The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of Cardalis for managing congestive heart failure in dogs. Cardalis contains spironolactone and benazepril in a chewable tablet. Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic type medication that helps remove excess salt and fluid from the body and prevents potassium levels from getting too low. Benazepril is an ACE Inhibitor type medication that lowers blood pressure by relaxing veins and arteries.
When used with other medications, Cardalis is approved to manage the symptoms of mild, moderate, or severe congestive heart failure in dogs due to atrioventricular valvular insufficiency (AVVI). AVI is a form of heart disease in dogs that can lead to congestive heart failure.
What is Congestive Heart Failure?
AVVI commonly occurs in older dogs typically over the age of 8 years and smaller breed dogs. When dogs suffer from heart failure, their hearts are unable to pump sufficient blood to the rest of the organs in the dog’s body. In congestive heart failure, blood backs up in organs and causes them to function abnormally, become swollen with fluid, or both. The most common signs of congestive heart failure include, but are not limited to:
- Persistent coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Reduced energy & stamina
- Excessive panting
- Swollen abdomen
- Pale or bluish gums
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss and/or muscle wasting
As with any heart problem, diagnosing congestive heart failure requires a thorough exam from a veterinarian and typically involves multiple tests. Although heart failure is a chronic disease, it can be medically managed with early diagnosis and a veterinarian-guided treatment plan.
It is important to treat heart failure in order to improve heart performance, control arrhythmias, and blood pressure, and improve blood flow. All of these can further damage the heart and blood vessels if not controlled.
Why is Cardalis New?
Human-approved benazepril and spironolactone have been used extra-label to treat AVVI in dogs. With this approval, the FDA has determined the combination of drugs in Cardalis is safe and effective for dogs. Learn more.
What Should I Know about Cardalis?
The safety and effectiveness of Cardalis were demonstrated in a 12-month field study in the United States involving 569 dogs. Cardalis requires a prescription because a veterinarian is needed to diagnose congestive heart failure in dogs due to AVVI, design an appropriate treatment plan, and monitor the safe use of the medication.