Blood pressure measurements are part of almost every visit to the doctor. They are also becoming more and more routine in veterinary practices. Permanently changing values also harbor health risks for animals.
- The ideal blood pressure values in dogs are comparable to those in humans.
- Blood pressure can also be measured at home without any problems – a visit to the vet is not absolutely necessary.
- High blood pressure in dogs is usually a symptom of another condition.
- Kidney disease is the most common cause of elevated levels.
The Dog and the Blood Pressure Cuff: Is it Really Necessary?
Clear answer: yes. As with humans, checking blood pressure values is also essential in veterinary medicine. In contrast to humans, however, irregularities in the values always indicate a different disease. In dogs, therefore, hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure) is merely a symptom of an illness. The cause must then be found out in further investigations. Possible clinical pictures are, for example, heart, kidney, or hormonal diseases. If the hyper- or hypotension remains undetected, the disease is not treated either.
In addition, permanently changed blood pressure values can lead to serious organ damage.
This affects, for example, the eyes, brain, kidneys, and heart. But the central nervous system is also at risk.
Measure Your Dog’s Blood Pressure Yourself
Dog owners can check the dog’s values themselves at home. In dogs, the blood pressure monitor is to be placed either on the front limb, i.e. on the forearm, or on the base of the tail. It is important that the dog owner creates a stress-free, relaxed situation as possible. Stress and tension falsify the values.
Which values are normal?
When measuring blood pressure, two values are important: the (systolic) peak value and the (diastolic) lowest value. The heartbeat fluctuates between these two poles. The normal values of the dog are similar to those of humans.
The systolic value should be between 110 and 140 mmHg. The diastolic value is 60 to 80 mmHg.
Dog High Blood Pressure: Signs of Other Diseases
High blood pressure is almost never a cause of illness in the fluffy four-legged friend. Usually, it is just a symptom of another disease. Signs of high blood pressure in dogs include:
- Increased heartbeat (the heart has to pump against the high pressure);
- Circulatory problems;
- Weakness and weakness;
- Shortness of breath.
The most common illness underlying high blood pressure is chronic kidney disease. These are particularly common in older dogs. Acute kidney failure can also be the cause. Other possible causes include Cushing’s disease (an excess of cortisone) or diabetes.
How to treat?
The vet counteracts high blood pressure in dogs with medication. Vasodilators, but also beta-blockers, can be used for long-term lowering. In addition, a reduction in obesity and a low-salt diet may be recommended.
Regular Blood Pressure Measurements
When your darling goes to the annual check-up, the blood pressure values should also be measured. For healthy dogs, of young to middle age, an annual measurement is always sufficient. If there are any abnormalities in the measured values, a follow-up check is necessary. Sometimes deviations are simply due to nervousness or stress. However, there could be more to it than that. An annual blood pressure check is sufficient for healthy dogs.