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Signs of PHT include respiratory distress, coughing, and fluid buildup in the lungs or abdomen. Heart failure is closely associated with pulmonary hypertension as the function of the lungs and heart are closely related. PHT is a serious, life-threatening condition and veterinary help should be sought immediately if signs of PHT appear in your cat.
Pulmonary Hypertension (PHT) is the result of high pulmonary arterial (blood) pressure in the lungs. Cats do not appear to be prone to primary PHT that is due to congenital lung abnormalities, which occurs in other animals. When cats experience PHT it tends to be secondary to another condition that has affected lung functioning, usually by causing obstruction in the arteries or capillaries of the lungs. As capillaries are very narrow they are particularly prone to obstructions that result in oxygen not being properly taken up by the lungs. Common causes of obstruction that may result in PHT in cats are heartworms and blood clots.
Because blood pressure is not routinely monitored by veterinarians, PHT is not usually discovered until after symptoms occur. Because of the serious, life-threatening nature of pulmonary hypertension symptoms to be alert for are:
In cats, PHT is usually secondary to another condition, it does not tend to be caused by genetic abnormalities of the lung. Conditions and causes of PHT include:
Parasitic infection - Heartworm
Obesity may be a contributing factor, making an overweight pet more susceptible to PHT.
Routine blood pressure screening is not usually part of regular veterinarian monitoring of your pet's health, therefore, hypertension is usually only discovered after symptoms have occurred. Because PHT in cats is secondary to other conditions, your cat may already be under veterinary care for the underlying condition when PHT symptoms appear. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination including measuring your cat’s blood pressure and taking a medical history of your cat in order to determine possible underlying conditions for pulmonary hypertension symptoms in your cat if causation is not already known from previous diagnosis and treatment.
Urinalysis, blood chemistry and blood gas tests will be ordered to identify possible underlying conditions such as organ failure, bacterial or viral infection, or heartworm infection, and to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood to determine abnormalities in lung functioning.
Pulmonary functioning tests may be used to check for obstructions and airway disease. If fluid has built up in the sac around the lungs or in the abdomen, a sample will be taken and analyzed.
X-rays will reveal abnormalities in the lung or heart. Cardiac catheterization is a standard method of diagnosis for PHT, but more recently a doppler echocardiogram which will reveal blood clots, pressure in vessels, and heart abnormalities has become a more effective method of diagnosis.
Prognosis for PHT in cats is guarded and the outcome will be poor if an underlying condition cannot be identified and successfully treated.
Your veterinarian will treat the underlying condition causing the pulmonary hypertension. Examples of common treatment for secondary conditions are; surgery for removal of heartworms, antibiotic for infections, blood thinners for blood clots, and medications to counteract heart failure or chronic pulmonary disease.
Medications for lowering blood pressure and opening airways will be prescribed and supportive therapy involving oxygen therapy used if necessary. Hospitalization and cage rest during treatment is common.
Prognosis, recovery, and management of PHT depends on its cause. Along with appropriate management of the underlying condition, recovery from PHT will require pet owners to provide rest and a stress-free environment. A low-sodium diet to reduce blood pressure is recommended. If your pet is overweight a weight loss diet will lower their risk of relapsing.
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British short hair
0 found helpful
my cat was fine one day next day took her to vet she died. no conclusive reason. they chunk it up to hear t worm she had labored breathing. I think she was just stressed form the changes in our home we brought home our inlays cat because he had kittens in his home and then a dog that for 2 nights
Dec. 4, 2017
Without a necropsy, I cannot tell you the specific cause of death; there are various possible causes which does include stress, but I wouldn’t expect a four year old cat to be affected. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Dec. 4, 2017
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