How can you tell if your dog has low blood pressure? What to Know

In cats the two most important diseases that lead to high blood pressure are an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and chronic renal (kidney) failure.

Many factors such as position of the animal, movement, stress, and trembling can all influence the blood pressure. This is why it is important to try to measure blood pressure in a quiet room, with your pet in a comfortable but standardised position, ideally with the owner present and calm veterinary staff attending.

Underlying causes for these issues could be heart disease, such as cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle doesn’t contract and pump properly anymore, or diseases with severe dehydration such as Addison’s disease, severe vomiting and diarrhoea, burns, severe bleeding, spinal cord trauma, sepsis, anaphylaxis or drug overdoses (for example certain heart or blood pressure medication).

Other disease processes that can result in high blood pressure are Cushing’s disease, Diabetes Mellitus, and glomerular (kidney) disease, as well as less common diseases such as acromegaly, polycythemia and pheochromocytoma, certain cancers or brain diseases.

Even so, for a reliable number we need to take several readings and possibly eliminate excessively high or low readings before averaging the results. A normal systolic blood pressure is around 110-160 mm Hg, and a normal diastolic blood pressure is around 60-90 mm Hg. The Mean Arterial Pressure (calculated through a formula or automatically calculated by some blood pressure machines such as the PetMAP) should be around 85-120 mm Hg.

Symptoms of high blood pressure in dogs

Often, hypertension is not something that you can clearly see. Recognizing or diagnosing high blood pressure in dogs is made even more difficult by the fact that they have no way to tell us if they are feeling sick. That is why it is important to know and to be able to recognize the symptoms of high blood pressure so that you can plan with your vet to combat it. Some of the things to look out for are:

  • Weakness
  • Loss of sight
  • Disorientation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Seizures
  • Heart murmurs
  • Enlarged kidneys
  • Rapid breathing
  • Any combination of these symptoms doesnt necessarily mean that your dog has high blood pressure, but it does mean that you should see your vet right away. If it is secondary hypertension, early detection could help diagnose other problems or diseases.

    Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure in Dogs

    Symptoms of hypotension in dogs include:

    Treatment for hypotension is always an emergency. Dogs diagnosed with low blood pressure require immediate in-hospital treatments such as IV fluid therapy, blood transfusions and fast-acting injectable medications.

    Once the dog is stable, treatments focus on the primary disease or injury.

    How dogs can sniff out diabetes

    We know what pressure is, it’s the feeling of being leaned on, or pushed on, by some external force. And of course, we know that blood travels in biological pipes called vessels.