Systemic And Pulmonary Hypertension In Dogs

Systemic hypertension in dogs is an elevation in the body’s blood pressure. Two major types of systemic hypertension exist; primary and secondary. Primary hypertension has no known causes, rare in dogs but widespread in humans. Secondary hypertension is caused by a particular underlying disease. The most frequent cause in dogs is kidney disease. A rise in hyperadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus, and pheochromocytoma are alternative reasons for high blood pressure in dogs.

Dogs with enormously high blood pressure may display no visual symptoms to the owner. Blood tests can be used to diagnose the cause of high blood pressure. Treatment should be given to dogs with constant and severe high blood pressure, or those with constant high blood pressure and kidney failure.

Pulmonary hypertension in dogs is increase of blood pressure in the lungs. Likely reasons include thickening of blood (uncharacteristic increase in red blood cells) and greater pulmonary blood flow (a ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, or an atrial septal defect). Alternative reasons could be abnormalities of blood vessels in the lungs, due to heartworm disease, constriction of the arteries within the lungs, or blood clots within the lungs. Primary pulmonary hypertension is uncommon in dogs. Similar symptoms to those seen in right-sided congestive heart failure are noted, e.g. build-up of fluid in the lungs or abdomen and a distended and pulsating jugular vein. The best bet for confirming the diagnosis is Doppler echocardiography (ultrasonography). Treatment doesn’t usually work. And the best chance for a successful conclusion is the detection and treatment of the fundamental disease.

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