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Central Venous Pressure (CVP) in Dogs

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Central venous pressure (CVP) is the measurement of fluid pressure in the right atrium or the anterior vena cava.

CVP rises when the amount of circulating fluid increases or when cardiac output decreases. CVP is measured by inserting a specialized catheter into the jugular vein and advanced to the heart to monitor the pressure caused by blood leaving and returning to the heart.

What Does Central Venous Pressure Reveal?

Used primarily in dogs and cats, CVP enables veterinarians to monitor and guide fluid therapy in critically ill patients suffering from conditions such as heart disease (heart failure and cardiac tamponade for instance), kidney failure, septic shock and hemorrhagic shock (caused by blood loss).

How is Central Venous Pressure Measured?

An intravenous catheter is inserted into the jugular vein in the neck. The catheter is designed to remain in place in the vein. It is threaded up to the heart until the tip enters the right atrium, or as close as possible. An extension tube from the catheter is attached to a gauge next to the patient.

Is Central Venous Pressure Measurement Painful?

There is minimal discomfort involved with the insertion of the catheter. As with people, the pain experienced will vary among individual animals.

Is Sedation or Anesthesia Required for the Procedure?

A local anesthetic may be used to alleviate the discomfort, but sedation is not usually indicated or recommended because some sedatives affect heart function.

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