Ori D. Scislowicz, BS, LVT
Blood pressure in small animal patients is important to monitor, as it is commonly overlooked until target organ damage has already occurred. The organs most commonly affected by high blood pressure include the eyes, heart, kidneys and brain. High blood pressure in dogs and cats is most often due to other systemic disease such as kidney disease, Cushing's disease, or hyperthyroidism. It is important to include blood pressure readings during examinations, especially in patients with signs of target organ damage, animals diagnosed with the common underlying causes of systemic hypertension, and geriatric patients (over 8 years of age). Blood pressure is a product of cardiac output and systemic peripheral resistance. The relationship between the kidneys, autonomic nervous system, and endothelial intercellular messaging systems all contribute to a patient's blood pressure.