Blood pressure must be maintained above a certain level to perfuse tissues, thereby ensuring:

  • Nutrient supply to organs and tissues
  • Exchange and excretion of metabolic waste products
  • Tissue oxygenation

However, the blood pressure must not be too high, since high pressure in the arteries damages them and/or causes the heart to work too hard pumping blood against the pressure which is higher than normal.

The measurement of an animal’s blood pressure (BP) has a wide range of indications. BP measurement is clinically significant in (early) diagnosis of a variety of diseases (particularly hypertension), in pain management, monitoring of ICU patients and during anesthesia and also when certain medications are being used. BP measurement therefore needs to be an integral part of EVERY veterinary practice and should be used routinely.

Routine Screening

  • General health check-ups
  • Geriatric screening programs
  • Non-specific symptoms
  • Vaccination appointments
  • Diseases accompanied by hemodynamic changes, especially renal disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, hyperadrenocorticism and heart disease

Emergency Medicine

  • Shock Trauma
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Poisoning
  • Addisonian crisis

Intensive Care Monitoring

  • Postoperative monitoring
  • Hypertensive crisis
  • Protracted shock

Treatment Planning and Assessment

  • Cardiac patients
  • In all patients treated for hypertension and hypotension
  • When administering drugs that effect the blood pressure, especially ACE inhibitors, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, vasodilators, sympathomimetics, sedatives

Anesthesia Monitoring

  • Pre-anesthetic examination
  • Intraoperative monitoring
  • Postoperative surveillance

Source: Egner, Carr and Brown: “Essential Facts of Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats”

PetMAP represents a novel category of veterinary monitoring equipment designed to cater to various missions across a spectrum of veterinary care environments. This innovative device has gained significant popularity due to its application in examining blood pressures of conscious animals in exam rooms, during dental procedures, critical care, emergencies, anesthesia administration, and beyond. Its portability, user-friendly interface, and precise readings establish PetMAP as an indispensable tool for veterinary professionals.
Oscillometric blood pressure is determined based on arterial wall pulsations. The re-entry of blood into the arteries occluded by the cuff makes the wall of the arteries expand or “pulse”. These pulsations travel through the soft tissue to the surface of the limb where they are detected by the cuff and analyzed by the microprocessor. This analysis provides systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure readings along with heart rate.

View abstracts on petMAP’s accuracy.

petMAP Manual states “…….. has been optimized for accuracy by comparison to intra-arterial BP measurements in dogs and cats…..”. BP is displayed within +/- 2 mmHg. This does not mean however that every reading displayed by the petMAP will be within those limits of display accuracy. BP changes more than that each time the animal breathes, but the optimizations built into petMAP for species and cuff site have been developed to make the petMAP correlate with simultaneously measured intra-arterial BP better than previous generations of BP devices. No device will ever read the BP perfectly since the BP is always changing with each heart beat, particularly if the animal is not totally relaxed.

Dr. Maynard (Mike) Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D., the inventor of petMAP and a leader in blood pressure measurement device development, has extensive animal research experience. During the development of the petMAP product, he performed many animal BP comparisons in the laboratory of a well respected researcher at the University of Georgia Vet School. Based on those cat and dog experiments, Dr. Ramsey developed algorithms for both species and cuff site optimization to provide petMAP the best possible correlation with directly measured intra-arterial blood pressure (“the gold standard”). The result of these optimizations is that the BP measured with a petMAP will typically be 10-20% higher than those measured with other oscillometric devices and with Doppler devices. If the user wishes un-optimized readings, the BP can be displayed without optimization by pressing the mode switch repeatedly until both the species and the cuff site LEDs are extinguished. The readings thus displayed are un-optimized.
As suggested above, providing the user the ability to select the species (dog or cat) and the cuff site (forearm,tail or hind foot) while using the petMAP is unique and significantly improves the accuracy when petMAP readingsare compared to direct intra-arterial pressure measurements. While taking BP in companion animals is both a science and an art, having specific optimizations for species and cuff site strengthens the scientific side of the requirements for accurate measurements. Being specific by setting both the species and cuff site location gives a much improved correlation with intra-arterial BP and hence the BP displayed is useful for diagnosis or treatment evaluation. We know getting good BP readings is difficult, so we want to make sure if the vet or tech is going to the trouble of getting BP, it is as accurate as possible. The best accuracy is achieved by 1) using the proper cuff size, 2) the proper settings for species and cuff site, and 3) by using the nominal session BP function which combines into one display, the BP reading most representative of the measurement session.
The proper size cuff must be applied snuggly to the appropriate limb, preferentially on the forearm; the tail is next preference and the hind foot is least desirable. The inflated portion of the cuff is the area which provides the oscillometric signal. There is no sensor, per se, so making sure the cuff is the correct size and fits snugly is all that is required. One of the big advantages of the petMAP is there is no need to try to find “the artery” or to shave the limb or to apply ultrasonic coupling gel as must be done with the Doppler method.
Battery life with a new set of alkaline batteries or a fully charged set of rechargeable batteries will be approximately 4-6 hours of nonstop use. Actual time will be dependent on frequency of inflation and additional parameters monitored.
We have larger cuffs that are optionally available in 6.5, 8.0, 10.0, and 13.0 cm sizes.
No. The petMAP with 7 cuffs is a system designed to provide the best accuracy possible in a process we know can be difficult. We include all 7 sizes in order to make sure the user always has the correct size cuff. Extra or replacement CritterCuffs can be purchased individually.
Maybe. The petMAP was designed specifically for cats and dogs and all of our development was on those species. However, if the user can get a cuff to fit correctly on a limb, it may be possible to get BP readings using the mode button where neither the species or site LED lights up.
No, petMAP products are made strictly for veterinary health.
Maybe. The petMAP was designed specifically for cats and dogs and our development was on those species. However, if the user can get a cuff to fit correctly on a limb, it may be possible to get BP readings using the “Optimize None” setting that can be accessed by press the Species/Cuff Site button. This option appears after the Cat/Tail setting.
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