Primary (or essential) hypertension is the most common form in man and considered rare in small animals. Secondary hypertension is the more common form in small animals, and there are a number of possible causes ( Table 16.1 ).

Renal disease is the most common cause of hypertension in small animals, and most dogs and cats with renal disease are believed to be hypertensive (Ross & Labato, 1989; Kobayashi et al., 1990). The pathophysiological mechanisms in which renal disease leads to hypertension include sodium and water retention and increased renin production and activation of the RAAS.

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