Blood Pressure Test

What is a blood pressure test?
A blood pressure test for animals is a painless procedure that can be performed in the veterinarian’s office. It measures the pressure of blood against the walls of large arteries.

Which pets need a blood pressure test?
This may be recommended by your veterinarian if your pet has signs of high blood pressure or if they currently have a disease that can be associated with high blood pressure, including hyperthyroidism or kidney disease. Depending on the age of the animal, they may be tested at every visit as well. If your pet is chronically ill or will be under general anesthesia a blood pressure test is used.

How is the blood pressure measured?
The most common method of this test is to place a blood pressure cuff around the animal’s limbs or around the tail. It should be done in a relaxed and quiet environment and may need to be taken several times because anxiety and the stress of your pet can mess with the reading. For a more accurate reading a catheter can be placed directly into the artery, but this is more painful and will only be done if the animal is critically ill.

What should be done about high blood pressure?
Blood pressure should measure about 160.100 mm Hg in dogs and cats. Since high blood pressure is usually accompanied by another disease, treating that disease will lower the blood pressure. Sometimes medication is needed as well.


Eye Pressure Test

What is an Eye Pressure Test (Tonometry)?
An eye pressure test measures the pressure within the eye (IOPs) and can help determine if an animal has glaucoma or inflammation in the eye. The veterinarian will use a tonometer on the surface of the eye to get a reading.

How is an eye pressure test performed?
There are a few ways to measure eye pressure in animals depending on different tools used and the preference of the veterinarian. The method for humans uses an air jet, but this would be much more uncomfortable for an animal. The animal will not have to be under sedation but a local anesthetic eye drop can be used and will only need to be done with light restraint. As with the blood pressure test, it should be performed in a quiet and peaceful environment. In dogs pressure tends to be higher in the morning and lower in evening, so a few tests may be needed depending on time of day.

Which animals need an eye pressure test?
Glaucoma is common in certain dogs that are genetically predisposed, including Cocker Ppaniels, Poodles, Chow Chows and Siberians. These animals should receive routine monitoring. Symptoms of glaucoma can include red or bloodshot eyes or a cloud cornea. It is important to treat glaucoma early or any eye disease to maintain the vision in your animal, so get your pet tested if you suspect a problem.