Home


Canine High Blood Pressure

"High blood pressure in dogs are caused by constricted blood vessels that do not allow the blood to flow normally. It is caused by a number of diseases. Treatment involves medications to lower blood pressure, identification and treatment of the underlying cause and possible changes in the diet."

High blood pressure in dogs is caused by the narrowing of veins that in turn cause the blood to not flow as easily as it should. Since the narrow parts of the veins keep blood from getting through, yet the amount of blood doesn't change, pressure builds against the narrow points. this is what causes the high blood pressure.

Areas of the body where the smallest blood vessels exist are the most vulnerable. These spots include the vessels in the eye or retina and the kidney, which is why both are vulnerable to canine blood pressure problems. High blood pressure can cause damage to multiple organs such as the blood vessels, heart and brain, not to mention the eyes and kidneys referenced earlier.

Diseases in these areas such as kidney failure can cause the high blood pressure for the same reason. The disease itself is restricting the flow of blood.

In dogs almost all cases are caused by some other disease where high blood pressure is a symptom of that disease.

Causes of Canine High Blood Pressure

There are many causes of high blood pressure in dogs such as:

* Diseases of the endocrine system, such as Cushing's disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes
* Chronic kidney disease
* Central nervous system disorders
* Certain medications
* Diabetes Mellitus
* Red Blood Cell Over Production (Polycythemia)
* Some cases of high blood pressure have no known cause

Measurement of Canine Blood Pressure

When you measure blood pressure, you measure two numbers - the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is the highest number. That is the pressure when the heart contracts and pumps blood. The diastolic pressure is the lower number. It's the pressure when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.

It is recommended that blood pressure be checked regularly in dogs over nine years of age. When you take your dog to the vet for his yearly check-up, ask your vet to check his blood pressure.

Canine High Blood Pressure Symptoms

Symptoms of high blood pressure include depression, sudden blindness, and behavioral changes. There may also be symptoms of some of the aforementioned causes such as kidney disease or Cushings Disease.

Canine High Blood Pressure Diagnosis

In a healthy dog, the systolic pressure should be no higher than 170 - 180. The diastolic pressure should be no higher than 100 - 110. Anything higher than that is considered high.

Canine high blood pressure is diagnosed by measuring the blood pressure with a cuff similar to that used to measure blood pressure on a child. However, a stethoscope cannot be used on dogs the way it is on humans. Instead, a Doppler device is used to determine the pressure. Dogs may have an "artificially" elevated pressure due to the stress and excitement of being at the vet called "white coat syndrome", so the vet may need to do several readings over a period of time.

The vet will also examine the dog to check the "target" organs listed above for signs of damage.

Canine High Blood Pressure Treatment

Treatment for canine high blood pressure involves treating the underlying cause of the condition, if a cause can be identified.

In addition, medication such as amlodipine, benazepril, enalapril, or a beta-blocker may be prescribed.

If eye disease is present, special medicated drops are prescribed.

If a dog is overweight, weight reduction will help to lower the blood pressure. So will a low sodium diet. Talk to your vet about the best diet for your pet.

Natural medicine also offers several herbs that are known for their ability to support the heart, circulatory system and blood pressure. When researching this approach a good option to explore and review with your veterinarian is offered by PetAlive .

Sources

Maristavet

Ask a Vet for Free 24/7