Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the Salmonella bacterium. It often leads to intestinal disorders, miscarried pregnancy, and blood poisoning. It is also zoonotic, meaning humans can be infected too. Learn more. READ MORE
While a source of heat is important for your reptile's thermoregulation, some heat sources can burn the reptile as it tries to get closer to the heat source. Learn more about this common injury and how it is treated. READ MORE
Are you an animal "owner" or an animal "parent"? Do you call your companion animal your "pet" or your "fur-baby"? We have our own quirks here in the offices of petMD, but one thing we can say is true: dogs do act like children. READ MORE
First discovered in Mexico, the Chihuahua is best known for being the smallest dog breed in the world. Extremely loyal to its owner, the breed has recently become a popular culture icon in the United States. READ MORE
It may be hard to believe, but hairballs don’t have to be a regular part of cat ownership. If your cat is hacking up the occasional hairball, a small change in diet can help to prevent them. Learn more. READ MORE
From the relatively safe vantage point of the United States, it’s easy to forget how bad the rabies virus can be in countries where the animal population is not routinely and thoroughly vaccinated against it. Read more. READ MORE
Cats love to play with little things, but when they start swallowing them, things can get messy. For Kitty the cat, all of her nine lives would have passed at once had surgeons not found the culprit of her misery. Read more. READ MORE
Hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, occurs when the cat's arterial blood pressure is continually higher than normal. When it is caused by another disease, it is called secondary hypertension; primary hypertension, meanwhile, refers to when it actually is the disease. Hypertension may affect many of the cat's body systems, including heart, kidneys, eyes, and the nervous system.
Systemic hypertension can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this condition affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
The following are just some of the more common symptoms displayed by cats with high blood pressure:
Hemorrhage of the eye
Blood in the urine
Protein in the urine
Bleeding from the nose
Swollen or shrunken kidneys
Weakness, either on one side of the body or in the legs
Involuntary oscillation (rolling) of the eyeballs
Palpable thyroid gland (when hyperthyroid)
The cause of primary hypertension in cats is not known. However, it may have a genetic component. So how prevalent is this form of hypertension? Studies have varied, but one study found that 65 percent of cats with chronic renal failure and 87 percent of cats with hyperthyroidism had mild high blood pressure. Ages of cats with hypertension ranged 4 to 20 years old.
Secondary hypertension, which accounts for 80 percent of all hypertension cases, may be due to a variety of factors, including renal disease, hormonal fluctuation, and hyperthyroidism.
Diabetes may also be a cause for hypertension, although it is uncommon in cats. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from hypertension, bring it in so that your veterinarian may provide a proper diagnosis.
Blood pressure is often measured in pets in the same manner as in humans. An inflatable cuff will be placed on the cat's paw or tail, and standard blood pressure measuring instruments will check the pressure. It is important to keep the cat still long enough to get an accurate reading.
The standards for cat blood pressure are:
150/95 – at this reading or below, there is minimal risk and treatment is not recommended
150/99 to 159/95 -- intervention is rotuinely not recommended at these readings
160/119 to 179/100 -- treatment should be sought to limit the risk of organ damage
180/120 -- immediate treatment should be sought to limit the degree of other more severe complications
Five to seven measurements are generally taken. The first measurement will be discarded, and the cat's excitement level during the procedure will be taken in account. If the results are in dispute, the procedure will need to be repeated.