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Arterial hypertension and the cat´s eye
The consequences of hypertension have been underestimated in veterinary medicine over many years. In the last couple years we understand more and more the problems raising with hypertension, e.g. kidney damage. This excellent article shows another organ getting in trouble with hypertension: the eye.

Feline arterial hypertension appears to be an underdiagnosed problem. Sudden disturbances of vision caused by intraocular haemorrhage and/or retinal detachment are often related to hypertension.

The ability to measure blood pressure routinely in cats, by using an indirect method, has increased knowledge of feline hypertension in recent years.

Secondary hypertension is mainly described in cats, as a consequence of renal disease, hyperthyroidism, chronic anaemia, primary aldosteronism, or a high-salt diet.


This article describes the physiology of blood pressure regulation, the different methods used to measure blood pressure, and the causes and clinical signs of hypertension and possible antihypertensive therapy. Given our current knowledge of hypertension, blood pressure should be measured regularly in older cats (> 10 years), especially in those with renal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, or visual disturbances of unknown origin.

The Doppler method is a relatively cheap, rapid, and simple way to measure blood pressure and should be incorporated in modern veterinary practice.

Source: R.R.O.M. van de Sandt, F.C. Stades, 2 M.H. Boevé, A.A. Stokhof (2005): Arterial hypertension in the cat: A pathophysiological and clinical overview with the emphasis on ophthalmic aspects.
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