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Does your Cat have High Blood Pressure?

   In cats, untreated chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and central nervous system. Common symptoms of feline hypertension can include:

  • Seizures
  • Circling
  • Disorientation
  • Blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hemorrhage of the eye
  • Blood in the urine

   The majority of cats with chronic hypertension will require drug therapy. Amlodipine is a medication that has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure (the top number) by approximately 40 mmHg, reducing the risk of organ damage. Amlodipine is suitable for once daily dosing. Amlodipine is only commercially available as a tablet, but can be compounded by our specially trained pharmacists into an oral suspension or transdermal formulation.
   Cats are finicky eaters, and sometimes even the addition of flavoring isn’t enough to make oral medication administration possible. Difficulty with administration can result in decreased compliance, poor disease state control, and even physical injury to the pet or its owner. In addition, the stress of forced medication can increase blood pressure, leading to further complications in cats who are already hypertensive. Transdermal formulations may represent a viable treatment alternative to cats that resist oral medication. We can compound easy-to-apply transdermal formulations, eliminating the stress of forced oral medication and improving patient compliance and therapeutic outcomes.
   Transdermal administration of amlodipine has been shown to produce a statistically and clinically significant reduction in blood pressure in hypertensive cats when applied once daily inside the tip of the ear. Transdermal administration typically results in reduced bioavailability compared to oral administration; therefore, patients receiving transdermal medications may require higher doses than the dose they received orally to achieve the therapeutic goal.

Our compounding pharmacists will work together with you and your veterinarian to customize therapy specifically for your cat or other pet. We can compound medication that is easy for you to administer and well-tolerated by your pet, to optimize your pet’s health.


Small Anim Pract. 2001;42(3):122-9.
J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2007;43(3):149-56.
Int J Pharm Compd. 2008;12(5):392-397

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