Impact of equipment and handling on systolic blood pressure measurements in conscious dogs in an animal hospital environment

J Vet Intern Med. 2021 Mar;35(2):739-746. doi: 10.1111/jvim.16062. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Background: Situational hypertension and differences between devices complicate interpretations of systolic blood pressure (SBP) measurements in dogs.

Hypothesis/objectives: To evaluate if time point of in-clinic SBP measurement, type of oscillometric device, and operator affect SBP measurements in conscious dogs.

Animals: Sixty-seven privately owned dogs with or without chronic kidney disease, divided into 2 study samples (A and B).

Methods: Cross-sectional diagnostic study. In part A, SBP measurements in dogs were performed using 2 different devices (HDO and petMap) after acclimatization at 3 standardized time points during a clinical visit. In part B, SBP measurements (HDO) were performed in dogs by a trained final year veterinary student and by the owner alone, at the same occasion.

Results: For all dogs, there was no difference in mean SBP (mSBP) among the 3 time points for HDO (P = .12) or petMAP (P = .67). However, intraindividual mSBP differences of up to 60 mm Hg between time points were documented. Mean SBP obtained with petMAP was on average 14 (95% CI: 8-20) mm Hg higher than mSBP obtained with HDO, and this difference increased with increasing SBP. Mean SBP measurements obtained by the trained student were 7 (95% CI: 2-11) mm Hg higher than mSBP measurements obtained by the owner.

Conclusions and clinical importance: According to the results of this study, time point of in-clinic SBP measurement in dogs is of minor importance, and instructing owners to perform measurements might reduce suspected situational hypertension. Differences in mSBP measured with HDO and petMAP underscore the need for validation of BP devices used clinically.

Keywords: canine; oscillometry; situational hypertension; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Determination / veterinary
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dog Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Dogs
  • Hospitals, Animal
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / veterinary
  • Oscillometry / veterinary