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Use of ambulatory electrocardiography for detection of ventricular premature complexes in healthy dogs

Kathryn M. MeursDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Alan W. SpierDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Nicola A. WrightDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Robert L. HamlinDepartment of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography (AECG) for the detection of ventricular premature complexes (VPC) in healthy dogs.

Design—Case series.

Animals—50 healthy mature dogs.

Procedure—A 24-hour AECG was performed on each dog and evaluated for the presence of VPC.

Results—Fifty dogs weighing between 18.2 to 40.9 kg (40 and 90 lb) representing 13 breeds were evaluated; there were 4 sexually intact females, 21 spayed females, 4 sexually intact males, and 21 castrated males. Ages ranged from 1 to 12 years. Thirty-four dogs had no VPC; 16 dogs had between 1 and 24 VPC. The grade of arrhythmia ranged from 1 to 4, with 4 dogs having an arrhythmia with a grade > 1. Significant differences were not detected between the group of dogs with VPC and those without VPC with regard to sex, age, and minimum, maximum, or mean heart rate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—We conclude that healthy mature dogs have infrequent VPC, as detected by use of 24-hour AECG. The presence of numerous or sequential VPC may be suggestive of cardiac or systemic disease and may indicate the need for thorough clinical evaluation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1291–1292)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography (AECG) for the detection of ventricular premature complexes (VPC) in healthy dogs.

Design—Case series.

Animals—50 healthy mature dogs.

Procedure—A 24-hour AECG was performed on each dog and evaluated for the presence of VPC.

Results—Fifty dogs weighing between 18.2 to 40.9 kg (40 and 90 lb) representing 13 breeds were evaluated; there were 4 sexually intact females, 21 spayed females, 4 sexually intact males, and 21 castrated males. Ages ranged from 1 to 12 years. Thirty-four dogs had no VPC; 16 dogs had between 1 and 24 VPC. The grade of arrhythmia ranged from 1 to 4, with 4 dogs having an arrhythmia with a grade > 1. Significant differences were not detected between the group of dogs with VPC and those without VPC with regard to sex, age, and minimum, maximum, or mean heart rate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—We conclude that healthy mature dogs have infrequent VPC, as detected by use of 24-hour AECG. The presence of numerous or sequential VPC may be suggestive of cardiac or systemic disease and may indicate the need for thorough clinical evaluation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1291–1292)