What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension which mostly affects dogs, cats and mammals:
- High blood pressure is a common phenomenon in dogs
- It occurs when the dog’s arterial blood pressure increases
- It may be caused by a lot of different factors including genetics
- When not properly controlled, it can lead to a lot of other disease including myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cardiovascular accidents (strokes).
- It can also affect a dog’s way of life
What Causes High Blood Pressure in Dogs?
There are two types of hypertension in dogs, they are:
- Essential Hypertension – presents itself with no known cause. It can occur in any age, but is commonly found in aging dogs and in those that have been genetically predisposed to have hypertension.
- Secondary Hypertension – occurs as a result of an underlying condition like hyperthyroidism or certain adrenal issues.
Signs of High Blood Pressure in Dogs
In many cases, hypertension in dogs does not present any symptoms, especially in the early stages. Symptoms can appear later on, they include:
- Activity Intolerance
- Weakness – General weakness, malaise
- Heart Murmurs
Hypertension can lead to other conditions including stroke and heart attacks. Important symptoms to look for include:
- Bleeding from the nose
- Hemorrhage in the Eye
- Pupil Dilation
- Weakness on One Side of the Body
- Enlarged or palpable thyroid gland – happens when the dog has thyroid issues
- Enlarged or shrunken kidneys – can be a causative factor or a consequence of hypertension
Treating High Blood Pressure in Dogs
This condition is treated two ways – through lifestyle changes and through medication.
- Decreased salt intake
- Exercise – prescribed for weight loss in obese dogs
- Rest during periods of hypertension
- Calcium Channel Blockers