High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common pet health concern; however, the condition is often not recognized until it becomes life threatening. There are many things that can trigger high blood pressure on pets and left untreated, it can become quite serious and even fatal.
How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Pet
When a pet has hypertension, problems can arise if a blood vessel is too small for the pressure of blood flowing through it. When vessels are small and they become damaged and bleed, it is not always noticeable. However, if there are a lot of them, it can create serious problems. Your pet's eyes are especially at risk, and some dogs and cats with high blood pressure can go blind. Kidneys are also as risk because they rely upon small blood vessels to filter toxins out of the blood stream. Finally, hypertension can increase the risk of embolism, which is when tiny blood clots form and block normal blood flow. These blood clots can be fatal and can affect various parts of the body, especially the brain.
Common Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
As stated above, high blood pressure is often not recognized until it is too late. This is why it is so important for you to have your pet's blood pressure checked regularly, especially if it falls into a high-risk group or displays any of the following symptoms. Common Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Pets: Varying Degrees of Blindness, Bleeding in the Eyes, Detached Retina, Dilated Pupils, Rolling Eyes, Seizures, Blood and/or Protein in Urine, Nose Bleeds, Weakness and/or Disorientation, Shrunken or Swollen Kidneys, Heart Murmurs and Palpable Thyroid Gland.
Treatments for High Blood Pressure
When treating hypertension in dogs and cats, your veterinarian will address the underlying cause of the condition first. This is essential to control blood pressure. In some cases, after the underlying cause has been remedied, blood pressure will return to normal. When there is an ocular problem, your vet may prescribe special eye drops and refer your pet to a veterinary ophthalmologist. Medication to lower blood pressure will be prescribed if necessary. This medicine will make your pet's blood vessels larger allowing proper blood flow. A low-sodium diet will be recommended as well.
While all dogs and cats can experience high blood pressure, some animals are more at risk than others. Animals that have the following conditions are all prone to hypertension as well: Chronic Renal Failure, Hyperthyroidism (felines), Glomerular Disease, Cushing's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Polycythemia, Acromegaly and Pheochromocytoma. . It is also essential to note that the predisposition to hypertension may be genetic.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.