A new study revealed that retired racing greyhounds experience a “white-coat effect” that causes the dogs’ blood pressure to rise in a veterinary clinic setting.
The average systolic arterial pressure of the 22 dogs tested in the study was 30 points higher when recorded in a clinic than when recorded at home.
“Some greyhounds come in here with blood pressure above what an instrument can read. That is, 300 systolic,” said Guillermo Couto, DVM, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. “We know this could not really be their blood pressure because these dogs would be dead. But we also almost never get blood pressure under 150 or 160 for systolic.”
Couto and his colleagues recommend that owners of retired racing greyhounds record the dogs’ blood pressure at home to provide more accuracy, though the machines used to record blood pressure in the study cost about $1,500 each.
The study was published in the July-August issue of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.