The time to diagnose high blood pressure is before damage is done. Retinal hemorrhages and detachment can be avoided in a well-managed feline patient. I recommend that Doppler ultrasonic blood pressure measurements begin in all patients at an early age as part of their health care program.
Knowledge of breed predispositions and inherited disorders can direct your differential diagnoses and your diagnostic plan. For some of these diseases the genetic mutation has been identified and tests for the defect have been developed. For others, the phenotypical characteristics have been well-described but the genetic basis and mode of inheritance are unknown.
Cats with fevers (103? F-106? F) are a common occurrence in everyday practice. Most cases respond to antibiotic therapy or are self-limiting (abscesses, viral infections, post-surgical fevers). However, the most frustrating case is one in which a routine course of antibiotics does not improve the clinical condition of the cat, routine diagnostics do not identify the cause and the fever is ongoing.
The 2 major differentials for elevated body temperature (> 102.5 F) are fever (pyrexia) and hyperthermia. Hyperthermia results from increased muscle activity, increased environmental temperature, or increased metabolic rate (i.e. hyperthyroidism). Fever develops when the thermoregulatory set point in the hypothalamus is increased, resulting in increased body temperature from physiologic mechanisms inducing endogenous heat production or heat conservation.
This session will deal with case examples where blood pressure measurement is indicated. This is meant to be an interactive session with participation of the attendees. Your diagnostic skills will be tested as will your knowledge on blood pressure issues.