Blood Pressure and Your Pet
Why do we need to measure your pet’s blood pressure?
Jefferson Animal Hospitals believes blood pressure testing is important for your pet:
- For any anesthestic procedure
- If your pet has kidney, liver or heart disease
- If your pet has respiratory disease
- If your pet is overweight
- If your pet has hyper thyroidism
- Pets with cardiac or pulmonary disease can pass blood clots which can lodge in the legs and blood pressure is utilized to determine if there is actually blood flow to distal extremities.
Doppler ultrasonic blood pressure is the most accurate for determining your pet’s blood pressure measurement. Generally two skilled people are needed, one to restrain your pet, the other to obtain the reading. A small area is shaved on your pets tail, or rear legs below the hock. A small amount of gel is placed on the area over the artery and the transducer is placed on the gel . Doppler BP units have an audio signal and the technicians can actually hear the pulse so they know a good connection has been made. Then the BP cuff is inflated, just like your doctor does for your BP measurements. We usually will take a minimum of 5 readings to make sure we are receiving consistent and accurate measurements.
It is important that the measurements be taken in a manner that minimizes apprehension in your pet or movement in a conscious patient.
- Blood pressure measurements should be taken in a quiet room
- Visitors or employees should not walk in and out of the room while a patient is measured
- Your pet should have a few minutes to get used to the environment and the overall situation
- Your pet should be handled in a calm and patient manner
- You, the pet’s owner should be present provided he or she is able to calm the animal
In each clinic, one or more veterinary technicians are responsible to obtain blood pressure measurements to ensure consistent technique:
- Measurements should be taken in a relaxed position
- The appropriate equipment should be used and limitations
It is vital to take readings in the same manner each time, this way readings are more comparable. Letting your pet acclimate to the room is also a good idea.