May is not only Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month, it is also Feline Hypertension Awareness Month.
Our Nurses preform these test’s to check your cats blood pressure. As you are no doubt aware, high blood pressure is very common in older people and the same is true for older cats. Prolonged high blood pressure is a serious condition for cats that can cause damage to their organs including their eyes, heart and brain.
The early stages of high blood pressure are not obvious and this disease is often referred to as ‘the silent killer’ as cats may appear healthy until a major problem occurs. It is very easy for us to take a blood pressure reading and to check your cat’s eyes for evidence of high blood pressure at the practice. If high blood pressure is detected there is medication that can be prescribed, preventing the disease from progressing. Unlike in people, prolonged high blood pressure in cats is also often associated with other disease such as chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism, so it is important to monitor your cat so we can catch any changes early.
Taking a blood pressure reading for a cat is much the same as when your doctor or nurse takes your own. A small cuff will be placed around your cat’s leg or tail which is inflated and deflated allowing your cat’s blood pressure to be detected. It only takes a few minutes and most cats tolerate the process very well.
High blood pressure is also very easily treated using a cat-friendly medicine and many cats that receive treatment have an excellent quality of life.