2001-Fri Jan 20 06:55:48 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A blood pressure test measures the pressure of blood against arterial walls as the blood is pumped through the body. As a general rule of thumb, blood pressure should not exceed about 160/100 mm Hg in
dogs and cats. The first number is the systolic blood pressure, or the pressure when the heart contracts. The second reading is the diastolic blood pressure, which is lower because it is the pressure when the heart relaxes between contractions. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
In most cases, a blood pressure test is performed to determine if your pet’s blood pressure is too high. When blood pressure is too high, bleeding may occur, which can damage internal organs. The organs that are most vulnerable to damage are the eyes, kidneys, heart, and brain. The most common sign of high blood pressure is sudden or gradual blindness. Blindness caused by high blood pressure may be reversible, if caught early. Other signs of high blood pressure include dilated pupils, disorientation, and, less commonly, seizures.
cats, high blood pressure is typically caused by another disease or condition, such as:
Your veterinarian may recommend a blood pressure test if your pet shows signs of high blood pressure or has been diagnosed with a disease associated with high blood pressure. Because
cats older than 10 years are at high risk for kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, veterinarians often recommend screening them for high blood pressure.
Pets that are critically ill or under general anesthesia are often monitored to ensure that their blood pressure doesn’t become too low. Maintaining normal blood pressure is important so that organs receive the oxygen necessary to maintain proper function.
In most cases, a blood pressure test is noninvasive and painless for your pet and can be performed during a regular office visit. Anxiety and stress can raise your pet’s blood pressure, so the test should be done in a quiet, relaxed environment and should be performed several times to ensure the results are not influenced by stress.
With the most common technique, a blood pressure cuff is placed around one of the pet’s limbs or around the base of the tail. The cuff is inflated to a pressure above the systolic pressure, so it momentarily presses against the artery and stops the blood flow. The cuff is then slowly deflated, and a machine determines the systolic and diastolic blood pressures. This method is called the indirect method and is fairly accurate. The most accurate blood pressure measurement is accomplished by placing a catheter directly into an artery. This type of monitoring is more painful and typically only done for patients that are critically ill and/or under general anesthesia and need constant blood pressure monitoring.
high blood pressure is usually caused by another disease, identifying and treating that disease can help return blood pressure closer to normal.
Occasionally, additional medications that dilate the blood vessels are required to help reduce blood pressure. If your pet has been diagnosed with
high blood pressure, a blood pressure test should be done every few months to make sure the condition is properly controlled.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.