Dogs can suffer from their blood pressure being too low, just as humans can, and indeed many animals. There are various symptoms that may be observed in the dog such as light-headedness and fainting. But there are some really severe cases as well. These occur particularly when the dog has suffered some form of shock and these cases can even be fatal. Treatment for low blood pressure in dogs will depend on the underlying cause. It could be as simple as the dog needed to rest for a little while or as severe as emergency medical attention.
The autonomic nervous system is a wonderful old piece of biological machinery that keeps the blood pressure of many organisms, including dogs, within acceptable limits for everyday functioning. Of course there are some occasions when even this normally reliable system will fail. Standing up quickly can cause it, as will be familiar to many people. As can standing for too long. But many substances and syndromes can be causes, as can severe shocks to the system of the animal.
Hypotension caused by shock is one of the more serious varieties of the condition. If the animal has been injured and has lost a lot of fluids, such as blood, shock can occur and blood pressure can drop to dangerously low levels. Septic shock is another version of this, but where the dog’s system makes an extreme reaction to some infection. The dog may start off dazed and confused but after a while its pulse will drop and its breathing will become heavier. There is a danger of the animal then losing consciousness and dying. This means that this type of hypotension is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Another variety of hypotension is orthostatic hypotension. This is the result of various causes including everything from medications to dehydration. Even high blood pressure medication can cause it. Many substances in the environment can also be the cause. Because of the variety of potential causes there are also a variety of symptoms that may be present and treatments that may be required, specific to the cause.
Finally, neurally mediated hypotension is another form the condition that could appear in the dog. The brain and the heart normally communicate successfully about the blood pressure level but sometimes this communication breaks down and the result can be hypotension. This could see a pooling of blood in the legs. However, this form the problem just needs the dog to rest for a while.