What is pulse?
Pulse, or heart rate, is the measurement of the number of times your pet’s heart beats per minute. Heart rate is one of the most important vital signs caregivers can measure for your pet. When the heart rate is measured peripherally by palpating or sensing the pulse in a limb it is called “pulse”.
The job of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen to the cells. Your pet’s heart rate is controlled by a sophisticated mechanism that takes into account the oxygen demand from the cells and makes sure the heart is able to provide it. For example, when a dog runs, its muscles work hard and consume a lot of oxygen. Therefore, the heart must work faster to supply the demand.
Fear is another condition that is associated with increased heart rate in pets. When a pet (or a human) is afraid, the body gets ready for a “fight or flight” situation, and prepares for the anticipated increase demand for oxygen.
What’s the normal range?
Depending on the breed, age, medical status and other parameters, pulse rate typically range between 50 and 120 beats per minute at rest.
What if my dog or cat’s pulse is not in this range?
Depending on activity or environmental temperatures, persistent high or low pulse rates may be associated with numerous medical and behavioral conditions. In addition, certain dog and cat breeds are prone to specific disorders that result in altered pulse rates, for example:
- Boxer – Boxer Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – Mitral Valve Disease (MVD, MMVD, MR, CVHD, DMVD, DVD)
- Irish Wolfhound – Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib)
- Doberman Pinscher – Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Maine coon, Ragdoll – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
How can Petpace help?
Continuous measurement and analysis of your dog or cat’s pulse characteristics gives clinicians and caregivers important insights into health status. The PetPace collar can help your veterinarian determine if your pet’s pulse rate is inappropriate for his or her condition, and examine whether a disease process is indicated.
(Examples for the use of PetPace pulse data in real clinical cases)