The Pet Doctor

High Blood Pressure In Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

Just like their human friends, dogs can also suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Unfortunately, if left untreated, hypertension can cause severe damage to the heart and other internal organs and your dog may even pass away. If your dog was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure or you suspect your dog has high blood pressure, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have.

What Exactly Is Canine High Blood Pressure?  

Your dog's blood pressure refers to the pressure placed on the internal arterial walls when the heart contracts and relaxes. There are two different types of hypertension in dogs: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Your veterinarian might not understand the cause of a dog's primary hypertension, although genetics could be a factor.

Secondary hypertension is a type of hypertension that is caused by another underlying condition, such as kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, or hypothyroidism. Cases of secondary hypertension are far more common in dogs than in primary hypertension.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension in Dogs?

It is critical to understand the symptoms of hypertension in dogs because of the seriousness of the condition. Here are a few of the most common signs of hypertension in dogs:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nose bleeds
  • Vision issues

A dog with hypertension may also walk around in circles or seem disoriented or confused. Additionally, higher blood pressure can cause the blood vessels in your dog to burst, including the blood vessels in the eyes.

How Will My Veterinarian Treat My Dog's Hypertension? 

In addition to performing a physical exam and asking about the symptoms your dog is exhibiting, your veterinarian will use a blood pressure cuff to measure your dog's blood pressure. If the blood pressure is abnormally high, your veterinarian will try to determine the underlying cause of your dog's hypertension. For example, if your dog is overweight, putting your dog on a diet can help lower its blood pressure.

Treatment for your dog's primary hypertension or secondary hypertension can include certain medications, such as diuretics, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. This treatment is typically combined with other changes to your dog's lifestyle, including making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and potentially, changing your dog's food.

Leaving your dog's hypertension untreated can lead to several potential complications, including congestive heart failure, blindness, or stroke.

Hypertension in dogs is a potentially serious condition that must be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian.

To learn more, contact a company like Angel Pet Hospital.