Just like people, pets can experience high blood pressure (hypertension). Dogs and cats have their blood pressure measured similar to the way people do. In veterinary patients, a small area of fur is shaved near one paw, and a cuff is applied around this leg. After the cuff is inflated, a device called a Doppler is used to “listen” for flowing blood which corresponds to a blood pressure. The blood pressure is indicated on a gauge.
The procedure is not uncomfortable and takes only several minutes to perform. Multiple blood pressure measurements, sometimes obtained at different appointments/days, are usually needed to increase the accuracy of the measurements.
There are many causes of hypertension in pets, and detecting it is only the first step; investigating the cause and treating the hypertension are then very important.