Doppler Blood Pressure Evaluation

Doppler Blood Pressure (non-invasive blood pressure measurement)

Doppler blood pressure measurement is commonly used in veterinary medicine to assess blood pressure in animals, including those with heart disease and can provide non-invasive measurements of blood pressure in dogs and cats.

Here’s how Doppler blood pressure measurement works:


  1. A blood pressure cuff is applied to a limb, typically the leg or tail, of the animal.
  2. A Doppler ultrasound probe is placed over an artery downstream from the cuff placement.
  3. The cuff is inflated to temporarily occlude the artery, and then slowly deflated.
  4. As the cuff pressure decreases, the Doppler probe detects the flow of blood through the artery, producing an audible signal.
  5. The systolic blood pressure is determined by identifying the pressure at which the audible signal returns (indicating blood flow) during cuff deflation.
  6. The diastolic blood pressure is determined by the disappearance of the audible signal (indicating continuous blood flow) during cuff deflation.


Doppler blood pressure measurements in animals are used to assess systemic hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension can worsen heart disease and lead to complications such as left ventricular hypertrophy (heart thickening), heart failure, retinal damage (which can cause sudden blindness), renal (kidney) disease, and an increased risk of stroke.


By accurately measuring blood pressure, veterinarians can identify and monitor hypertension in animals with heart disease. This helps guide appropriate treatment strategies, including medication selection and dosing. Controlling blood pressure can prevent the progression of heart disease, minimize complications, and improve the overall health and well-being of the animal.


It is worth noting that Doppler blood pressure measurement is just one of several methods available for assessing blood pressure in veterinary medicine. Other techniques, such as oscillometry or direct arterial catheterization, may also be used depending on the specific needs of the animal and the capabilities of the veterinary clinic.