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Comparison of the effects of four antiarrhythmic treatments for familial ventricular arrhythmias in Boxers

Kathryn M. Meurs DVM, PhD, DACVIM1, Alan W. Spier DVM, DACVIM2, Nicola A. Wright BS3, Clarke E. Atkins DVM, DACVIM4, Teresa C. DeFrancesco DVM, DACVIM5, Sonya G. Gordon DVM, MS, DACVIM6, Robert L. Hamlin DVM, PhD, DACVIM7, Bruce W. Keene DVM, MS, DACVIM8, Matthew W. Miller DVM, MS, DACVIM9, and N. Sydney Moise DVM, MS, DACVIM10
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 4 Department of Companion Animal and Special Species, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
  • | 5 Department of Companion Animal and Special Species, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
  • | 6 Michael E. DeBakey Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 8 Department of Companion Animal and Special Species, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
  • | 9 Michael E. DeBakey Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 10 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of 4 antiarrhythmic treatment protocols on number of ventricular premature complexes (VPC), severity of arrhythmia, heart rate (HR), and number of syncopal episodes in Boxers with ventricular tachyarrhythmias.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—49 Boxers.

Procedure—Dogs with > 500 VPC/24 h via 24-hour ambulatory ECG (AECG) were treated with atenolol (n = 11), procainamide (11), sotalol (16), or mexiletine and atenolol (11) for 21 to 28 days. Results of pre- and posttreatment AECG were compared with regard to number of VPC/24 h; maximum, mean, and minimum HR; severity of arrhythmia; and occurrence of syncope.

Results—Significant differences between pre- and posttreatment number of VPC, severity of arrhythmia, HR variables, or occurrence of syncope were not observed in dogs treated with atenolol or procainamide. Significant reductions in number of VPC, severity of arrythmia, and maximum and mean HR were observed in dogs treated with mexiletineatenolol or sotalol; occurrence of syncope was not significantly different between these 2 treatment groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with sotalol or mexiletine-atenolol was well tolerated and efficacious. Treatment with procainamide or atenolol was not effective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:522–527)