Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group
Practical Information for the Compassionate Veterinary Practitioner
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  Doppler Blood Pressure Basics
  Dr. Bob Stein
     This is how the general setup should look.

Cuff width should be 40% of the appendage circumference for dogs. 

    Cuff width should be 30% of the appendage circumference for cats.
     Clip the fur over the metacarpal or metatarsal area.
    Use ultrasound transmission gel - do NOT use ECG electrode products or damage to the probe may result.
    Apply a generous amount of the gel to the probe.
     Apply the probe to the caudal metacarpal or metatarsal area.
    Wrap 1" white tape around the paw and probe with moderately firm pressure. Do NOT turn the monitor on at this point!

Wrap the probe wire around the distal paw and over the dorsum incorporating it into the white tape. After making sure the volume knob is turn fully to the left, turn on the Doppler. Then turn up the volume to check the signal. 

You should have a good signal in 90% of your patients without having to sweat the initial probe placement. Just tape it in place and check the signal. You can always go back in those patients that don't initially have an adequate signal and hunt for a better location. 

    Attach the manometer to a single hose cuff using a three way valve. Pump the pressure up until all signal is lost. Then gradually release the pressure at about 3 mmHg per second listening for the return of signal.
    We generally have a Doppler and an oscillometric or direct arterial blood pressure monitor in place on every patient. If one monitor is acting up, the other will, hopefully, fill the role adequately.
    Store the monitor with the transducer cable plugs in place and the wire curled with  gentle curves - tight turns and twists can lead to premature failure of the transducer. Clean the transducer with water or chlorhexidine solution and protect with a gauze square secured in place. Store the monitor with the charger in place for maximum battery life.
    Additional Resources
    Managing Hypotension

VASG Blood Pressure Management Basics Page

    Overviews of Doppler Technology and Use
    Doppler Probe Care
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    Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to DRSTEIN@VASG.ORG .
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Last modified: March 24, 2013 .