ECG and Blood Pressure

As our pet population is living longer, we try to provide them medical care that is appropriate for their age. In that spirit, we have added a couple of services for our senior companions.

The first is a blood pressure unit, made specifically for animals. Our pets can get high blood pressure, or hypertension, just like us humans. Changes in behaviors or energy levels can signal blood pressure changes. And hypertension can go along with other diseases. Kidney disease patients many times will have concurrent high blood pressure, especially in cats. Cats with hyperthyroidism also are prone to high blood pressure. We can control this with medication. Although we can not reverse most medical conditions in the older patient, treating hypertension can slow down the process and improve the quality of life.

The other is an ECG screening. We have a relatively quick device for ECG screening in our animal patients (it does not work for humans). We can check the actual rhythm and heart rate better with this device. We can also check to make sure the electrical components of the heart are working correctly. This is a screen, it is not meant to see all and tell us all. Any senior pet should have one done, and all pets with irregular heart beats and murmurs should also have one done. We would also recommend this for any dog that is a Boxer, Doberman or cross of these breeds, since they tend to have heart disease more often than other breeds.

Many patients will be normal and this will give us a good baseline for your pet if something should change in the future.

We can easily incorporate these with a blood profile for a full senior screening. It is also highly recommended for any patient prior to a non-elective surgery. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of the veterinarians.