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.

Which pets is Fortekor not suitable for?

Fortekor should not be used in pets who are:

  • Allergic to any ingredients
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Suffering with acute renal failure or low blood pressure
  • Suffering with the heart diseases aortic or pulmonary stenosis

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. 

What sort of monitoring do pets on Fortekor need?

  • Medium


    It’s recommended to periodically check electrolytes and kidney values by doing blood tests in pets on Fortekor.

The amount of monitoring a pet on Fortekor needs will depend on their condition and how ill they are. To begin with, they’ll need a few vet visits and blood tests to check how they’re responding to Fortekor. Then this normally reduces for a time until their symptoms change. All in all, it’s likely they’ll need a check from a vet every 2-3 months, but this can vary hugely. Regular blood tests may also be required.

How much does Fortekor cost?

  • pound

    ££ – Moderately expensive

    Fortekor costs £15-100 per month

The cost of Fortekor depends on the size of your pet and the dose they’re on, as well as whether they’re taking Fortekor or Fortekor Flavour. A small dog on a standard dose might cost £0.35 per day, while a giant dog on a high dose could cost £5 per day. Cats usually cost around £0.50 per day, meaning the total cost for the month is £17-30, depending on where you buy the Fortekor from. Don’t forget to factor in postage and prescription fees if you are comparing Fortekor prices online though!

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 Alternatives

If your pet has been prescribed Fortekor but you can’t get hold of it, these other brands are direct switches for Fortekor:

  • Flavoured: Benefortin, Benazecare
  • Non-flavoured: Arixil, Banacep, BenazeVet, Fortekor, Kelapril, MiPet BenazePet, Nelio, and Prilben.

Remember, your vet will need to prescribe the alternative brand, so give them a call to explain the problem.

If your pet won’t take Fortekor tablets, make sure you’ve tried the Fortekor Flavour tablets, which are a chewable beef-flavoured version, and the non-flavoured option, which may be smaller and easier to hide. If it’s Fortekor Flavour your pet doesn’t like, these alternative flavours may help:

If your pet has been taking Fortekor but it’s stopped working, you’ll need to talk to your vet – they might be able to change the dose or add in another medication to help your pet’s symptoms.

Non-tablet versions of benazepril

There are no liquid formulations of Benazepril but your vet may be able to get a specially-formulated (aka compounded) syrup version if this would help your pet take benazepril.

Combined Drugs

If your pet is on several medications for their heart, there might be an option to reduce the number of medications they need to take each day with a combination drug. This might make it easier to get your pet to take Fortekor. Examples of benazepril combinations include:

  • Cardalis (benazepril with spironolactone) which comes in a chewable tablet
  • Fortekor Plus (benazepril with pimobendan)

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.

How else can you help your pet on Fortekor?

If your pet is taking Fortekor, there may be other things you can do to help their condition. Understanding your pet’s options allows you to make sure they’re getting the best care possible.

Our vet-written online courses help pet parents like you understand your pet’s condition and fight for their rights. You might like:

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.