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A High Pressure Situation!
Mill Road Vet Hospital / Thursday, 09 August 2018

A High Pressure Situation!

Dr Michelle Eyre talks us through the treatment of hypertension in one of our staff dogs

Dude is a VIP (Very Important Pooch) at our clinic! He belongs to our staff-dog family, and he was also a blood donor for many years. When his nurse owner Monica noticed that he was behaving unusually, she brought him in for a check-up. Vets Leanne and Michelle did many tests on Dude including blood tests, urine tests, an ultrasound and blood pressure assessments, and found that he had severely high blood pressure (hypertension).

High blood pressure is very familiar to us in humans, but it also happens in our pets! It can sometimes be a sign of underlying health conditions such as kidney insufficiency, brain tumours and a number of hormone disorders. We were unable to find an underlying cause for Dude’s hypertension despite extensive testing, which was great news, and we started him on two common medications to reduce his blood pressure.

Dude’s blood pressure reduced nicely, and all was going well, until he started to experience gingival hyperplasia - a very uncommon side-effect to one of his medications – his gums started swelling and growing up around his teeth! In consultation with Mark Robson an Internal Medicine Specialist from Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG) in Auckland, we decided to stop the drug that was causing the side effect, and monitor his blood pressure closely to see if the other medication on its own would keep his hypertension under control.

Over the following few weeks, we monitored Dudes blood pressure carefully and established that his hypertension was able to be controlled with a single medication. Two and a half years after initial diagnosis, Dude is still happily running around with normal blood pressure!

We recommend regular testing of pet’s blood pressures as they start to age, and in any sick animal. By picking up on hypertension early on, we may be able to prevent catastrophic consequences including detached retinas, which causes instant blindness. We have several automatic blood pressure machines at Mill Road which take measurements very simply (and inexpensively) with just a small cuff, similar to that used in humans, placed around your pet’s tail or forelimb. If you are worried about your pet’s blood pressure and would like to have it tested, please call and book in!

 

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