Yes, you read that title correct, high blood pressure can become an issue for your pets. I am sure you know at least one person in your life that has high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). Hypertension is a medical term that describes an issue when blood pressure is continually higher than normal. This problem does not only occur in humans, your dogs, and even cats, may also be stricken with this health problem. Your cat and dog’s blood pressure should normally be around 120/70, which most know, is very similar to the human blood pressure of 120/80. Primary hypertension is a type of hypertension that has no identifiable cause. Secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying cause that can be identified by another health problem. Why is hypertension bad? For one, it could be a result of a deadly disease. Secondly, it can affect many of the body systems, including the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system.
If your pet has hypertension it is normally secondary hypertension that is due to another problem that they have. It can be a result of kidney disease, diabetes (uncommon), endocrine disease, cancer in the adrenal glands or even a side effect of a medication that your pet has been on. They take the blood pressure of your pet in a similar way that is done on humans, they put a cuff halfway down the leg. The cuff inflates and releases, just like the ones that humans use. If your pet is found to have hypertension, they will be put on a medication to control it. Pets cannot change their diet or activity level to fix their hypertension like most humans as it is normally due to something else, so they have to be put on the medication.
It is very important to have your pet’s blood pressure checked regularly. Especially as they are getting older because they are more likely to get diseases that will cause hypertension. Checking your pet’s blood pressure can save their lives by alerting you to life threatening diseases that you otherwise may not have realized that they have.
Many owners do not realize that they need to have this done and may think that it is crazy that their pet needs a blood pressure check. Owners need to be aware of the problems that can be avoided just by having blood pressure taken once a year. It could save your pet’s life, so why would anyone choose not to have this done? Regardless, many owners will still choose to opt out of the blood pressure check until they see a reason to have it done. There are some signs that may lead them to get a blood pressure check done.
Below are some of the signs to watch for that may be caused by high blood pressure:
· Dilated pupils
· Retinal detachment
· Blood in the Urine
· Bleeding from the nose
· Heart murmurs
· Involuntary rolling of the eyeballs
· Weakness, on the side of the body or in the legs
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is very important for you to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible. Regular blood pressure checks can prolong your pet’s life. It is also important to ensure that you are feeding your pet a healthy diet to prevent hypertension and prevent other diseases, including obesity. If you have friends with pets, make sure you pass this information along to them, as it could save the life of a loving pet.