The method of measuring blood pressure in our pets is comparable to people, however, as the cuff deflates, the doctor listens to the blood flow through an ultrasonic probe instead of a stethoscope. The probe connects to a device called an Ultrasonic Doppler Flow Detector, which emits an audible sound that indicates systolic pressure has been reached.
Normal systolic readings should not rise above 160, with 180 or greater being highly indicative of an increased risk for organ damage. Diastolic pressure can not be monitored without an arterial catheter, so veterinarians only monitor for systolic pressure. Multiple readings are taken to rule out “nervous pet” from true hypertension.