Systemic arterial hypertension in cats – Symptoms, causes and prevention
La systemic hypertension in cats It is characterized by a persistent increase in blood pressure inside the arteries. A feline may suffer eventual elevations of its blood pressure in contexts of high stress, fear or nervousness. It is a natural mechanism of your body, which allows the animal to stay alert and escape from dangerous situations that put their survival at risk. However, persistent high blood pressure is an alarming clinical condition that must be treated quickly to avoid aggravating its symptoms.
Of course, we must emphasize the importance of going quickly to the veterinarian by observing any alteration in the behavior or appearance of your pussycat. In the veterinary clinic, the professional will be able to verify their health status and establish an adequate treatment for their needs. However, in this article, we suggest you to know the main symptoms, causes and forms of prevention of the arterial hypertension in the cats, to take care of the health of your pussycat and know how to recognize early any sign of this pathology.
What is systemic arterial hypertension?
Systemic arterial hypertension is a persistent elevation of the systolic or diastolic blood pressure. In domestic cats, the average normal blood pressure values are 124mm Hg for systolic pressure and 84mm Hg for diastolic pressure. The Veterinary Blood Pressure Society (VBPS) indicates that hypertension in domestic animals is considered as “mild” from 150 / 95 mmHg, “moderate” with values higher than 160 / 100 mmHg, and “severe” or ” intense “when the systolic pressure exceeds 180 / 120mm Hg.
Hypertension is a very common clinical picture in people, which appears moderately among cats, and rarely among dogs. Despite not being among the most frequent diseases in cats, their effects are dangerous, since they can affect all organs who receive blood subjected to high pressure. Hypertensive cats are vulnerable to numerous renal, cardiovascular, ocular and neurological problems, which if not adequately treated can lead to the death of the animal.
Causes and factors of irrigation in cats
Systemic arterial hypertension is called “primary” or “idiopathic”, when it appears independently and is not related to other diseases. This is the most commonly diagnosed type of hypertension in people, but is rarely seen in cats. The exact causes of idiopathic hypertension are not yet known, but there is speculation about a possible genetic predisposition.
Almost all cases of hypertension in domestic animals are “secondary”, that is, derived from an underlying disease. Chronic renal failure and endocrine diseases (mainly hypothyroidism and diabetes) appear as the most frequent causes of systemic arterial hypertension in cats. In addition, aging, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle appear as important risk factors for hypertension.
Symptoms of systemic arterial hypertension in cats
Hypertension progresses silently in the body of cats. Your first symptoms are usually so general and little specific that can be confused with a simple discomfort. Therefore, it is very important to be alert for any change in your kitten’s routine and go to the veterinarian to analyze their health status.
However, a hypertensive cat can present one or more of the symptoms listed below:
- Rejection of the sandbox
- Urination and bowel movements in abnormal places
- The feline hides
- Sudden loss of appetite and weight
- Temporary or permanent blindness
- Hemorrhage in the eyeball
- Dilated pupils
- Abnormal and constant movements of the eyeball (nystagmus)
- Nasal bleeding
- Proteins or blood in the urine
- Enlargement of the kidneys
- Disorientation and difficulty in coordinating movements
- Temporal paralysis of the extremities
- Heart murmur
Diagnosis of feline hypertension
The diagnostic mechanisms of hypertension in cats is almost identical to that used in humans. With the use of the occlusive sleeve, the veterinarian should take the pressure of the feline in different occasions, either in one of its legs or in the tail.
Remember that the contexts of stress, fear or nervousness can cause transient elevations in blood pressure, but do not characterize a picture of hypertension. Therefore, the measurement must be repeated several times by the same trained professional, in the same controlled environment of the veterinary clinic, for avoid a false diagnosis. In some cases, the veterinarian may also request a Doppler ultrasound to observe the blood flow inside the arteries.
Treatment of systemic arterial hypertension in cats
The treatment for idiopathic hypertension usually consists of the administration of pharmacology for the control of blood pressure, in addition to changes in diet and in the sedentary routine of affected felines.
However, the treatment for secondary hypertension will depend fundamentally on the diagnosis of the underlying causes in each feline. In these cases, the recommendations of the veterinarian will be addressed to the needs and health status of each kitten. Some specific drugs may be prescribed to combat or control the diagnosed pathology, but regulate the feeding and establish a exercise guideline aimed at improving the quality of life of each cat will be crucial aspects of the treatment.
How to prevent systemic arterial hypertension in cats?
La prevention of systemic arterial hypertension is necessary to preserve the good health of our felines. As obesity in cats and sedentary lifestyle are among the main risk factor’s, you must offer a balanced diet of excellent quality to your pussycat. It is important to avoid excess sweets or prefer snacks reduced in fat and calories, especially made for overweight cats. It is also crucial to provide toys, scrapers and other accessories that allow you to exercise your body and mind daily. Also, remember to reserve some of your time to play, have fun and show your love for your pussycat.
On the other hand, the contexts of high stress and nervousness they also appear as an accelerator of cardiovascular wear. Therefore, felines that live in a calm and positive environment, where they can develop being sure of themselves, will be less vulnerable to hypertension and other heart diseases.
And last, but not least, we must offer an adequate preventive medicine to our pigs throughout their lives. To do this, it is essential to make periodic visits to the veterinarian every 6 months, respect your letter of vaccination and periodic deworming.
This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Systemic arterial hypertension in cats – Symptoms, causes and prevention, we recommend that you enter in our section of Cardiovascular Diseases.