Not only people suffer from high blood pressure

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
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Glomerular disease
  • Cushing's disease 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Acromegaly 
  • Polycythemia 
  • Pheochromocytoma 
In pets a great deal of high blood pressure is identified by screening. If a pet has one of the above conditions, blood pressure is generally checked. It has recently been recommended that older pets have their blood pressure checked whenever they have a physical examination. There is some disagreement among experts as to which patients should be screened. Because of inherent inaccuracy in the equipment commonly used in veterinary practice, not every pet should be screened. Certainly, any pet with a predisposing condition such as one of those listed above should be screened. 

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.

Medication to lower blood pressure is often in order. This typically involves some type of pill that dilates peripheral blood vessels, effectively making them larger so as to accommodate the high pressure blood flow going through them.

Appropriate home cooked diets may be designed. Hypertensive patients should be rechecked every 2 to 4 months to keep their blood pressure in a healthy range.

No comments:

Post a Comment