and adequate hydration are key for this medicine to function optimally. Do not ever take for granted that the medicine will naturally heal your pup without any extra efforts from your end. It is unfortunate that dogs cannot be made adequately aware of their condition so the onus is on you to nurse them to health.
The vet will also prescribe routine blood tests to keep an eye on how the medicine is affecting your pet internally. These often include electrolytes tests and urine protein content tests, which must be done as often as required in order to achieve best results. This is stressful for both the pet and the pet owner, but remember that your dog needs you now more than ever and will surely be healthier with a little patience and loads of love.