Hypertension is a medical condition that affects people and pets alike. The condition entails increased blood pressure levels that remain that way steadily. Canine hypertension can trigger a variety of other medical issues in doggies, from neurological disorders to problems with vision. As a result, it's important to take your dog's blood pressure matters seriously.
A handful of potential causes are often linked with the development of canine hypertension. It may have a hereditary factor, with parents passing the ailment onto their litters. The vast majority of dogs with high blood pressure, however, have secondary hypertension, which is caused by a previously existing, separate disease. Some examples of these conditions are Cushing's disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism and pheochromocytoma, the latter of which is an adrenal gland tumor.
Not all canines make it obvious when they have high blood pressure, which is why routine veterinary appointments are essential. However, some display key symptoms of the problem. These symptoms include blood-tinged urine, nosebleeds, widened pupils, feelings of confusion, vision difficulties, moving around in repetitive circles for seemingly no reason, seizures and feebleness notably in the leg area. At the first suggestion of any of these symptoms -- or of any issue in general -- call the veterinarian and make a prompt appointment, no excuses.
A veterinarian can determine whether or not a dog has hypertension in several different ways. Several examinations might be necessary to pinpoint what's going on with your precious pooch. This diagnostic evaluation could involve everything from analyzing the blood pressure via the arteries to taking a broad, overall look at a pet's basic health, nervous system and kidneys. Remember, the bulk of canine hypertension situations are an effect of another health problem. If it turns out that your dog is hypertension-free, it's still a good idea to take him to the veterinarian to check for it a minimum of once per year.
If a veterinarian links the development of a dog's high blood pressure with the presence of another condition, the path to management simply could require taking care of the first issue. However, several different management options exist for dogs with high blood pressure, including medication, weight loss plans and possible dietary adjustments -- think less salt. If your dog indeed has high blood pressure, a vet can put together a suitable management plan that works for his specific situation and health needs.
By Naomi Millburn
Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Services: Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Specific Cardiac Diseases
Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: High Blood Pressure (Systemic Hypertension) in Our Pets
Evergreen Animal Center: High Blood Pressure in Dogs
Manual of Canine and Feline Cardiology; Larry P. Tilley, Francis W.K. Smith Jr. and Mark A. Oyama, et al.
Tri-County Animal Hospital; High Blood Pressure
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.