Does the cat suffer from hypertension? How to recognize the symptoms of high blood pressure in the cat and keep it under control with care and remedies.
Keeping the pressure under control is very important not only for our health but also for that of our four-legged friends. But are we sure we can recognize the signs of high blood pressure in cats? How do you measure it and what are the best methods to ensure that it does not rise too much? In fact, the consequences of hypertension in cats can be devastating on their health. Here’s everything you need to know so we don’t find ourselves unprepared.
High blood pressure in the cat: what it means
Usually those who think of high blood pressure problems automatically associate them with stress and tension problems. And it seems even more difficult to associate this type of stress with an animal as calm and habitual as our domestic cat, yet it too can suffer from hypertension. And it is not a problem to be taken lightly: in fact it can cause serious problems to the cardio-vascular, renal, visual and nervous systems.
Systemic arterial pressure is the one that exerts blood on the blood vessels and that makes the blood reach the various organs of the body. It is the heart that pumps the blood, thanks to movements of contraction and decontraction. There are several factors that determine blood pressure, namely:
- contractions of the heart,
- frequency of contractions,
- blood volume and diameter of blood vessels,
- degree of elasticity of the arteries.
The maximum is the pressure exerted by the heart in the contraction and must not be higher than 160 mm Hg. The minimum, on the other hand, must never fall below 70-80 mm Hg.
Symptoms of cat hypertension
How to tell if the cat suffers from high blood pressure? There are signs to be evaluated overall and it will be enough to carefully observe the cat, which will certainly appear different from the usual. Here’s what the cat who has high blood pressure might suffer from:
- problems with the visual apparatus (dilated pupils, retinal detachment, involuntary oscillation of the eyes, hemorrhage of the eye, blindness);
- traces of blood (in the urine, from the nose);
- episodes of seizures,
- heart murmur,
- weakness in the limbs,
- palpable thyroid.
What causes high blood pressure in the cat: all the causes
When we talk about high blood pressure in the cat, we always refer to a problem due to diseases that can occur in the cat well in the course of its life. So 80% of the time hypertension is an effect of other diseases and only in 20% of cases it does not have a real triggering cause.
It is usually kidney disease that creates problems with pressure, along with hormonal alterations and hyperthyroidism. Cushing’s disease is therefore among the main causes and cancer of the adrenal glands. More rare is the case of diabetes that brings problems of this type, but it is not impossible for this to happen, as well as among the causes are the obesity of the cat and the ‘ailments’ due to advancing age.
Diagnosis and treatment for feline hypertension
Measure the cat’s blood pressure at least twice a year when it is over 15 years old. Since this is an absolutely painless examination, we will only have to try to keep the cat firmly in place, but it should not have particular problems to have its values measured. It is advisable to take the test in a quiet room, without strangers or animals, let it settle for a quarter of an hour before proceeding and perhaps use pheromones to calm it down. There are two measurement methods: with Doppler and with oscillometric method.
How to cure high blood pressure in cats
Once a problem with high blood pressure in the cat is diagnosed, what can we do to solve the problem? It is good to clarify that there are no specific drugs for hypertension in felines, and certainly those prescribed by doctors for humans are absolutely not suitable for our four-legged friend. The pharmaceutical remedies that exist on the market are to be dosed and prescribed.