What You Should Know About High Blood Pressure In Dogs
As a dog owner, you want to always be sure that you are able to take the best possible care of your pet. However, just like your human children, sometimes your furry four-legged children come down with ailments that you do not have total control over. High blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension) is one such condition. Many people do not even realize that hypertension can occur in dogs let alone know what pet services to seek out to help them properly care for their beloved pet. Get to know more about high blood pressure in dogs so you can be sure you are doing everything you can to care for your dog if they suffer from hypertension and continue reading more.
High Blood Pressure Can Occur Alone or as a Symptom of Another Condition
When a dog develops hypertension, it can occur in one of two ways. High blood pressure can be a medical condition in and of itself, or it can be a symptom of a larger condition. For example, dogs with hypertension may have the condition because of a tumor on the adrenal gland. Adrenal gland tumors, in their early stages especially, cause elevations in the heart rate and blood pressure.
However, a dog can develop high blood pressure independently of any other medical condition, particularly if they are senior dogs. Senior dogs (just like senior humans) are more prone to blood pressure issues as well as other cardiovascular conditions.
High Blood Pressure in Dogs Can Cause Scary Nosebleeds
If your dog has high blood pressure, you likely will not realize there is a problem until they start showing some very dramatic signs and symptoms. A huge and seemingly sudden nosebleed might be one of those symptoms. Nosebleeds are common in dogs with hypertension and can be quite scary to see when they occur.
Oftentimes, hypertension-related nosebleeds in dogs occur when your dog has to strain themselves or they become overly agitated or excited. This can mean that they will experience nosebleeds after defecating or when their human gets home after being away for a long time.
It is important not to panic when these nosebleeds occur. You can place an ice pack on the bridge of their nose (snout) to try to constrict the blood vessels in the area and slow the bleeding. If you stay calm, your dog will calm down as well, which will help keep lower their blood pressure and stop the bleeding.
Hypertension Usually Requires Regular Vet Trips and Daily Medication
The general treatment protocol for hypertension in dogs requires regular checkups with a veterinarian to measure their blood pressure and how it is responding to medication. When a dog has hypertension, no matter what the cause, your veterinarian will prescribe one or more medications that will be taken once or twice daily. Getting the right dosage, though, can take several weeks or months because you will want to find the lowest possible effective dosage so you do not lower their blood pressure too dramatically.
With these facts in mind, you can be sure you know what to expect when your dog has hypertension and what you can do to take the best possible care of them.