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  • Author or Editor: Dan G. Ohad x
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Objective—To characterize sleeping respiratory rates (SRRs) and resting respiratory rates (RRRs), collected in the home environment, of dogs with subclinical heart disease that could result in left-sided congestive heart failure.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—190 adult dogs with subclinical left-sided heart disease.

Procedures—Most dogs had mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy of various severities. Clients collected ten 1-minute SRRs or RRRs during a period ranging from 1 week to 6 months. Clinicians provided echocardiographic and medical data on each patient.

Results—The within-dog mean SRR (SRRmean; 16 breaths/min) was significantly lower than the within-dog mean RRR (RRRmean; 21 breaths/min). Seven dogs had SRRmean and 33 dogs had RRRmean > 25 breaths/min; 1 dog had SRRmean and 12 dogs had RRRmean > 30 breaths/min; these dogs mostly had a left atrial (LA)-to-aortic ratio > 1.8. Dogs with moderate LA enlargement had a significantly higher SRRmean than did other dogs. However, median SRRmean for each of 4 levels of LA enlargement was < 20 breaths/min; median RRRmean for each of 4 levels of LA enlargement was < 25 breaths/min. Both within-dog SRR and RRR remained stable for 10 consecutive measurements. Treatment with cardiac medications or presence of pulmonary hypertension was not associated with SRRmean or RRRmean.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that dogs with confirmed subclinical left-sided heart disease of various severities generally had SRRmean < 25 breaths/min, which was infrequently exceeded at any time, and that SRR and RRR remained stable, regardless of individual within-dog SRRmean or RRRmean. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:839–843)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine effects of tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) on the ECG of dogs treated for behavioral conditions and to examine correlations between ECG findings and serum concentrations of these medications.

Design—Repeated-measures study.

Animals—39 client-owned dogs with behavioral problems.

Procedure—Two groups of dogs with behavioral problems were evaluated. In group 1 (n = 20), ECG tracings were recorded before starting treatment with TCA and again after treatment for ≥ 1 month. Dogs in group 2 were already on long-term maintenance amounts of antianxiety medication when ECG tracings were recorded and serum concentrations of medications were obtained.

Results—Significant differences were not detected for dogs in group 1 between ECG values measured before and after TCA administration. The ECG values for dogs in group 2 did not differ significantly from the mean of group-1 dogs before receiving medication or from the reference range used at our facility. Duration of the P wave had a significant positive correlation with serum concentrations of clomipramine but significant negative correlation with serum concentrations of amitriptyline. The QT interval corrected for heart rate had a significant negative correlation with serum concentrations of amitriptyline.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Amitriptyline and clomipramine administered at standard dosages apparently do not cause ECG abnormalities in healthy dogs with behavioral problems. These medications should be used cautiously in dogs with conduction abnormalities, and clinicians should periodically monitor ECG and use good clinical judgment to weigh risks and benefits of medications for the safety of each dog. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216: 1571–1575)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association