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Edmonton South Animal Hospital Provides ECG Examinations for Your Pet

Heart ECG Pet

One of the most safe and accurate diagnostic devices used to evaluate an animal's heart health at Edmonton South Animal Hospital is the electrocardiogram, or ECG. By recording electrical impulses within an animal's heartbeat and amplifying them over 3000 times, an ECG can generate a detailed report regarding possible problems with your pet's heart that cannot be detected otherwise.

Your Edmonton South Animal Hospital veterinarian may want to perform an ECG on your pet if she:

  • Suspects irregular heart rhythms or heart murmurs in senior pets
  • Thinks certain medications are causing side effects impacting your pet's cardiac system (heartworm medication, for example)
  • Is preparing your pet for surgery requiring general anesthesia
  • Wants to find out why your pet is experiencing respiratory problems/ fainting spells/difficulty breathing
  • Is confirming an imaging diagnosis

If our veterinarian thinks your pet may have a heart disease, he may want to do a cardiac work-up involving a variety of tests to formulate a more exact diagnosis. Typically, an ECG is accompanied by blood tests and possibly ultrasounds or x-rays.

Electrocardiogram Test Process

After laying your pet on his side and calming him with head rubs, we attach electrodes to his chest wall, knees or elbows that are easily removed after the ECG is completed. The entire procedure is painless and finished within a few minutes. As an ECG machine monitors the animal's heartbeats, any irregularities detected are picked up immediately and recorded. Upon interpreting the results, our veterinarian will discuss any issues found and recommend further diagnostic tests and/or treatment, if necessary.

Our Edmonton South Animal Hospital is also equipped with the IDEXX ECG teletransmitter capable of transmitting ECG readings for interpretation by a veterinary cardiologist. Occasionally, this is necessary if an ECG reading presents highly unusual or rare markings not commonly seen by our veterinarians. 

Heart Disorders Detected by Pet ECGs

Diseases and disorders commonly causing heart health problems in pets include:

  • Congenital heart defects (holes in the heart, narrowing of pulmonic valves, malformed, tricuspid valves and narrowing below aortic valves)
  • Mitral valve disease (the most common heart disorder in dogs)
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (tachycardia or bradycardia)
  • Accumulating fluid in the pericardium (pericardial effusion)

Signs of heart conditions in pets may go unnoticed until the disease has progressed beyond the early stage. Unusual shortness of breath after physical activity, breathing difficulties, sleep restlessness and episodic fainting may indicate an unhealthy heart. In addition, some pure-bred dogs are more prone to having heart issues, such as Dachshunds, cocker spaniels and bulldogs. Your South Edmonton veterinarian will be happy to discuss dog breeds and their potential for acquired or congenital heart conditions.

Call Your Edmonton Veternarian To Learn Of The Benefits Of A Pet ECG

Serving pet owners living in Edmonton, Alberta, Edmonton South Animal Hospital is operated by Dr. Tan and an experienced, caring team of professional pet care specialists dedicated to ensuring our customers enjoy happy, healthy pets all year long. Schedule an appointment today.