Most dog owners have very little knowledge about normal dog blood pressure and how high blood pressure, or hypertension, often goes hand in hand with kidney disease in dogs and other serious diseases. Of all the health problems you may worry about affecting your dog, high blood pressure probably isn’t one of them. Most people assume it’s a condition that only affects humans who make poor lifestyle choices. However high blood pressure in dogs is a serious problem often associated with many diseases. Diseases like kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, and other potentially life-threatening medical problems. For more information about normal dog blood pressure, contact Animal Medical Center today.

What is “Normal” Dog Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure monitoring hasn’t always been considered a routine part of a dog’s regular veterinary visits. This, in the past, made a timely diagnosis of high blood pressure difficult to discover. Because of this, it is also difficult to determine what values are accepted as normal dog blood pressure. However, as veterinarians begin to better understand the role of blood pressure in kidney disease and other canine diseases. With cost-effective technologies available, blood pressure monitoring has now become part of the minimum baseline data during some veterinary visits. With regular blood pressure monitoring, you can be aware of the normal dog blood pressure for your pet. You can also be alerted to any potential problems if your dog’s blood pressure measurement is higher than normal.

Kidney Disease in Dogs

Hypertension is diagnosed as a primary disease in humans. Dogs typically suffer from secondary hypertension, which is high blood pressure associated with some underlying disease.  In fact, one study examining kidney disease in dogs found that 93% of dogs suffering from chronic kidney disease also had high blood pressure, and other research has indicated that “the most common cause of systemic hypertension in dogs is renal disease.”

The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that keep the body’s critical functions running smoothly. Kidneys produce urine to eliminate waste from the body. They also play an important role in regulating blood pressure. If your dog suffers from kidney disease, it is likely he will also experience hypertension as the disease progresses. Kidney disease can cause high blood pressure in dogs, and hypertension can also further damage impaired kidneys. This causes the disease to progress more quickly. The link between hypertension and kidney disease in dogs is not well understood.  It is evident and dog owners should be aware of the risk of high blood pressure in dogs.

In addition to kidney disease, other medical conditions, like diabetes and Cushing’s disease, have also been linked to high blood pressure in dogs. Cushing’s disease in dogs, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition in which the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol, one of the body’s natural steroids. In dogs with Cushing’s disease, the reported prevalence of high blood pressure is 86%, and 40% of affected dogs remain hypertensive even after the Cushing’s disease is adequately controlled.

Long-Term Effects of Canine High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure in dogs can worsen existing kidney disease, damage the eyes, heart and blood vessels, and cause bleeding on the brain, among other serious problems. Unfortunately, symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs aren’t always easy to recognize, and without regular blood pressure monitoring, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat this potentially dangerous condition. Often, by the time signs of canine hypertension become noticeable, the consequences are irreversible. If you think your dog may be at risk for high blood pressure, schedule a visit with your veterinarian at AMC today to review the importance of regular blood pressure screening.