Supported in part by Mano Medical.

This study sought to determine the within- and between-day variability of blood pressure measurement in dogs using the petMAP ( oscillometric device and to evaluate variability between 3 different investigators. The investigators were generalist practitioners familiar with the procedure for blood pressure measurements in dogs and cats using devices other than petMAP. They had been trained for 1 hour with petMAP the day before starting the study. The study was performed on 2 consecutive days. Each investigator performed 2 sessions of blood pressure measurement on all 5 dogs, gathering 8 consecutive blood pressure measurements per session. The dogs were unsedated and gently restrained in a ventral position. A 5.5-cm-width cuff was placed around the right forelimb below the elbow. Cuff size was chosen before the study for all animals on the basis of the size of the dog, the forelimb circumference, and the manufacturer’s instructions. The variability in blood pressure measurement did not differ from one investigator to another, and no significant interaction between dog and investigator was observed. Results indicated that the petMAP is an easy-to-use device after a minimal period (1 hour) of training for a generalist practitioner. One investigator can consequently be replaced by another for the follow-up of blood pressure measurement in a given dog. Blood pressure levels were relatively high in these dogs independent of the investigator; this finding may be explained by the potential stress of the animals since the values decreased on the second day of testing in all but one dog. This illustrates the relevance of determining the within- and between-day variabilities for a blood pressure measurement device.

Commentary: This paper’s results depict both a substantial “white coat” effect as well as a large amount of variability inherent in measuring blood pressure in dogs. Because the petMAP was the only method of blood pressure measurement used in this study, it’s not possible to compare the results obtained with the petMAP to those obtained with other devices. These results do suggest, however, that after a reasonable amount of training and practice, it probably does not matter much who performs the measurement with this easy-to-use device.

Within-day and between-day variability of blood pressure measurement in healthy conscious Beagle dogs using a new oscillometric device. Rattez EP, Reynolds BS, Concorde D, et al. J VET CARDIOL 12:35-40, 2010.