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As cats get older, they can develop high blood pressure (hypertension). This can be caused by heart disease, over-active thyroid glands, kidney disease, or ‘primary hypertension’ - where it seemingly just happens.
Hypertension may cause bleeding into the eyes or brain, and is damaging to the kidneys.
It is therefore
very important to diagnose hypertension in its early stages, so that its cause can be diagnosed and treatment given.
We recommend regular blood-pressure measurement
of senior cats, in a quiet stress-free environment.
Monitoring of blood pressure during anaesthetics is especially critical. Blood flow to the kidneys can fall, particularly in older cats, which is why we recommend giving a drip.
However, if the cat also has circulatory problems, there is a danger of giving too much fluid – which can create equally serious complications. It’s quite a tight-rope that has to be walked.
To address this we have a special blood pressure machine (HD Oscillometry) which gives a continuous readout of the blood pressure during an anaesthetic, letting us instantly pick up any changes in blood pressure .
For more info, click on Jaffa.