High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) in Cats

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common problem in humans and also in older cats. It is sometimes described as a silent killer as the signs are not obvious until very severe. Discussion about this follows nicely in this third email of our educational series as one of the causes for high blood pressure in older cats is kidney problems. Other causes can be an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), or heart problems. Humans often get ‘primary’ hypertension where there is no obvious cause whereas cats often get ‘secondary’ hypertension where another disease causes it.

It is very difficult to tell if your cat has high blood pressure just by looking as there are no obvious signs from the outside. When the vet examines a cat with high blood pressure it can also be difficult to tell just from clinical examination although sometimes we will see haemorrhages on the retinas at the back of the eye or sometimes there can be a heart murmur.

CatHighBloodPressure1

The best way to tell what the blood pressure is is to measure it! This involves placing a cuff, just like doctors do with humans, around the leg or tail and listening for a pulse with a mini ultrasound machine called a doppler probe. Most cats tolerate this surprisingly well. We tend to take at least 5 measurements as cats do get more nervous at the surgery and by taking an average we will usually get a more reliable result. The whole process usually takes about 15 minutes and no sedation is needed.

CatHighBloodPressure2

The best way to tell what the blood pressure is is to measure it! This involves placing a cuff, just like doctors do with humans, around the leg or tail and listening for a pulse with a mini ultrasound machine called a doppler probe. Most cats tolerate this surprisingly well. We tend to take at least 5 measurements as cats do get more nervous at the surgery and by taking an average we will usually get a more reliable result. The whole process usually takes about 15 minutes and no sedation is needed.

To book an appointment with our team of animal experts, call our Lancaster surgery on 01524 32696, our Morecambe surgery on 01524 410867 or our Milnthorpe surgery on 01539 562770. Alternatively, send us an email to info@bayvets.co.uk and we will get back to you within 24 hours.