Press release: AAFP
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has released a new Hypertension Educational Toolkit to aid veterinary professionals in diagnosing systemic arterial hypertension (hypertension) in cats. The toolkit provides in-depth information in an easy-to-digest format for veterinary professionals to utilize when diagnosing and treating hypertension (high blood pressure) in feline patients.
Hypertension is a well-recognized disorder in which a cat’s blood pressure is elevated above normal levels. Much like in humans, high blood pressure in felines often has no signs or symptoms, making it a serious condition if left untreated. Early diagnosis is crucial in avoiding the many harmful effects it can have on major organs such as the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys.
This digital toolkit emphasizes the importance of checking blood pressure routinely to aid in tracking trends and early detection of hypertension in cats. While veterinary professionals are encouraged to use the information provided in the toolkit when examining feline patients at any age, cats 10 years of age (senior) and older pose a higher risk for hypertension and need to be monitored more frequently.
“Assessing blood pressure in the feline species is an important part of feline preventive care, yet it is uncommon for practices to routinely perform this test. This toolkit provides a quick, go-to reference that will help veterinary professionals overcome the difficulties and obstacles associated with assessing blood pressure in cats,” stated Task Force Chair, Kelly St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline).
Veterinary professionals can easily view, download, and print (PDF format) the hypertension toolkit from the AAFP’s website. Navigating the toolkit is simple, with section tabs focusing on different areas of content including regulation, classifications, clinical signs, treatment, measuring blood pressure, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and client resources. A new, helpful Blood Pressure Assessment Form is available to download and print in order to record results and other necessary information. The page on measuring blood pressure has extremely useful information on cuff selection and placement, tips for successful blood pressure management, the equipment and environment, and recommendations for taking blood pressure measurements.
“With its user-friendly format, veterinary professionals can quickly learn how to perform a Cat-Friendly blood pressure assessment, how to interpret the numbers, and how to treat hypertensive cats,” said Task Force Chair, Kelly St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline).