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Feline Hypertension

Feline Hypertension

by Anonymous

Charlie - he has/had high blood pressure which he gets/got daily tablets for. He is/was partly blind - photo Mandy (Flickr)

My vet never warned me about hypertension in older cats. Most Vet computers are not programed to recommend routine blood pressure checks for senior cats.

My cat went blind with damaged retinas. Vets who do not inform their patients about this should have their licenses suspended.

Think about it. How many human doctors would not check their patient's blood pressure?

Hi... thanks for reminding us of this. Interestingly it is not a disease that jumps off the pages of the reference books that I use, which sort of supports what you are saying.

One book does refer to it in relation to cat's eyes. Dr Turner and Jean Turner in their book Veterinary Notes For Cat Owners say that the retina can become detached because of feline hypertension - and the cause is common. The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Cat's Symptoms also refers to it, once (page 110) under the symptom of sudden loss of vision.

Hypertension is high blood pressure. It is nearly always caused by hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or certain heart diseases, when it is called secondary hypertension.

Diagnosis is through signs of the primary diseases as mentioned above, which should prompt tests for possible high blood pressure. The early signs of feline hypertension are few. Rapid heart rate and loss of sight (dilated pupils that do not respond to light) are signs. Sudden blindness is a strong sign of hypertension. There may be bleeding in the eyes and visual impairment. In fact no specific signs of feline hypertension will be visible until spontaneous bleeding in the eye or retinal detachment takes place.

Sometimes a cat may show early signs of hypertension in being withdrawn and lethargic although these are general symptoms that can be caused by and underlying disease.

A vet will monitor the cat's blood pressure. Treatment is in treating the primary conditions and administering drugs to reduce blood pressure.

Primary hypertension (occurring independently of an underlying causative condition) is rare apparently but it can be controlled through drug treatment. Secondary feline hypertension prognosis depends on the treatment of the primary underlying conditions.

As the anonymous visitor says a routine blood pressure test in older cats is called for to make an early diagnosis.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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