Staying Healthy

Low Blood Pressure in Dogs

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If you’re like me, you didn’t know there was such a thing as low blood pressure in dogs. Like humans, dogs may also experience low blood pressure, properly called hypotension. The cause of hypotension could be excessive blood loss among many other reasons, or it may have no reason that can be determined. The blood pressure of your dog is measured by your local vet, and if it goes below normal, this means that you need to be extra careful with the health of your dog, and look for certain factors and symptoms that can contribute to his low blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure in Dogs

If your dog is diagnosed with low blood pressure or hypotension, it can either be of no determined cause, or it could be caused by any of these factors: lack of oxygen, anaphylactic shock (due to food allergy, insect bites, or anything that hinders your dog’s respiratory system), extreme dehydration (usually caused by diarrhea or vomiting), kidney or liver problems, anemia, poor diet, blood loss, trauma, hypothyroidism (imbalance of thyroid hormone), and heart problems (heart is incapable of pumping the right amount of blood for the tissues and organs).

Low blood pressure in dogs can cause vital organs to grow weaker and be deprived of important nutrients and especially of oxygen, because of inadequate blood flow. Your dog will exhibit many symptoms reflected by his low blood pressure, such as being less active and weaker than his usual self. Your dog may also faint or suddenly collapse at any moment, so you should have keen eyes and be alert when it happens. His or her gums would become pale, light pink or white in color, as would other mucous membranes. Ataxia and confusion may also occur to your dog, and he may urinate more often than usual. Your dog’s thirst may also increase at the moment. However, if your dog’s blood pressure is a bit closer to normal (but still considered low), these symptoms may not be present at all.

The standard average blood pressure of any dog is 133/75 mmHg, but it can vary depending on the dog’s breed, age, gender and health. A dog’s blood pressure will be measured to determine whether his blood pressure is low or normal. After that, the vet may conduct other tests on your dog to identify any causes of the low blood pressure. Your dog’s vital organs will be checked to see if they show any signs of damage due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients. If the low blood pressure is severe, some vital organs already could be severely damaged and can lead to some serious organ failure.

Low blood pressure in dogs can be treated depending on the vet’s diagnosis and the severity of the problem. In a case where the underlying cause is a heart condition, medical treatment should be done as soon as possible, with surgery being a possible treatment. If it is due to blood loss, IV fluids and blood transfusion will be given to the dog. But if there are no determined causes yet, constant monitoring will have to be done, probably without any medication until the cause is found.

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