If your dog or cat’s arterial blood pressure is constantly higher than normal, your pet most likely is suffering from High Blood Pressure (also known as systematic hypertension or hypertension). A pet afflicted with high blood pressure may eventually develop problems in the heart, kidney, nervous system, and even in the eyes. This is a serious condition, and it should be treated as soon as possible.
What Causes High Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats?
There is no known cause for hypertension in pets. It has been linked to heredity – one generation passing it on to another. In some cases, dogs and cats develop secondary high blood pressure which is cause by other diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hormonal fluctuations.
What are the Symptoms of Hypertension in Dogs and Cats?
A dog or cat suffering from high blood pressure will most likely exhibit the following symptoms: disorientation, circling, dilated pupils, rolling of the eyeballs, blindness, seizures, blood in the urine, nose bleed, or weakness in the legs. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How is High Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats Diagnosed?
To determine if your pet is suffering from hypertension, your veterinarian will take your pet’s blood pressure reading in the same manner as a doctor will take a human’s. Except the inflatable cuff will placed on your pet’s paw or tail! After taking several readings, your veterinarian will be able to determine if your pet has hypertension. If the hypertension is the secondary type, the veterinarian will be need to conduct further diagnosis to determine the cause.
How is High Blood Pressure in Pets Treated?
Hypertension in dogs and cats is treated by prescribing medications. In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe a low sodium diet.
Benazepril can be used in treating heart failure, high blood pressure, and some forms of kidney disease in dogs and cats. It is effective when used alone or in combination with thiazide diuretics.
Enalapril is used to treat mild, moderate or severe heart failure and high blood pressure and is usually used in combination with other medications.
AMLODIPINE is a calcium channel blocker. Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction. By blocking calcium, amlodipine relaxes and widens the blood vessels. It is used to treat high blood pressure or chest pain (angina).
Atenolol is prescribed for pets with high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used to treat chest pain related to coronary artery disease. Atenolol is also useful in slowing and regulating certain types of abnormally rapid heart rates (tachycardias).
Metoprolol is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain) and to treat heart attacks.
In summary, hypertension (or high blood pressure) happens when your pet’s arterial blood pressure is consistently higher than normal. Signs your dog or cat might have high blood pressure are disorientation, circling, dilated pupils, rolling of the eyeballs, blindness, seizures, blood in the urine, nose bleed, or weakness in the legs. If your pet is experiencing one or more of these signs take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Once your pet is diagnosed with hypertension, the veterinarian will recommend medication designed to address the hypertension.