Systemic Hypertension in Dogs

If you have a dog and you want to know more about systemic hypertension, you’ve come to the right place. Systemic hypertension in dogs is similar to the type of hypertension that people often experience. It is characterized by high blood pressure throughout the body. Although systemic hypertension can affect any dog, there are certain breeds of dogs that have an increased risk of developing this condition. These breeds include:

  • Bull Terriers
  • German Shepherds
  • Doberman Pinschers

If your dog has systemic hypertension, there are some important things for you to know to help keep them happy and healthy! By learning more about this condition and how it can be treated, you will be able to identify problems early on and take steps towards preventing complications from occurring later down the road!


Systemic hypertension is a common problem in dogs. In fact, the majority of small and toy breeds are prone to developing this condition. The body’s blood pressure (BP) refers to the force that blood exerts against the walls of your dog’s arteries when it pumps through them. If your dog has high BP, it means his heart must work harder to keep up with circulation and deliver sufficient oxygen throughout his body.

The most important difference between systemic and pulmonary hypertension is that pulmonary means “of or relating to the lungs”. In other words, if you have pulmonary hypertension it means that your lungs are not functioning properly; they may be over-inflating or under-inflating due to disease or injury (e.g., emphysema). Conversely, systemic means “of or relating to the whole body” which implies that there might be something wrong with another major organ besides just your lungs such as heart failure caused by fluid build-up in surrounding tissue around vital organs like kidneys/liver etcetera.


  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Excessive panting, rapid breathing and drooling are other common signs.
  • In severe cases, dogs may also experience weakness, collapse or shock. These symptoms are all symptoms of high blood pressure in humans as well.


Your veterinarian will use a blood pressure reader to measure your dog’s blood pressure. A blood pressure reader is an instrument that can be used at any veterinarian clinic or hospital, and it gives you a good estimate of your dog’s blood pressure.

To get an accurate reading, your veterinarian will need to take both the left and right sides of your dog’s heart into account by measuring both sides individually. This means taking two measurements: one from each side of the heart when using a stethoscope to listen for sounds coming from within it. If there are no audible sounds present in either side, he or she may want to repeat these steps again before moving on with further diagnostics (if needed).

Once all readings have been taken for each side—one at a time—they’ll be compared together against normal values established by his/her peers across various fields of study (such as cardiology). If everything looks like its on track according to those standards then there shouldn’t be any immediate cause for concern; however if there are abnormalities detected then further testing needs conducted immediately before things get worse over time.


Treatment for systemic hypertension in dogs depends on the underlying cause. Medication may be necessary to control your dog’s blood pressure or heart rate, and a thorough examination of his diet and exercise routine will help you determine whether any changes need to be made.

If medications aren’t enough, your veterinarian may prescribe other measures such as surgery or dietary supplements. In some cases, surgery is required in order to correct an underlying condition that was causing hypertension.

Systemic hypertension in dogs can result in a variety of serious and life-threatening problems. It is important for you to recognize the signs of systemic hypertension.

When left untreated, systemic hypertension can result in a variety of serious and life-threatening problems. It is important for you to recognize the signs of systemic hypertension. These include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased urination/diuresis (excessive urination)

If your dog exhibits these symptoms, it is critical that you consult with your veterinarian immediately.


If your dog shows any signs of systemic hypertension, a trip to the vet is in order. Your dog’s veterinarian will be able to conduct additional diagnostic tests and recommend appropriate treatment. Systemic hypertension can be difficult to treat, but early detection and treatment are important because the condition can result in serious and life-threatening problems.