What pet owners need to know about high blood pressure in cats and dogs
High blood pressure is a condition that usually affects humans, but it can also occur in dogs and cats. Knowing the signs of high blood pressure and what to do when you suspect your pet may have high blood pressure can help protect their health..
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the force of your pet's blood against their artery walls is too high. Blood pressure readings that go higher than 160/100 mmHg indicate hypertension in cats and dogs. It can be a severe health problem for your beloved pets as well as people.
What causes high blood pressure in pets?
In pets, high blood pressure (Systemic hypertension) can be caused by various factors. The most common cause of high blood pressure in pets is kidney disease. This condition can be chronic or acute, affecting one or both kidneys. If the kidneys are not functioning correctly, they will be unable to remove excess fluid and wastes from the body. The body tries to compensate for this by increasing blood pressure.
Other factors that may lead to high blood pressure in pets include:
- Age — Young pets tend to have a lower blood pressure than older pets. As they age, their blood pressure levels will increase.
- Obesity — Excess weight stresses the heart and makes it harder for the body to control blood flow. Obesity is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure in pets (and people).
- Diet — Dietary changes can affect your pet's blood pressure just like they do for humans. A poor diet can cause excess weight gain and contribute to hypertension in pets.
- Stress — Stressful situations can lead to increased heart rate and higher blood pressure levels in pets (as well as humans).
Symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs and cats
The symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs and cats include:
- Bleeding from the nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Vomiting or drooling
- Frequent urination
Because each animal has different symptoms, it's best to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause of your dog or cat's high blood pressure.
How is high blood pressure treated in dogs and cats?
High blood pressure in cats and dogs is treated with a combination of medications and dietary changes. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat the underlying causes of high blood pressure.
If you're worried about your pet's blood pressure, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Church Ranch Veterinary Center looks forward to welcoming your pet!
At Church Ranch Veterinary Center, we believe that your pet is family. We provide compassionate Vet care for all types of pets, from cats and dogs to birds and reptiles. Our in-house diagnostics, surgery, dentistry, boarding, daycare, grooming, and training services are designed to be both convenient and comprehensive to ensure that your pet receives the care they need when they need it.
Visit our website to book an appointment for your pet today!