Cardalis for dogs
Benazepril / Spironolactone
What is Cardalis?
Cardalis contains a combination of the diuretic ‘spironolactone’ and the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor ‘benazepril’ and is used to treat congestive heart failure in dogs. The diuretic portion reduces fluid build-up in the lungs and abdominal cavity, improving symptoms like coughing and making breathing easier. The ACE inhibitor lowers the blood pressure by reducing vasoconstriction.
What does Cardalis do?
Cardalis is specifically designed to treat heart conditions, particularly congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs. The active ingredients work in tandem:
- Benazepril – is an ACE inhibitor (Angiotensin – Converting Enzyme inhibitor) that dilates blood vessels, reducing the workload on the heart and improving blood flow.
- Spironolactone is a diuretic that helps eliminate excess fluid from the body, reducing swelling and improving heart function. Unlike furosemide (Frusedale), it is a potassium-sparing diuretic, meaning it gets rid of excess fluid without losing too much potassium.
What is Cardalis for?
Cardalis is primarily used to manage heart conditions in dogs. Both active ingredients are useful in dogs with heart failure caused by various heart conditions, most commonly Mitral Valve Disease (MVD).
The active ingredients work together to make the heart’s job easier while reducing symptoms caused by fluid build-up in the lungs. This can improve the symptoms associated with heart disease and therefore improve the quality of life for dogs with this condition.
What are the possible side effects with Cardalis?
While generally well-tolerated, Cardalis may have side effects, including:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Loss of appetite
In addition, allergies to ACE inhibitors like benazepril are known and Cardalis should not be given if your dog has previously had a problem with an ACE inhibitor.
In dogs with kidney failure, slight increases in a blood marker called ‘creatinine’ may happen after this drug is given.
If you notice any potential side effects in your dog, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Which pets is Cardalis not suitable for?
- Cardalis should only be used in dogs, it is not licensed for cats. However, vets can use medications off-label based on experience.
- Cardalis should not be used in dogs who are pregnant, as the active ingredient can cause abnormalities to the foetus.
- The safety of Cardalis in lactating female dogs has not been tested; therefore, it should not be used unless advised by a vet.
- Cardalis may not be suitable in dogs who won’t take tablets. However, the tablets are chewable and intended to be palatable. They should also be given with food which may make it them easier to give.
- Cardalis shouldn’t be used in dogs who are allergic to either of the ingredients.
- Medications like Metacam (meloxicam) can cause problems in dogs with kidney disease when used alongside Cardalis.
- Cardalis can affect your dog’s electrolyte levels (e.g., sodium, potassium), so if your dog is known to have an electrolyte imbalance, Cardalis should be avoided.
- Cardalis should not be used in dogs while they are still growing, as it can affect hormone production.
- Dogs with kidney and liver problems may be treated with Cardalis, depending on their condition. Therefore, always follow your vet’s advice.
How to give Cardalis safely
- Follow vet instructions: Always use Cardalis exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your dog seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.
- Communicate with your vet: Your vet will have access to your dog’s medical history. However, if you’re unsure whether they are aware of a particular health condition that your dog has, it’s best to let them know. Cardalis should be used with caution in dogs with liver or kidney problems.
- Give with or before food: It’s safest to give Cardalis with food. You can either put it on your pet’s main meal or mix it with a small amount of food given just before their main meal.
- Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but it’s always worth double-checking in case there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. If your dog is on supplements or non-prescription treatments you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Cardalis, as they may not be suitable to be given together. Similarly, while Cardalis is safe to use in combination with furosemide (Frusedale), other heart or blood pressure medications may not be suitable for simultaneous use. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like Metacam can make Cardalis less effective, so your vet may wish to monitor your dog more closely if both treatments are used.
- Inform your vet if your dog is pregnant or you are planning to breed from them: Cardalis is not safe for use during pregnancy as it can cause health defects in the foetus. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your vet informed if this could be a consideration.
- Storage and handling: Store Cardalis according to the instructions on the label, usually in a cool and dry place. Make sure it’s out of reach of children and other pets. Pregnant women should not handle Cardalis and anyone who handles the medication should wash their hands afterwards.
- Report any accidental overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Cardalis, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. They may recommend making your dog vomit up the medication, and suggest blood tests, intravenous fluids, or monitoring, depending on the severity of the overdose.
When should I give my dog Cardalis?
You should give your dog Cardalis if it is prescribed by a vet. Cardalis is usually prescribed for heart failure in dogs, which may be caused by a variety of heart conditions. Cardalis is usually given once daily by mouth, with food, and should be given at the prescribed dose.
Can Cardalis be used in cats?
Cardalis is only licensed for use in dogs, meaning that it has only been proven safe and effective in this species. Therefore, the use of Cardalis in cats is off-label and not recommended.
Can Cardalis be crushed or split?
Cardalis can be split into halves for accurate dosing. However, there is no information available regarding the safety or effectiveness of the tablets when they are crushed. Therefore, it’s best not to crush the tablets.
How long does it take for Cardalis to work?
By the second day of treatment, steady levels of Cardalis are achieved in the bloodstream by 2 to 4 hours after dosing, and these levels persist for 9 to 14 hours. Therefore, Cardalis starts working within 2 to 4 hours; however, depending on your dog’s symptoms, it may take longer for an improvement to be seen.
All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Cardalis box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.