Monitoring your pet’s blood pressure
At some point in your pet’s life, it will be necessary for us to measure their blood pressure.
An elevation in blood pressure (hypertension) can indicate an underlying disease. Hyperthyroidism in cats or Cushing’s disease in dogs are just two examples. If hypertension is left undetected, the increased pressure of the blood flow can cause serious damage to organs such as the kidneys and even lead to blindness due to damage to the retinas in the eye.
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is typically something we get concerned about if your pet is undergoing anaesthesia and this can also cause damage to organs but is conversely due to reduced blood flow. This is why monitoring your pet’s blood pressure while they are under anaesthesia is so important.
Your pet’s blood pressure will usually be measured using a fancy piece of equipment such as a doppler. It is essential that the correct size cuff is used on your pet’s leg or tail for accurate results. Multiple measurements will also need to be taken to achieve an average reading.
Stress can sometimes affect the readings, so measuring blood pressure in a veterinary consult can sometimes be difficult! It is therefore important that we take things quietly and slowly during the measurement process.
If your pet is diagnosed with hypertension it is essential that the underlying disease is treated. Repeat blood pressure measurements may be required every 1-3 months depending on the response to treatment. In some cases, it may be necessary to give your pet medication to help lower their blood pressure and reduce any potential side effects associated with hypertension.
Ask us if you are worried or have any concerns about your pet, we are always here to help.