Just like humans, dogs can have hypertension, which is higher than normal blood pressure. The best way to prevent hypertension in your pet is through a healthy diet and exercise. The risk of high blood pressure increases as the animal ages. One study found that up to 10% of dogs may suffer from high blood pressure1!
High blood pressure is associated with many symptoms and health issues. Here are some symptoms a dog may exhibit if high blood pressure is left untreated.
- Ophthalmologic changes1, 2 – Your dog’s eyes may be affected by hypertension. Check for dilated pupils, involuntary rolling of the eyeballs, or signs of blindness. High blood pressure can cause intraocular bleeding and retinal detachment.
- Renal issues1, 2 – Hypertension in dogs can cause protein or blood to appear in the urine. These are signs of kidney failure. Check for increased frequency of drinking or urination, vomiting, and lethargy.
- Cardiac symptoms1, 2 – Be aware of incidences of weakness in your pet, either on one side of the body or in the legs. High blood pressure can lead to heart murmur or even congestive heart failure. In this case, a dog is more likely to cough and have increased difficulty breathing.
These symptoms are signs that the animal may have a serious health problem. If noticed in your pet, schedule an appointment with your vet. However, hypertension can be asymptomatic in its early stages, so it is important to have a vet check your dog’s blood pressure at his or her regular appointments.