When any irregularity of the rhythm of the heart beat is detected on clinical examination, it is not uncommon for our veterinary surgeons to suggest that an electrocardiogram (ECG recording) should be undertaken. The minutely small electrical impulses normally generated by the heart are amplified 3,000 or more times and recorded by the ECG machine.
Taking An Electrocardiogram
For the examination the dog is usually restrained in a standing or lying position and electrodes are attached to all four limbs and sometimes to the side of the chest. A jelly is applied to facilitate electrical conduction between the dog and the electrodes and sometimes small patches of hair are clipped to ensure better contact. The equipment merely records the electrical impulses from the dog and there are no unpleasant sensations nor is there any danger whatsoever to the animal.
Use of Electrocardiogram in Pets
Disturbances in heart rhythm can be a secondary complication of other diseases involving the heart or the general metabolism of your pet. An arrhythmia can cause numerous different signs from lethargy & exercise intolerance to more serious disease such as sudden death. For this reason diagnosis of the severity & type of a pets arrhythmia is essential to their health