As you know the first thing the human doctor does is to check our blood pressure. Obviously, blood pressure must be as important to our fur family members as it is to us. Let’s look at high and low blood pressure in felines and what it means for our own cats.
Though we are not usually bothered when the doctor puts the blood pressure cuff on us, it can be quite upsetting when the vet does the same to Kitty. His blood pressure can elevate to unusually high levels just from stress. A resting cat’s pressure is 120-130, but a cat at the vet’s office might show a pressure of 160 during his dreaded appointment. Cats are extremely nervous creatures, so expect your vet to make allowances for this. However, if the cat’s pressure reading is less or more than the numbers above, we must suspect either high or low blood pressure may be the reason.
If Blood Pressure is Too High:Feline high blood pressure can be indicative of numerous issues. It is often a sign of an underlying condition. As with people, high blood pressure occurs most often with aging. One of the most common diseases in cats is hypertension, or high blood pressure, that is a result of the kidneys beginning to fail. If Kitty is drinking too much water, this can be an indicator. Cats with high blood pressure can also show loss of vision.
If Blood Pressure is Too Low: This situation is not as common as high blood pressure. Usually, it occurs after the cat has suffered a trauma. If they are injured, or if they have lost blood, the result can be low blood pressure.
If blood pressure is discovered to be out of the normal range, the next step the vet will take is to discover the reason behind it. They will run additional tests to see if they can ascertain the underlying cause of the problem. Often, they will find elevated kidney enzymes, but they can also discover heart disease through these tests.
The vet will then begin treatment, which in most cases will be medication to help slow the advancing of symptoms discovered. This shows us how very important it is to have regular visits to the vet. Sometimes, they can discover and diagnose symptoms before they become apparent to us. Beginning treatment at early disease stage is typically much more successful than when disease has become more advanced.
Some vets believe it is a good idea to check your feline’s blood pressure at home. Here, the readings will be much more accurate since the cat is not in a stressful environment. There are blood pressure monitors available online that you can purchase and begin testing regularly if you suspect there could be something abnormal. If you cannot get the cuff around his paw, you can put it around the tail to attain an accurate reading.
If you don’t have a blood pressure monitor, just stay vigilant and watch for any unusual symptoms that can indicate high or low blood pressure. These include lethargy, weakness, or noticeable changes in vision. As mentioned previously, there can be increased thirst and urination. Behavioral changes can include growling or hissing that is occurring for no apparent reason.
Should you see any of the above, make an appointment for an examination. The veterinarian will be able to perform the full blood workup and testing necessary for a proper diagnosis. As much as we do our best to care for our cats, symptoms of underlying conditions can appear that we can miss. Of course, regularly scheduled well vists to the vet will ensure a healthy and happy feline for a very long while.
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