Identifying respiratory diseases causing pulmonary hypertension can lead to improved health outcomes in both animals and people, US researchers have found.
Hoping to better characterise the types of underlying respiratory disorders in dogs causing high blood pressure in their lungs and to identify prognostic variables, a team from the University of Missouri studied 47 dogs with pulmonary hypertension caused by respiratory disease.
Their findings are published in The Veterinary Journal.
“Understanding the diseases that contribute to pulmonary hypertension can lead to more tailored therapy approaches and help identify which medications are likely to be most beneficial,” Professor Carol Reinero said.
“As many of these dogs have multiple issues, a thorough evaluation is needed to address the underlying problems causing the pulmonary hypertension.”
In both animals and humans, untreated pulmonary hypertension can lead to death.
Recent research by the same team found that tadalafil, the active drug in Cialis, effectively treats pulmonary hypertension in dogs by dilating pulmonary vessels. The medicine, which is consumed by dogs in the form of a pill, only needs to be taken once a day and was the sole predictor of survival in the study.
“Our goal is to make a difference by improving the quality of care for animals,” Professor Reinero said.
“Doing clinically-relevant research means not just helping individual dogs, but also finding new knowledge that other vets can ultimately use to improve the quality of care for dogs worldwide.”