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Discussion Starter #1
One of my cats hasn't had much appetite in the past week or so and I realized it started soon after she started taking Norvasc for high blood pressure. I looked up the side effects of amlodipine on cats and found this: low blood pressure, weakness, fainting, loss of appetite, heart muscle depression. Amlodipine for Cats - VetInfo

I also found this warning: "Quite frequently, a missed dose can lead to a spontaneous increase in blood pressure, ultimately resulting in blindness, kidney damage, seizures, or collapse."
Amlodipine - High Blood Pressure in Cats and Dogs - PetCareRX

More information here: 01 Amlodipine Besylate (Norvasc) - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!
 

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What other meds, if any, is your cat taking, and what is her exact diagnosis? Has she been diagnosed with anything in addition to hypertension? If so, what meds and treatments is she receiving for any other medical conditions?

Amlodipine is a serious medication that requires strict adherence to the dosing schedule and vigilant monitoring. It can certainly be lifesaving, or at least life-extending, but it must be administered conscientiously. If you suspect that your cat is having any sort of adverse reaction to the drug, you should contact your vet ASAP and have her blood pressure checked.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been really careful about the meds and have never missed a day, thank goodness, but I was shocked to see how serious the consequences of a missed dose could be. Margaux's been taking both Norvasc and benazapril for high blood pressure for over 3 years. She was taking the generic for the first year, and after my new vet changed her over to the brand name, her blood pressure's been normal at every check-up. That's the only condition she has (bloodwork showed no kidney disease, no hyperthyroidism), and she hasn't shown any ill effects from the Norvasc.

Celia was just diagnosed with hypertension a couple of weeks ago and started Norvasc right away. It was the 2nd vet visit in the past 6 weeks or so, because the fussy eating and not wanting dry food had developed suddenly, and she just hasn't seemed herself. Everything else - teeth, gums, bloodwork, thyroid tests, was normal. The first week on Norvasc she was eating well, but in the last week she just hasn't been that interested in food.

Each of them gets 1/4 Norvasc every day, but Celia's about 8 pounds, Margaux nearly 11, so I'm wondering if it's a little too much for her. I know I've had to adjust dosages for me once or twice, because the doctor didn't take into account that I'm small.

We're supposed to go back to the vet this Thursday for a blood pressure check, but I'm going to see if I can get her in tomorrow. Thanks for the information Laurie!
 

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It seems extremely odd to me that you have two cats with idiopathic hypertension....
 

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That seems odd to me, too, though I frankly wouldn't be surprised if there are many thousands (millions) of cats out there with undiagnosed or inaccurately diagnosed hypertension. In my area, the nearest vet with the equipment to even check feline blood pressure is 100 miles away. I am quite certain that I have had cats with hypertension who have gone undiagnosed and untreated because of the lack of well equipped vet clinics in my area. I imagine the same scenario plays out in rural areas all over the U.S. (and world). With so many potentially hypertensive cats undiagnosed, who's to say that idiopathic or primary hypertension isn't the norm?

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I find it extremely odd too. I've asked three vets (2 different practices) whether it could possibly be something in their lifestyle, diet, environment, whatever. They didn't think so. I'm pretty sure it's not environmental, since we just moved here 2 years ago.

The only reason they checked Celia's blood pressure was because the vet saw a very slight something in one eye that she thought might be a sign of potential vision problems.

The other thing that's weird is that for both of them, the reading was off the scale high - 300. For Margaux, the vet actually said he wasn't convinced that any of the readings were accurate, because she was so completely agitated, trying to bite everyone and screaming. You've never heard a cat scream like Margaux. She is the cat from **** at the vet. Celia's so scared that she curls up into a ball and shakes, and you don't hear a peep from her, but that wouldn't throw her reading off.

This kitty is really worrying me. I noticed a bump on her tummy as I was petting her just now, and I can't get her to the vet until Thursday. :(
 

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My vet says that the main reason he won't invest in a doplar blood pressure machine is because cats' blood pressures can so easily run very high in the vet's office when the cat is scared and/or stressed. I know that that's a very valid problem. It's why recommended procedure for taking a cat's blood pressure involves giving the cat time to relax as much as possible in the exam room, then taking 3-5 separate BP readings and averaging them. It's also why some owners (who have an extra $600 or so to spend) buy their own doplar and check their cat's BP at home where the cat is calm and relaxed. I would certainly buy my own doplar if I had the bucks.

BTW, Celia's quiet, shaking fear certainly could and most likely has raised her blood pressure reading substantially in the vet's office. It's certainly not outside of the realm of possibility that Celia isn't hypertensive at all, and that that's why she's having an adverse reaction to the amlodipine. Certainly something to ask your vet about.

Laurie
 
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