Veterinary Neurologist Campaigns for High Blood Pressure Screenings for Pets

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Dr. Anne Chauvet is offering a free pet hypertension guide so pet owners know how to take life-saving action to avoid stroke or seizure, which can be caused by high blood pressure. Veterinarians are encouraged to include blood pressure screenings in routine exams.

While blood pressure is not routinely taken during a veterinary exam, I encourage owners to ask their vets if it would be appropriate for their dogs

Veterinary neurologist Dr. Anne Chauvet is helping to educate pet owners and other veterinarians about the importance of routine blood pressure screenings with the free Guide to Hypertension in Pets.

Untreated hypertension in pets can lead to many of the same problems as in humans, such as strokes, seizures or sudden blindness, said Chauvet, founder of Veterinary Neuro Services. She is offering the free guide to help pet owners take life-saving action to help their pets.

"While blood pressure is not routinely taken during a veterinary exam, I encourage owners to ask their vets if it would be appropriate for their dogs," Chauvet said. "It is far more common than is generally thought. As a veterinary neurologist, I have added a blood pressure check to my routine work-ups, and I am encouraging other veterinarians to do the same."

High blood pressure in dogs and cats can be caused by disease or lifestyle issues the same as in humans, she said, including adrenal cancers, brain disease, certain drugs, chronic kidney disease and some endocrine diseases. Other causes are poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise.

For dogs, the systolic pressure, which is when the heart is pushing blood through the arteries, should not exceed 170 to180 mmHg and the diastolic (heart at rest) blood pressure should not be higher than about 100 to 110 mmHg, Chauvet said. Blood pressures significantly higher than those ranges can lead to a stroke or other pet emergency, she said. A veterinarian measures blood pressure with a special cuff placed on the foreleg, much the same as it is taken in humans.

Hypertension can be managed by lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased exercise and through medications like amlodipine, benazepril and enalapril. However, Chauvet said underlying causes of high blood pressure should be diagnosed and treated. Routine follow up checks also are required for hypertensive pets.

More information is available at http://www.PetNeuro.com. Information about pet weight loss and pet exercise is available at http://www.BigDogBigLoser.com and http://www.HealthyPetRehab.com.

About Veterinary Neuro Services:
Dr. Anne Chauvet, one of fewer than 200 veterinary neurologists and neurosurgeons in North America, is the founder of Veterinary Neuro Services in Sarasota, Fla. Veterinary Neuro Services treats brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular conditions in animals and is the only strictly neurology and neurosurgery practice on the Gulf Coast. It is located at 3900 Clark Rd., Building M, Unit 4, Sarasota, Fla. More information is available by calling 941-929-1818 or online at http://www.PetNeuro.com

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