Did you know Dogs & Cats can suffer from High Blood Pressure AKA Hypertension ?

Pets with systolic blood pressures over 150 mmHg may experience negative effects & require medication or further evaluation.

Early signs of hypertension can be asymptomatic, which means a dog may not show any signs of being sick.

Early clinical signs may be interpreted as normal changes due to the aging process that can include slowing down & not eating as well.

There are 2 types of hypertension, primary & secondary hypertension.

Primary hypertension refers to hypertension without a known underlying cause, whereas secondary hypertension refers to hypertension secondary to an underlying disease.

Here are some of the underlying diseases that can commonly cause hypertension in your dog:

  • Kidney disease
  • Glomerular disease (a protein losing kidney disease)
  • Endocrine disease
  • Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Acromegaly (growth hormone overproduction)
  • Adrenal tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • Polycythemia (abnormal increase in red blood cells in the circulatory system)
  • Obesity

There are several types of medications that are used in dogs to control blood pressure. The type used varies with doctor preference, degree of hypertension, underlying cause of hypertension, & concurrent diseases.

Some examples of medication include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as enalapril or benazepril, calcium channel blockers like amlodipine, & adrenergic blockers that include phenoxybenzamine or prazocin.

Addressing underlying diseases associated with hypertension can prevent hypertension. Successful treatment of hypertension prevents or minimizes target organ damage.