Pulmonary hypertension is increased pressure within the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. The elevated pressure within the lungs causes increased workload on the right side of the heart and over time can cause right sided congestive heart failure.
There are numerous causes of pulmonary hypertension including acute or chronic lung disease, heartworm disease, diseases that cause pulmonary blood clots (thromboembolism), and congenital cardiac diseases. The most common clinical sign associated with severe pulmonary hypertension is syncope (collapse). Other signs shown by the pet would be specific to the underlying cause. A complete color flow and spectral Doppler echocardiogram is needed in order to diagnose pulmonary hypertension in a non-invasive manner. Medical therapy would be recommended based on the degree of pulmonary hypertension and the the underlying reason for it’s presence.