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Low Blood Pressure in Dogs

Low Blood Pressure in Dogs

As in humans, dogs too may develop variations in blood pressure. Read on for a brief overview about hypotension in dogs.
Sonia Nair
Being a pet dog owner, you are responsible for taking care of the animal in the proper way. Apart from satisfying the animal's day-to-day requirement, you have to make sure that it is healthy. As it is impossible for them to communicate their problems, you must take them for routine checkups, at regular intervals. Besides that, be watchful for symptoms of illness. This helps a lot in detecting canine health problems at the earliest. So, awareness about the symptoms of common health problems in dogs may prove useful, if you have a pet dog. This article is about hypotension in dogs.

Canine Hypotension - Causes and Symptoms

As in humans, dogs are also prone to high as well as low blood pressure. Low blood pressure in dogs can be caused by various factors that may range from underlying medical conditions to shock caused by injury or trauma with severe blood loss. Canine hypotension is often found to be associated with kidney, liver and heart problems. Imbalance of thyroid hormones may also cause such a dip in blood pressure. Diabetes is another condition that is found to be linked with dog hypotension. Even dehydration, severe anemia and nutritional deficiency may lead to this condition. Use of certain medication is also among the causes for this condition in dogs. It may also happen that some dogs develop this condition, without any apparent cause.

Symptoms of low blood pressure may be moderate to severe, as per the underlying cause. In case of a minor dip in blood pressure, the dog may not develop any symptom at all. One of the most common low blood pressure symptoms in dogs is extreme fatigue. Hypotension negatively affects the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the organs, thereby causing such symptoms. Apart from fatigue, the dog may also have pale gums, increase in urination as well as thirst and confusion. The dog may suddenly faint or display fast or very slow breathing. Even vomiting may develop in dogs with low blood pressure. The dog may lose balance and falter as it walks.

Diagnosis and Treatment

You cannot have a normal blood pressure value that is applicable for all dog breeds, ages and sizes. In other words, the normal blood pressure may vary with dogs of different breeds and age. Blood pressure variations in dogs are diagnosed with the help of a doppler blood pressure monitor. However, the blood pressure of the dog will be assessed according to its breed, age and physical condition. This is best done by an expert vet, who will also conduct various tests to assess the functioning of the vital organs. This is very important as low blood pressure in dogs may affect the functioning of their vital organs and eventually their lives. If the underlying cause is diagnosed, treatment will be aimed at correcting that. If the underlying problem is related to heart or liver, medications will be provided for treating such a condition. If hypotension is due to severe blood loss, blood transfusion may rectify the condition. In some cases, proper rest may resolve the condition of the dog.

This article is for informational purposes and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice. So, if you notice any of the above said symptoms in your dog, you must take the animal to the vet, who is the best person to diagnose and treat the condition.