Let’s Talk about Blood Pressure

May 15, 2023

Hypertension or high blood pressure can affect many older cats without causing obvious clinical signs. Any cat over the age of 7 may be affected. It is more common in cats who suffer from a pre-existing condition such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or diabetes, however it also occurs on its own as a primary condition.

If your cat has untreated high blood pressure there may be damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system. This can appear as sudden onset blindness, seizures or breathing problems for example. Problems such as these are preventable with early detection and management.

Screening for hypertension is simple and painless and blood pressure measurements are taken using a cuff just like in humans. Owners are welcome to stay with their cats while they are having their check and can often help the vet or nurse by holding them comfortably. A minimum of three readings are usually taken to find an average. If your cat gets particularly stressed during travel, we can arrange for them to stay for a morning to settle down prior to checking.

If the blood pressure reading is found to be high, medication can be started immediately. This is readily accepted by most cats and stabilisation is often achieved in the first few weeks after beginning treatment. Further checks to rule out a cause for the hypertension will be discussed with you and regular follow-ups arranged to make sure your cat is responding well to treatment.

If you would like to book your cat in for a blood pressure check, you can book online (make sure you choose the appointment type ‘blood pressure check’) or give us a call.

We understand that many pets get anxious when coming to the vets so please mention it when booking if you think this applies to yours. We can provide useful tips and anxiety reducing medication if needed to help make their visit as relaxing as possible.

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