Pets Under Pressure

By Connie Orcutt • Published: October 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

Medical studies show that spending time with pets lowers our blood pressure. But what can we do when our pet’s blood pressure skyrockets?

As with people, dogs and cats can develop chronic high blood pressure, or hypertension. The disease may be silent at first but can end up damaging the kidneys, brain, heart, eyes or other organs.

Hypertension in our pets usually develops from other medical problems. The number one cause in dogs and cats is chronic kidney disease. Hyperthyroidism is another culprit in cats, Additional causes in dogs include diabetes and disease affecting the adrenal glands.

Your veterinarian can measure your pet’s blood pressure and test for diseases that cause hypertension. Treatment targets the underlying disease, but sky-high pressure may require immediate medication to bring things down to a healthier level.