[en] Aldosterone plays an important role in the pathophysiology of heart failure. Aldosterone receptor blockade has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in human patients with advanced congestive left ventricular heart failure. This study was designed to assess the efficacy and tolerance of long-term low-dose spironolactone when added to conventional heart failure treatment in dogs with advanced heart failure. Eighteen client-owned dogs with advanced congestive heart failure due to either degenerative valve disease (n=11) or dilated cardiomyopathy (n=7) were included in this prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized clinical study. After initial stabilization including furosemide, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, pimobendan and digoxin, spironolactone at a median dose of 0.52 mg/kg (range 0.49-0.8 mg/kg) once daily (n=9) or placebo (n=9) was added to the treatment, and the dogs were reassessed 3 and 6 months later. Clinical scoring, echocardiography, electrocardiogram, systolic blood pressure measurement, thoracic radiography, sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase, aldosterone and aminoterminal atrial natriuretic propeptide were assessed at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Survival times were not significantly different between the two treatment groups. Spironolactone was well tolerated when combined with conventional heart failure treatment.