Vets4Pets logo
Text size:

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Why does my pet need their blood pressure monitored?

What is it Blood Pressure Monitoring?

Milton Keynes Vets 4 Pets has an oscillometric blood pressure monitoring machine. This is an inflatable cuff that wraps around either the tail or leg of the animal. When inflated, the cuff temporarily cuts off the blood supply and as the cuff deflates, the blood pressure machine measures the animal’s blood pressure as blood supply returns. This is the same method used for measuring blood pressure in most GP practices. It is best to get a blood pressure reading on fully conscious animals however, it is important that the animal is as calm as possible so that the blood pressure isn’t artificially raised. Therefore your vet and vet nurse will take every effort to make sure your pet is as relaxed as possible, such as carrying out the measurements in a quiet room and taking time to reassure worried patients. For this reason many pets are admitted for blood pressure monitoring, so that the vet has more time to carry out the procedure.

Why is blood pressure monitored?

It is very important to monitor blood pressure when animals suffer from certain diseases. Common diseases that can result in high blood pressure (hypertension) include kidney disease and a hormonal disease called Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism. Untreated hypertension can be very harmful and can result in organ failure or blindness. Haematology and Biochemistry Haematology and biochemistry are blood tests that are carried out frequently in veterinary practice. Haematology refers to the assessment of the levels and appearance of red blood cells (cells that carry oxygen around the body), white blood cells (important cells of the immune system) and platelets (cells that that help stop bleeding) in the blood. The biochemistry tests analyses the other products found in blood, such as proteins and waste products. Haematology and biochemistry tests are excellent health screening tools and can give vital information about many diseases such as infectious diseases, anaemia, kidney or liver disease, and even some cancers such as lymphoma or leukaemia. These tests can often pick up early signs of disease and is why there are offered as health screening tests, especially as animals start to age. Treating diseases as early as possible often gives the best chance of cure or successful management. To get the most information out of these tests, a urine sample will often be submitted for analysis too.

What is the procedure during a blood test?

About 1ml of blood is needed for each test (less in small furries and exotics). This is usually taken from either the jugular vein (neck vein) or cephalic vein (leg vein). A small patch of fur is clipped, the skin is cleaned and a sterile needle attached to a syringe is inserted into the vein for blood collection. A vet or vet nurse will take the blood test whilst another nurse holds the patient in the correct position. Animals usually tolerate this very well and most blood samples are taken from conscious animals. Your vet may advise that we sedate your pet if they feel it would be in the patient or handler’s best interest, such as if they are very nervous or could become aggressive.

When do I get the results?

Milton Keynes Vets 4 Pets has an advanced in house haematology and biochemistry machine that can generate results on the same day. In some cases, the blood samples are sent off to an external lab for extra tests and these results usually take around 2 days to come back. Your vet will usually arrange to call or email you with the results as soon as they have been returned and analysed.