Hypertension in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention


Hypertension is one of these diseases silent that cause serious damage to cats. Knowing its causes, knowing how to spot its symptoms and prevent its appearance remain the best weapon to fight against this pathology.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a disease cardiovascular common in senior cats and with serious consequences. The pathology is characterized by an increase in the pressure of the blood inside the arteries. If stress or fear can cause a momentary rise in blood pressure in the feline, high blood pressure persistent perhaps :

  • Primary or idiopathic: no underlying condition is detected;
  • Secondary because due to a concomitant disease which predisposes to the continuous and constant increase in blood pressure (in 80 to 90% of cases).

In cats, the mean blood pressure values ​​are 124 mm Hg for pressure systolic (when the heart contracts) and 84 mm Hg for pressure diastolic (phase of relaxation of the heart). We speak of arterial hypertension when the systolic blood pressure is higher than 140 mmHg in a persistent way.

Hypertension: causes and risk factors in cats

High blood pressure is most of the time a pathology secondary caused by a primary pathology such as:

  • A renal failure acute or chronic. This situation represents between 10 and 20% of cases.
  • A hyperthyroidism. This disease linked to an overactive functioning of the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone;
  • Other disorders endocrine hypercorticism type or syndrome Cushing. This pathology generates an excessive secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Or even hyperaldosteronism, a condition characterized by an autonomous and excessive production of aldosterone, a hormone also secreted by the adrenal glands;
  • A diabetes sweet;
  • Obesity and aging Of the cat.

Symptoms of hypertension in cats

The disease sometimes develops insidiously without signs visible. The animal can thus appear perfectly healthy until the blood pressure is measured or serious lesions appear. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to pay attention to the very first symptom :

  • Favorable disease (see above);
  • Tired, apathy;
  • Loss of appetite and weight;
  • Vocalises untimely, for no reason;
  • Vomiting;
  • Increase in the amount of water drunk;
  • Hyperactivity, nervousness;
  • Fear of heights, disorientation, disturbance in the coordination of movements;
  • Affected vision (blindness, reduced visual acuity, dilated pupils);
  • Temporary paralysis of the extremities;
  • Litter box rejection, urination and defecation in unusual places;
  • Difficulties respiratory (shortness of breath, cough).

Symptoms of high blood pressure in a cat may appear tardily, when the disease has already caused damage to his body. Therefore, it is very important to note everything change in the animal’s routine and report it to the veterinarian.

What are the consequences of hypertension in cats?

High blood pressure in cats should be taken care of as soon as possible. Otherwise, the pathology can cause serious damage to the organs who receive blood under high pressure. The eyes are usually the most affected by having a blindness sudden secondary to bilateral retinal detachment. Retinal hemorrhages or glaucoma. Persistent high blood pressure can also cause serious damage to the kidneys, heart and the brain.

Diagnosis of hypertension in cats

For diagnosis, the veterinarian takes the cat’s pressure using a armband occlusive either on one of its legs or on its tail. The contexts of stress may cause temporary increases in blood pressure, therefore the measurement should be repeated several times by the same professional in the same environment to avoid false diagnoses. In some cases, the vet may also perform an ultrasound Doppler with a probe positioned between the carpal and metacarpal pads or on the ventral surface of the feline’s tail and thus study the blood flow inside the arteries.

Treatment of high blood pressure in cats

Persistent high blood pressure being the most common secondary, treatments should be combined with those for the underlying disease (kidney failure or hyperthyroidism, for example). In parallel with drugs specific, the veterinarian can set up a nutritional diet low in salt in order to lower the sodium level in the body. Indeed, a too high iodine load favors the appearance of diseases cardiac caused by hypertension.

How to prevent hypertension in cats?

The disease being more common in individuals aged, it is recommended to measure blood pressure once a year in subjects over 8 years of age. The measurement can be combined with a fundus examination and a blood test renal. In case of underlying diseases, more controls regular (every 3 to 6 months) of blood pressure are strongly advised. Theobesity and a way of life sedentary are among the main risk factors, as such, a diet balanced and of good quality should be distributed to your pet. Guarantor of a good health, prevention helps keep your cat in top shape and by your side for as long as possible.

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