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Objective—To compare 6-lead ECG traces in clinically normal conscious dogs in a sitting position and sternal recumbency to that of right lateral recumbency.

Animals—31 healthy dogs with no history of cardiac disease.

Procedure—Six-lead ECGs were recorded for dogs in right lateral recumbency, a sitting position, and sternal recumbency. Q-, R-, and S-wave amplitudes as well as QRS-complex duration were measured in all leads. Additionally, P-wave amplitude and duration, PR interval, ST-segment elevation or depression, and QT interval were measured in lead II.

Results—Compared with measurements in right lateral recumbency, the sitting position resulted in increased Q-wave amplitude (lead III), increased Rwave amplitude (leads I and aVL), decreased R-wave amplitude (leads III and aVF), increased S-wave amplitude (lead aVR), decreased S-wave amplitude (lead aVL), increased P-wave amplitude (lead II), and a leftward shift in the mean electrical axis. Compared with measurements in right lateral recumbency, sternal recumbency resulted in decreased Q-wave amplitude (leads I, II, and aVF), increased R-wave amplitude (leads II, III, and aVF), decreased R-wave amplitude (lead aVR), increased S-wave amplitude (lead aVR), increased P-wave amplitude (lead II), and decreased ST-segment depression (lead II). Compared with right lateral recumbency, the sitting position or sternal recumbency did not result in significant differences in PR interval, QT interval, or QRS-complex duration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant changes are found in ECG measurements in the sitting position and sternal recumbency, compared with right lateral recumbency. In dogs, many ECG reference range values for right lateral recumbency are not valid for ECGs obtained in the sitting position or sternal recumbency. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:233–237)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research