Cat Diabetes And High Blood Pressure


A cat owner whose 15 year old cat has cat diabetes and high blood pressure has asked an online vet for advice as the cat has been behaving abnormally for the last few days. The cat had also recently had a stroke and has been prescribed a drug for high blood pressure.

“ cat is 15 and has diabetes. Almost 2 months ago he “threw a clot” and was put  on Plavix. He also recently (2.5 weeks ago) had his insulin reduced from 3 units of Prozinc twice a  day to 1 unit once a day.

I took him in for boarding and a glucose curve where they diagnosed him with high  blood pressure as well. Amlodipine was suggested for use in 1/4 tablet once a  day. Since then (4 days ago), my cat has been acting as if something is  bothering him. He kind of sweats and his eyes get very dilated…………He was doing alright until the Amlopidine was given”

What strikes me immediately is the fact that the insulin has been drastically reduced all of a sudden. This must mean that blood sugar levels were too low.

Which probably means that this owner never did home blood sugar testing. It is so important to regularly check your cats blood sugar levels at home so that you can be sure that the correct amount of insulin is being administered.

Furthermore, I would say that it if he was fine till the Amlopidine was administered then it would be appear to be a reaction to this drug but it would be very difficult to diagnose over the Internet.

The Online Vet replies:-

“It is almost impossible to give a interpretation of such complex conditions  over the Internet.

 It is very awkward to me that the insulin was reduced so drastically in  one step.  That I cannot explain and could be playing a role in his current  condition.  Meaning, his diabetes may not currently be  controlled.

 Eyes being dilated is not normal.  Or to rephrase, if they were not the  way the appear now, that is not normal.

 I do agree that Amlodipine is a good choice drug for lowering the blood  pressure.

My gut tells me you should get a copy of all results and get into a new vet.

Conditions get really complex at this age, especially when there are  concurrent problems like diabetes, hypertension, and recent stroke, all at once.

Well worth the specialist consult so at least you know you are doing  everything you can and at the correct doses.”

 However Amlodipine is a drug tha tis also given to humans and here are some common side effects in humans.

“Usually Amlodipine is well tolerated but about 10.8% of the patients who use it can experience some side effects. The most common side effects are:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Tachycardia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling of the feet, ankle and arms
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Flushing (warmth, redness and tingly feeling)

Also quiet common side effects of Amlodipine include:

  • Depression
  • Asthenia
  • Tiredness
  • Rigors
  • Malaise
  • Dyspnea
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Anorexia
  • Dry mouth
  • Gingival hyperplasia with tender, bleeding, and swollen gums
  • Vomiting
  • Esophageal reflux
  • Dysphagia
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Myalgia
  • Backache
  • Arthralgia
  • Arthrosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • Somnolence
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Eye pain
  • Abnormal vision
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diplopia
  • Hypoesthesia
  • Paresthesia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Syncope
  • Tinnitus
  • Tremor
  • Vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Amnesia
  • Apathy
  • Depersonalization
  • Depression
  • Extreme itching
  • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Rash (usually erythematous or maculopapular)
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Hair loss
  • Increased sweating
  • Micturition disorder
  • Nocturia
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Gynecomastia in men
  • Impotence

As any other medicine Amlodipine can lead to allergic reaction that manifests in: rash (possible in the form of erythema multiforme), hives, itching, difficulty swallowing or breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, hands, eyes, face, lips, tongue and throat, unusual hoarseness, angioedema, anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock. These reactions are serious and require immediate medical help.”

Yes, I would agree. The cat has cat diabetes and high blood pressure, has recently had a stroke and is quite old, so a very complicated condition. It would be best to get the cat checked out again to make sure the dosages of all medicines are correct and maybe experiment with a different blood pressure drug just incase this is a reaction to the drug.

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