Watching your pet play, eat, and move around makes you feel good about your loved one’s well-being. However, when your pet is under the weather, you want to reach out and help in any way you can. Not knowing just how under the weather your pet is, can lead to much uncertainty. One of the tell-tale signs of poor health is high blood pressure. Just as a doctor checks your blood pressure, a veterinarian keeps an eye on your pet’s blood pressure for normal rates, especially if your pet has other serious health conditions. For your peace of mind, contact your veterinarian today.

What Causes High Blood Pressure in Your Pet?

If your pet suffers from chronic kidney disease, it is likely your pet also has high blood pressure or hypertension. This is because the kidneys are responsible for controlling blood pressure and can no longer do their job when they become inflicted with disease. Other specific health conditions and disorders associated with high blood pressure include:

  • heart muscle and valve leakage disorders
  • an adrenal tumor
  • Cushing’s disease, or the condition of an overactive adrenal gland
  • hyperthyroidism, a condition common in older cats that involves an excessive amount of the thyroid hormone
  • obesity
  • diabetes

As a quick side note, hypotension, or low blood pressure, can affect your pet, too. This condition may develop when your animal is under anesthesia for a dental cleaning or surgery.

How Do You Know Your Pet Has High Blood Pressure?

Particular symptoms exist and may differ depending on the overall health of your pet.  The most common signs to watch for include the following:

  • bleeding in the eye
  • retinal detachment
  • congestive heart failure combined with persistent coughing and breathing abnormalities
  • If your pet also has kidney problems, your animal could experience increased urination and drinking, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

How Does a Vet Take Your Pet’s Blood Pressure?

How to take your pet’s blood pressure will sound very familiar to you. The vet places a blood pressure cuff over your pet’s limb near an artery.  Using a Doppler machine or oscillometer, the vet can determine your pet’s blood pressure. 

What is considered typical blood pressure can vary in animals depending on species, age, and health circumstances. For example, normal dog blood pressure can reach 150 mmHg (systolic blood pressure rate). Anything above that alerts the vet to consider further tests and medication

High Blood Pressure Is in Cahoots with Other Diseases

If you are worried about your pet’s signs and symptoms, which seem closely aligned with those listed above, contact the vet. Because of the close connection between kidney disease and high blood pressure, the vet will examine for both, unless your pet has already been diagnosed with kidney issues. Depending on the results, the vet may recommend a change in diet or medications to treat hypertension and kidney problems. Many medicine options have different goals, such as to slow down, prevent, or block additional problems from occurring or to encourage healthier conditions. Ask your veterinarian about the different medications and the effects they may have on your pet.

An animal with high blood pressure may eventually suffer from a stroke. Unfortunately, a stroke could have lasting effects, including a decrease in your pet’s mental abilities and balance, as well as blindness. As a result, it is best to have a vet diagnose and treat your pet’s high blood pressure as quickly as possible.