Fortekor for dogs and cats



Active ingredient

Benazepril Hydrochloride


Heart / Kidney / Blood Pressure

What is Fortekor?

Fortekor is a brand name for a drug with the active ingredient benazepril hydrochloride. It is an ACE inhibitor, a type of drug which widens blood vessels, helping the heart to work more effectively.

What does Fortekor do?

Fortekor (Benazepril Hydrochloride) is an ACE inhibitor that widens blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure, therefore improving blood flow and oxygen supply to the body. The heart’s workload is also reduced as it is easier for the heart to pump blood through relaxed blood vessels. It’s important to minimise the heart’s workload when a pet has heart failure.

Additionally, Fortekor has beneficial effects for cats and dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In these cases, the blood pressure in the kidneys is abnormally high, which causes proteins to leak into the urine, which causes a poor prognosis. By lowering glomerular capillary pressure, Fortekor can reduce this protein loss through the kidneys. Lowering the glomerular capillary pressure may also reduce further damage to the kidneys and slow down the progression of CKD.

What is Fortekor for?

Fortekor is used for various conditions in dogs and cats, including:

  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Commonly prescribed for dogs with CHF due to valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), etc.  Alleviates symptoms such as coughing and fluid retention. 
  • Proteinuria associated with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in cats and dogs

What are the possible side effects with Fortekor?

While generally well-tolerated, Fortekor may have side effects, including:

  • Change in appetite: Some pets may experience a temporary loss of interest in food. However, some cats may experience weight gain and increased appetite.
  • Weakness: Pets may exhibit weakness, especially during the initial stages of treatment.
  • Vomiting: Some pets do not tolerate this medication well and it may cause vomiting.
  • Increased blood creatinine levels in cats and dogs: Blood creatinine is a marker of kidney function, and elevated creatinine may indicate kidney issues. However, increased creatinine is an expected consequence of lowered blood pressure when Fortekor is started. Your veterinarian will take other information into account (e.g. history, physical exam findings) and monitor your pet to determine if it is a cause for concern.

This is not an exhaustive list, and some pets will develop other symptoms. If these symptoms persist or worsen, contact your veterinarian.

How to give Fortekor safely

  • Follow vet instructions: Give Fortekor as instructed by your veterinarian. Do not change the dose without consulting your veterinarian. If you feel that your pet will do better with revised instructions for Fortekor, please discuss your concerns with your vet and they will advise accordingly.
  • Administer with or without food: Fortekor can be given with or without food, but consistency is key. Contact your vet if you have missed a dose.
  • Keep regular veterinary check-ups: Monitor your pet’s response and attend scheduled veterinary appointments.
  • Storage and Handling: Keep Fortekor in a cool, dry place, and out of reach of children and pets. Do not store above 25 °C. Wash hands after use. Take particular care with storing half-tablets.
  • Contact your vet in case of overdose: Fortekor overdose can lower the blood pressure too much and be dangerous. If you accidentally overdose your pet by giving too much medication at once or giving more frequently than prescribed, please contact your vet immediately for advice.
  • Wash hands after use: To avoid accidental oral intake of Fortekor, you should wash your hands after giving this medication to your cat or dog. Pregnant women should take particular care not to accidentally take Fortekor, as it can have effects on the foetus. 

Fortekor FAQs

Can Fortekor be used in cats and dogs?

Yes, Fortekor is formulated for both cats and dogs. The smaller 2.5 and 5mg tablets are designed for cats and dogs, while the larger 20mg tablets are just for dogs.

Can Fortekor be crushed or split?

Fortekor tablets can be halved, and are scored on both sides to allow easy splitting. Fortekor can also be crushed, but you need to make sure they still get the correct dose. Talk to your vet if you are having trouble giving Fortekor, as they may be able to offer advice.

How long does my pet have to be on Fortekor?

Fortekor is long-term medication and is usually prescribed for life. If Fortekor is stopped, the blood pressure will rise and the heart will go back to working harder, which can be serious if the heart disease has progressed in the meantime. Check with your vet for specific advice for your pet’s individual situation.

How long does it take for Fortekor to work?

The drug in Fortekor works within hours, but it can typically take a few days to weeks for the symptoms associated with CKD or heart failure to reduce.

Can Fortekor be given with other medications or supplements?

Fortekor is often given with other medications to manage heart failure and kidney disease. Ensure that your vet knows about all of the medications and supplements that you are feeding your pet – they will advise accordingly.

Is FORTEKOR and Vetace the same thing?

Fortekor and Vetace are different brand names for the drug benazepril. However, Vetace is not available in the UK. Other brand names for benazepril in the UK include Benefortin, Nelio, and Benazecare. Fortekor Plus and Cardalis also contain benazepril, but mixed with other active ingredients.

Is Fortekor Plus the same as Fortekor?

Fortekor Plus and Fortekor are not the same. Fortekor Plus also contains pimobendan alongside the benazepril, as these drugs are often given together.

Fortekor Datasheet

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 Fortekor box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Courses related to Fortekor

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.