Hypertension in dogs and cats (causes and treatment)
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common silent killers of humans. Only recently have we become increasingly aware of the role high blood pressure plays in cats and dogs as well. As pets get older, routine blood pressure screening is becoming recognized as a critical component of a routine physical exam, in addition to wellness blood and urine testing in picking up early disease.
Most veterinary offices now routinely carry low stress instruments to measure feline and canine blood pressure. If hypertension goes undiagnosed and left untreated, there can be all sorts of complications including blood clot formation, stroke-like episodes, sudden blindness, and even sudden death. Kidney and heart disease can both cause and be a result of high blood pressure in dogs and cats.
Certain hormonal diseases, such as overactive adrenal glands, known as Cushing’s disease in dogs and hyperthyroidism in cats, are often accompanied by high blood pressure. Even certain forms of tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease can result in kidney problems and subsequent high blood pressure.
If your pet is diagnosed with hypertension, there are very effective prescription medications known as calcium channel blockers. Examples of these medications include Amlodipine, ACE inhibitors such as Enalapril, and beta blockers like Atenolol. Many nutritional supplements including Omega 3 fatty acids, such as Super Pure Omega 3 and Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet can often be included as part of an integrative therapeutic regimen in helping manage hypertension.