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Dog Blood Pressure

"Dog blood pressure is difficult to get an accurate reading and to determine if the levels measured are abnormal. Healthy dog pressure is roughly equivalent to levels in humans."

Normal levels of blood pressure in dogs is defined as a reading of that is roughly equivalent to humans or around 108. Pressure levels higher than 160-180 mmHG for systolic blood pressure or diastolic pressure greater than 100 mmHg could be cause for concern. Unfortunately there are no standardized levels across breeds that can be used to gauge what is normal blood pressure.

Also, your veterinarian will take into account something called "white coat syndrome" where being at the stress of being at the veterinarian can cause an increase in pressure.

Blood pressure in dogs is taken using a cuff around the leg or with a device that is similar to a stethoscope using "doppler" technology. The around where the device is pressed to the skin may have to be shaved. It is not easy to get an accurate reading.

If you veterinarian sees that your dog has systolic pressure that is greater than 180 mm Hg then they will probably conclude that your dog has hypertension or high blood pressure. The next step is to understand the cause. Dogs suffering from high blood pressure can do damage to the kidneys, liver and heart.

Unlike humans, taking a dog's blood pressure may not be a standard part of your dog's annual exam. If it isn't ask your veterinarian if he or she is able to take an accurate reading.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure in dogs is called hypertension. There are two types of hypertension:

* Essential: Primary form that is rare and caused by something wrong with your dog's body.* Secondary: Caused by a disease. In dogs the most common form is caused by kidney failure (also called renal disease). Other less common causes of hypertension are Cushing's Disease (also called Hyperadrenocorticism) which indicates a problem with the adrenal glands, diabetes mellitus, and a tumor in the adrenal glands (pheochromocytoma).

Symptoms of Canine Hypertension

Patients with severe hypertension may demonstrate no clinical signs. Retinal lesions (eg, retinal hemorrhage, retinal detachments, arterial tortuosity, focal or diffuse retinal edema) were found in 80% of hypertensive cats in one study.

Diagnosis of Hypertension

As indicated above, your veterinarian will begin an examination with measuring your dog's blood pressure in a way similar to how blood pressure is taken in humans. The hair around the dog blood pressure measuring "doppler" will be shaved.

Treatment of High Blood Pressure

Several medications can be prescribed that will help address dog blood pressure due to hypertension including enalapril, atenolol, fuosemide and amlodipine.

Natural or herbal supplements are also available that have properties which support heart health and blood pressure. Ingredients such as hawthorne (artery health, pumping strength, Kalium phosphate (healthy blood pressure within the normal range) and Calcium fluoride (for strong veins and arteries).PetAlive Heart & Circulation Tonic is made for this purpose and is worth researching and discussing with your veterinarian so that he or she can monitor progress.

Sources

American Kennel Club

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