The efficacy of enalapril maleate in dogs with naturally acquired class III or class IV heart failure was evaluated in a multicenter study. Fifty-eight dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (35 dogs), mitral regurgitation (22 dogs), or aortic regurgitation (1 dog) receiving conventional therapy for heart failure (furosemide with or without digoxin) were included in a randomized double-blind study. Thirty-one dogs received enalapril tablets PO at approximately 0.5 mg/kg body weight bid, and 27 dogs received placebo tablets PO bid. Physical, electrocardiographic, hemodynamic, echocardiographic, radiographic, and clinical examinations were performed on each dog before treatment and at the end of the approximately 21-day study.
After treatment on day 0, the enalapril-treated dogs had significantly (P < .05) lower heart rate, mean systemic arterial blood pressure, and mean pulmonary arterial blood pressure than the placebo-treated dogs. Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure was marginally decreased (P= .0567) in the enalapril-treated dogs. When compared with those in the placebo-treated dogs, scores for pulmonary edema were significantly (P= .05) decreased on day 2 in the enalapril-treated dogs. At the end of the study, enalapriltreated dogs had significantly (P= .05) greater decreases in class of heart failure, pulmonary edema score, and mobility score relative to baseline, and had significantly (P= .05) better overall evaluation scores when compared with the placebo-treated dogs. This study shows the beneficial hemodynamic and clinical effects of adding enalapril to conventional therapy for dogs with heart failure.