Hypertension or high blood pressure in dogs occurs when blood pressure values are higher than the normal range. This condition can be caused by another disease, in which case it is called secondary hypertension. When the condition is not a consequence of another disease, it is called primary or idiopathic hypertension.
Symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs
Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition. The following are just some of the most common symptoms that dogs with high blood pressure show: convulsions, disorientation, blindness, dilated pupils, retinal detachment or hemorrhage of the eye.
Can also be presented blood in the urine, protein in the urine, bleeding from the nose, swollen or shrunken kidneys, as well as heart murmurs. There may be weakness, either on one side of the body or on the legs and involuntary swinging – balancing – of the eyeballs.
Causes of high blood pressure in dogs
Like hypertension in humans, the cause of primary hypertension in dogs is unknown. However, there have been cases in which breeding dogs with hypertension have produced offspring with hypertension, so it seems likely that there is a genetic component.
So how frequent is this form of hypertension? Certainly, it is not known, and the values found vary widely in different studies. The guide prepared by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) recognizes that between 0.5 and 13% of dogs suffer from high blood pressure. The ages of dogs with hypertension ranged from 2 to 14 years.
Secondary hypertension, which represents 80% of all cases of hypertension, may be due to a variety of factors, including obesity, kidney disease, hormonal fluctuation and hyperthyroidism.
Diabetes can also be a cause of hypertension., although it is uncommon in dogs. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from hypertension, go to the office so that your veterinarian can provide an adequate diagnosis.
Blood pressure is often measured in pets in the same way as in humans. An inflatable bracelet will be placed on the dog’s paw or tail, while standard blood pressure measuring instruments will control the pressure. It is important to keep the dog still long enough to get an accurate reading.
Hypertension in dogs is classified according to the risk of organ damage (TOD by its acronym in English), according to the following standards:
- <140 mm Hg / 95: in this reading or less, it is considered normotensive; treatment is not recommended (minimum risk of TOD).
- 140/99 to 159/95 – prehypertensive (low risk of TOD); The intervention is not strongly recommended in these readings.
- 11/16/199 to 179/100 – hypertensive (moderate TOD risk); Treatment should be sought to limit the risk of organ damage.
- ≥180 mm Hg / 120: severely hypertensive (high risk of TOD), Immediate treatment should be sought to limit the degree of other more serious complications.
Generally, five to seven measures are taken. The first measurement will be discarded and the level of excitation of the dog during the procedure will be taken into account. If the results are very different, the procedure should be repeated.
Treatment of high blood pressure in dogs
Priorityly, It is necessary to establish the treatment of the underlying cause of high blood pressure. Otherwise, the dog should probably take medications to control blood pressure indefinitely.
The medication of choice is a calcium channel blocker or a beta blocker. As for the dog’s diet, the veterinarian may recommend foods low in sodium.
Blood pressure should be monitored regularly.; Your veterinarian may order some laboratory tests to measure your dog’s reactions to the medication.
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