Did you know dogs can get high blood pressure, just like humans? Some dog breeds are more likely to have it due to their genes. In this blog, our vets at Grants Pass talk about dog high blood pressure and how to spot the signs.
High Blood Pressure In Dogs
Only a few dogs have high blood pressure, which is rare among them. To be considered high, a dog's blood pressure should consistently be above 150mmHg.
An average dog's blood pressure range is quite wide and goes higher than the healthy range for humans. An average dog's blood pressure will range anywhere from 110/60 to 160/90.
Two Main Causes of High Blood Pressure in Dogs
There are two main types of high blood pressure in dogs. The first type is caused by genetics and accounts for only 20% of cases.
Secondary hypertension is the name given to the second kind. The underlying condition that is causing this high blood pressure. Secondary hypertension is the most common type in canines. Understanding the symptoms and signs of canine hypertension is crucial for this reason.
Factors that increase a dog's risk of high blood pressure include getting older, being overweight, having conditions like kidney disease or Cushing's disease, and taking certain medications. Pet owners should stay vigilant about the possibility of their dogs having high blood pressure and regularly visit the vet to check for signs of hypertension or other health issues.
Dog Breeds More Prone to High Blood Pressure
Some dog breeds may be more prone to high blood pressure than others. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for example, has a high incidence of chronic hypertension due to its predisposition to heart disease.
Other breeds that may be at increased risk for high blood pressure include Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Boxers, and Shih Tzus.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Dogs
Many pet parents often miss the signs of high blood pressure in dogs. Noticing and treating high blood pressure in dogs is made more difficult by the fact that they have no way of telling us if they are sick. That's why it's crucial to know and spot the symptoms of high blood pressure so you can collaborate with your vet on a treatment plan.
Some of the things to look out for are:
- Loss of sight
- Heart murmurs
- Enlarged kidneys
- Rapid breathing
If your dog is showing one or more of the symptoms above, it's time to book an appointment with your veterinarian. While these symptoms aren't always a result of high blood pressure, they do indicate that your pup is likely suffering from an underlying health problem that should be addressed.
In cases of secondary hypertension, early detection could help lead to the diagnosis and treatment of a developing health concern before it becomes severe. In most cases, health issues are most effectively treated when caught early.
How to Take a Dog's Blood Pressure
Taking your dog's blood pressure might appear as easy as using a human blood pressure cuff, but this isn't reliable or advised.
Veterinarians use a special inflatable cuff on your dog's leg or tail to get an accurate reading. Further tests may be needed if your vet is concerned about your dog's blood pressure.
Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure in Dogs
Physical examination, blood pressure readings, and blood tests are frequently used to diagnose high blood pressure in dogs. During a physical examination, your dog's veterinarian may look for symptoms like an elevated heart rate, unusual heart sounds, or swollen blood vessels.
Blood pressure measurements can be taken using a non-invasive technique, such as an inflatable cuff placed around the dog's limb or tail. Blood tests can also be performed to evaluate for underlying causes of high blood pressure, such as kidney disease or hormonal imbalances.
If your dog is diagnosed with hypertension, the underlying cause should be identified and treated as soon as possible. Your dog may require ongoing monitoring and treatment in order to manage their blood pressure.
Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Treating your dog's high blood pressure depends on the specific type of high blood pressure they have.
A change in diet and more daily exercise can be used to treat dogs with hereditary high blood pressure, the rarer of the two conditions. Your veterinarian might recommend medication if that doesn't bring down your dog's blood pressure.
Dogs with secondary hypertension will likely receive treatment for the cause of hypertension, as opposed to hypertension itself. However, your vet may prescribe medication for hypertension in conjunction with other treatments.
Since high blood pressure in dogs often shows no obvious symptoms initially, it's essential to schedule regular vet check-ups if you notice any signs of it in your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.