Blood is carried from the heart to all the body’s tissues and organs in vessels, called arteries. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those arteries. Blood pressure measurement is a painless and simple test. Blood pressure is one of the key identifiers of general health that will almost always be measured at the doctor’s office. Reliable machines are available for you to measure your own blood pressure at home.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A typical normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg, or “120 over 80.” The first number represents the pressure when the heart contracts and is called the systolic blood pressure. The second number represents the pressure when the heart relaxes and is called the diastolic blood pressure.
Hypertension can only be diagnosed after taking several readings to find your average blood pressure. Your blood pressure needs to be taken at least two times, and each reading must be from a different day. If the average of these blood pressure readings is more than 140/90, you have hypertension. A single reading that is more than 140/90 doesn’t necessarily mean that you have hypertension. However, your healthcare provider probably will want to monitor your blood pressure over time to see if it stays there. You can also have hypertension if the average of only one of the numbers (systolic or diastolic) is too high
In the early stages of disease there are few, if any, signs of hypertension itself, but because hypertensionis commonly associated with an underlying disease you may notice signs of that disease in your pet. Appetite may be decreased in kidney failure, or may be increased in hyperthyroidism, and both conditions can cause weight loss, excessive drinking and vomiting.