Before we discuss High Blood Pressure in Dogs, let’s explore what exactly is blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the pressure on the walls of the arteries when the heart contracts and empties, as well as when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.
When the heart contracts, it is called systole, and “systolic pressure” is the maximum pressure against the walls of the arteries.
When the heart relaxes, this is called diastole and the minimum pressure on the arterial walls is “diastolic pressure”.
Constant elevation of systolic pressure of 140mmHg or a higher, diastolic pressure of 90mmHg or higher describes high blood pressure throughout the body, called “Systemic hypertension”.
You may have an idea about hypertension in humans. However, you may not realize that dogs also suffer from high blood pressure.
Most dog owners agree that there is a lack of knowledge or concern about canine hypertension or high blood pressure in dogs.
Blood pressure in dogs did not receive the same attention.
Veterinarians record pet blood pressure as a systolic measure.
High Blood pressure in dogs is often caused by an underlying disease and in this case, it is called “secondary hypertension”.
If no underlying disease is present or undiagnosed, it is called “primary hypertension”.
Blood pressure is more common in older dogs.
If small dogs have kidney disease due to infection (such as leptospirosis) or kidney abnormalities, high blood pressure can occur.
Blood pressure is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure using a similar technique used on humans.
What causes Hypertension in dogs?
- The cause of primary hypertension is unknown.
- Secondary hypertension causes high blood pressure in dogs and can be caused by kidney disease, adrenal gland disease, diabetes mellitus (less common), pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor and very abnormal), or central nervous system disease (very rare).
- Read the food label (know the ingredients) before feeding your dog.
- Sodium and potassium play important role in blood pressure control in humans and in animals. However, the extent of the salt limit is still under investigation.
- Nutrition is a direct cause of many conditions that can cause high blood pressure, however, a high-fat diet can lead to obesity, which can further lead to high blood pressure.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure In Dogs
Symptoms of hypertension can be
- Sudden blindness
- bleeding within the globe of the eye
- Detached retinas
- Nervous system signs include depression, dizziness, seizures, confusion, motionless or coordinated movements (called “ataxia”), circulatory, weakness or partial paralysis, or short, rapid, posterior and posterior movements of the eyes (called “nystagmus”). )
- Increased thirst and urinary incontinence increased with the progression of chronic kidney disease
- Blood in the urine (called “hematuria“)
- Bleeding in the nose and nasal passages (called “epistaxis” or nasal congestion)
- Heart murmur or abnormal heart rhythms
Hypertension in Dogs and its treatment
There are several medications available for dogs to control high blood pressure.
The type of medication used varies with physician preference, blood pressure level, cause of hypertension, and concurrent diseases.
Some examples of medicated drugs are angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers such as enalapril or benazepril, amlodipine, and adrenergic blockers containing phenoxybenzamine or progesterone.
- If the dog develops a serious problem related to blood pressure, such as severe kidney failure or bleeding in the eye, hospitalization is required.
- An important part of long-term management can be therapeutic nutrition.
- After treatment, the animals often resolve their hypertensive problems.
- Periodic laboratory testing is required to monitor the side effects of the medication and the progression of the disease.
Possible complications of Hypertension in dogs
- Circulatory heart failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Retinal degeneration and subsequent blindness
- Bleeding into the eye
- Stroke (cerebral vascular accident)