High blood pressure is most common in older animals (over the age of 7 years). It is far more common in pets suffering from kidney disease, overactive thyroid glands (hyperthyroidism), diabetes and Cushing’s disease.
High blood pressure can cause deterioration of the kidneys and bleeding in various places such as the brain (leading to strokes) and the eyes (leading to blindness). The most common cause of a sudden-onset blindness in cats is high blood pressure and if treated quickly, sometimes a return of sight is possible.
Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure can prevent these disastrous consequences. Current recommendations are to monitor the blood pressure of animals over 7 at least annually, and at least every 6 months in pets which are consider at-risk, or over the age of 11 years.
Unfortunately, just like us, the ‘white coat effect’ can come into play, causing the blood pressure to be higher than normal when at the vets’. Having a home visit where your pet is more relaxed, can help to reduce this effect and get a more accurate result. My blood pressure monitor is quick and quiet to help avoid any stress to your pet.
Treatment of high blood pressure is usually straightforward, with a daily tablet which is designed to be tasty, so most animals will take it very readily.