Hialeah Gardens, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/09/2014 -- Benzapril is prescribed to cats and dogs that have heart failure. It is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, and blocks a step in a process that makes a blood vessel-constricting hormone that increases blood pressure. It is also used to treat cats and dogs with kidney disease that are losing proteins that the kidneys cannot retain. It also lowers fluid accumulation on the lungs and is often used with the diuretic furosemide or Digoxin.
This drug should be given on an empty stomach and should not be abruptly discontinued. Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, low blood pressure, fever, fainting, dizziness and a change in the amount of water they drink and how often they urinate. Animals can have an allergic reaction to benazepril.
Rarely, kidney damage and low potassium levels have occurred. Rimadyl, used to treat arthritis and post-operatively pain management in dogs, other NSAIDs and aspirin should be not be used with benazepril due to the increased risk of kidney damage. Vasodilators and diuretics such as furosemide should be used with caution as it can cause dangerously low blood pressure. Animals that are pregnant or nursing should not be given this drug.
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