Could your senior cat have high blood pressure?

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High blood pressure (hypertension) is known as the silent killer in people. Cats are also at risk of hypertension, especially older cats and those with predisposing diseases such as chronic kidney disease. In fact, about 20% of cats with chronic kidney disease develop high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure typically has no symptoms in the cat, but it can lead to blindness, heart disease, neurologic problems, and kidney damage. Early detection and treatment will help your cat stay healthy longer. In one study of 100 apparently healthy cats aged 6 years and older, 8% of the cats had high blood pressure that was not suspected until the cats were tested. Other disease found in these apparently healthy cats included diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and chronic kidney disease. Preventive healthcare for senior cats includes regular veterinary visits and testing for common diseases in order to find them early, when they are easier and often less expensive to treat.

Dr. Susan Little and Steve Dale talk about chronic kidney disease in cats

Blood pressure measurement in cats is very similar to how it is done in people. We even use small blood pressure cuffs! The procedure takes only minutes and is well tolerated by most cats. In this photo, Dr. Little’s cat Lily is getting her blood pressure measured.

Lily BP Mar 2014 (6)

Medications are available to treat high blood pressure in cats. Currently, a clinical trial is under way to evaluate a new drug intended for the treatment of hypertension that offers advantages over the existing drugs, and the cat hospitals are participating in this trial.

As part of the trial, we are currently offering free blood pressure screening and in some cases, free examinations and blood testing, for cats that qualify for testing. Cats that can be screened for the study are over the age of 7 years (even if apparently healthy), as well as cats previously diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism.

To learn more about high blood pressure and this study, please visit http://www.mycatcanhelp.com. If you are interested in learning more about the study and whether your cat qualifies for screening, please contact us for an appointment.

Our veterinarians and staff are very excited to participate in this study and we hope to advance research in the treatment of high blood pressure that will benefit all cats.

For more information:

Chronic kidney disease in cats

High blood pressure (hypertension) in cats

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The Cat Hospitals website

Animal Emergency Hospital

Bytown Cat Hospital on Facebook

Merivale Cat Hospital on Facebook

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About The Cat Hospitals

Veterinary care exclusively for cats
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