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Why is it important measurement of blood pressure in our pets?

The blood pressure:

  • Blood pressure is one of the four basic life indicator (internal body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure).
  • Indirect measurement of blood pressure accounts the pressure of the blood against the walls of the large arteries.
  • This is noninvasive, painless procedure.
  • Your veterinarian may recommend blood pressure if your pet has symptoms of high or low blood pressure or diagnosed with a disease that is associated with it.
  • Increased / decreased blood pressure is usually treated as find the root cause and eliminate it.

What is Blood Pressure?

The heart pumps blood to the rest of the body, and as it moves in the arteries, it is measured the pressure on the walls thereof. The pressure in dogs and cats should not exceed 160/100 mm Hg. The first figure is the systolic blood pressure or the pressure at the contraction of the heart. The second figure is the diastolic pressure and is lower because it is the pressure, which is recorded when the heart relaxes between two contractions. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Why blood pressure of your pets should be measured?

In most cases it is done to determine whether there is too high. When blood pressure is too high, this can lead to bleeding or damage to internal organs. The organs which are most susceptible 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 diagnosed early. Other signs include: lethargy, lack of appetite, irritability, dilated pupils, disorientation and rarely seizures.

In dogs and cats, most often the increase in blood pressure is caused by another secondary disease process, such as:

  • Hyperthyroidism (excessive levels of thyroid hormones)
  • Kidney disease
  • Cushing’s disease (excessive levels of adrenal hormones)
  • Diabetes (excessive blood sugar)
  • Heart disease

Because cats over 7 years of age are prone to kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, your veterinarian may recommend regular screening blood pressure.

Pets that are critically ill or under general anesthesia, are often monitored to ensure that their blood pressure is not too low. Maintaining a normal blood pressure is vital to provide enough oxygen to the organs to their normal function.

How to measure blood pressure?

In most cases, the measurement is non-invasive and painless procedure for your pet and may be carried out at usually visit. Anxiety and stress can raise blood pressure, so examination should be conducted in a calm and relaxing atmosphere and also to be held several times to ensure that the results are not affected by stress.

The most commonly used technique is in the base of the tail or one of the limbs of animals placed cuff. The cuff is inflated with air pressure above systolic, so for a moment the artery is pressed and stops the movement of blood in it. Then the cuff is slowly relaxes to take account of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This method is called indirect. The most accurate method for the measurement of blood pressure is by inserting a catheter directly into the artery. This method of monitoring is more painful and is used only in patients who are critically ill and / or are under general anesthesia and require constant monitoring.

How to treat high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Because the increase in this vital indicator is usually secondary, after detect the general disease and healing it, blood pressure is normalized. In rare cases, the increase may be the only sign of disease, and treated only this problem.

Sometimes it is necessary to adopt additional medicines that expand blood vessels to normalize blood pressure.

If your pet is diagnosed with heightened blood pressure, the examination must be repeated every few days / weeks / months to ensure that the disease is well controlled.