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Jun 19 2013

High, Low or Don’t Know??

 

      Our Sudbury Vets Ask: Do You Know Your Furry Friend’s Blood Pressure Level??

Did you know that your dog and cat can get high blood pressure (hypertension) just like people do?

Yes they can!  The biggest difference is that we are able to verbally communicate how we are feeling and the symptoms we are experiencing to our doctor.  How wonderfully strange it would be if your furry family member could say,”Hey, I’m not feeling 100%.  I think I need to see the veterinarian.”

At Barrydowne Animal Hospital, our Sudbury Vets can measure blood pressures on your furry friends using a special animal blood pressure machine with small cuffs that fit comfortably on your pet’s tail or front leg.  It works best if your pet is still and calm, which is sometimes easier said than done!!  Often our Sudbury Vets will check blood pressures in cats and small dogs with their Mom or Dad snuggling them on their lap or sitting on a nice cozy blanket. For the larger dogs, their pressures are measured while relaxing on the floor.  The blood pressure machine that we use has high definition oscillometry (HDO) technology which allows for non-invasive measurements.  The greatest thing about this is that it permits the most accurate measurements!

What is the normal blood pressure reading for your dog and cat?

Our Sudbury Vets think this is a great question to ask!!

  1.  For dogs the average blood pressure readings are 133/75.  Interestingly enough, dogs do have breed-specific readings.  Those for Golden Retrievers, Labradors and giant breeds tend to be lower than the overall average.  Sight hounds, like Greyhounds, tend to have higher than average readings.
  2. For cats average blood pressure readings are 124/84 and they are not breed-specific.

So, what is so important about having a normal blood pressure reading?  Blood pressures must be maintained in the normal range to supply nutrients and oxygen to organs and tissues and to ensure the exchange and excretion of metabolic waste products produced during the normal functioning of your pet’s body.  In a nut shell, maintaining normal blood pressures is vital to keeping your furry friend’s insides healthy and happy.

Why should you want to have your pet’s blood pressure checked? 

  1. Routine screening: this gives us a baseline and allows us to monitor for changes yearly.  It helps determine the individual patient’s blood pressure profile.
  2.  Certain diseases in pets are associated with hypertension, such as: kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease.
  3. Screening in emergency medicine: shock, trauma, poisoning, Addisonian crisis.
  4. Intensive care monitoring
  5. Treatment planning and assessment.
  6. Anesthesia monitoring.

Our Sudbury Vets state that there are times that we cannot find a direct cause of the hypertension and so we will treat for the high blood pressure in any case to prevent more problems from occurring.

What is the problem with not having a normal blood pressure reading?  A persistent increase (hypertension) or decrease in blood pressure (hypotension), can lead to significant impairment of organ function.  The consequences could be possible damage to the kidneys, eyes, heart or brain, resulting in kidneys that do not function up to par, blindness, heart disease or difficulties with the central nervous system such as seizures.

Can we treat for Hypertension in your dog and cat?  YES, just like us blood pressure problems can be treated with medication.  Immediate treatment of severely high blood pressure can save the eyesight of your furry friend and prevent damage to the kidneys, heart and brain. Treatment for low blood pressures can save a life!!

Our Sudbury Vets know that early detection is the key to a long, healthy and happy life!!  At the Barrydowne Animal Hospital we understand that your four legged family members are important and the goal is to keep them in tip-top shape.  We encourage our pet parents to ask questions during your veterinary visits and discuss any changes or concerns you may have.  For further information regarding your furry family member please don’t hesitate to call our Sudbury Vets at 705-566-4243 or visit our website at www.barrydowneanimalhospital.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BarrydowneAnimalHospital

karenr | Uncategorized

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