High blood pressure is an extremely important concern in human medicine. But what about our pets? They don’t smoke or worry about the mortgage and they don’t deposit cholesterol in their blood vessels. They do, however, get high blood pressure, especially in age, and here is what you probably should know.
In humans, high blood pressure is considered primary, meaning there is no underlying disease causing it. In animals, primary hypertension is unusual; there is almost always another disease causing it:
- Chronic renal (kidney) failure
- Glomerular disease
- Cushing's disease
- Diabetes mellitus
The other time high blood pressure is discovered is when it makes its presence known. This usually means some degree of blindness or some other obvious eye problem. The retina of a hypertensive patient develops tortuous-looking retinal blood vessels. Some vessels may even have broken, showing smudges of blood on the retinal surface. Some areas of the retina simply detach. Sometimes the entire retina detaches. With early identification, some vision may be restored. Do not let minor vision changes go unreported.