electrocardiogram (ECG) appointments

Pet Electrocardiograms in Scottsdale, AZ

An electrocardiogram (ECG), also known as an EKG, is a test that is commonly used to assess the heart. When your pet's heart beats, an electrical impulse is generated within a region of the heart known as the pacemaker. This impulse passes through the heart in a predictable manner that can be traced on an ECG recording.

By analyzing the electrical impulses produced as the heart beats, abnormalities within the heart can be found.  We'll be able to diagnose these abnormalities that may include issues such as arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), abnormalities in the size and structure of the various heart chambers, abnormal conduction, and other defects of the heart.

The great news is, our team here at Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists in Scottsdale are fully equipped to handle what these tests bring to light. Call us for a consultation today at 480-635-1110 EXT. 7.

why we'd test

Symptoms That Would Case A Pet ECG In Scottsdale

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Shortness Of Breath
  • Coughing
  • Abnormal Lung Sounds
  • An Irregular Heartbeat
  • A Heart Murmur
  • Irregular Pulses
frequently asked questions

How Is An Electrocardiogram Performed?

We perform pet ECG's in Scottsdale daily. No special preparation is required for this procedure.

Your dog or cat will be required to remain still for this test, either standing or laying down on an examination table. The ECG electrodes are applied to your pets skin, at the base of each of their four legs. Rubbing alcohol or a special conduction gel may also be applied to help the electrical impulses travel more easily from your dog’s body into the ECG electrodes.

Once the electrodes are applied, your dog or cat will be kept still for a brief period of time, in order to allow the ECG to record the electrical impulses passing through the heart. Your pet's electrical conduction may be traced for less than a minute or for several minutes, depending on the abnormality we suspects and how effectively your dog is able to remain still for a high-quality ECG recording.

In some cases, the ECG machine may be attached to your dog and left in place for 24 hours or more. This test, called a Holter Monitor, can help detect arrhythmias that are occurring uncommonly. Learn more about Holter Monitoring.

What do you learn from an Electrocardiogram

An ECG can provide us with a variety of information about your dog or cats heart function.

  1. Is the heart rate normal? An ECG allows an accurate determination of your dog’s heart rate. This can reveal whether his heart is beating at a normal pace, or whether it is beating too quickly or too slowly. An elevated or decreased heart rate can suggest specific medical issues that may warrant investigation.
  2. Is the heart rhythm normal? An ECG provides a very accurate way for us to assess your pet's heart rhythm. If his or her heart rhythm is abnormal, analysis of the ECG results can diagnose the exact arrhythmia that is present and suggest likely underlying causes for this arrhythmia.
  3. Does the pet's heart size appear to be normal? An ECG measures electrical conduction through the heart. Enlarged heart tissue conducts electricity differently than normal heart tissue; therefore, an ECG can sometimes suggest abnormalities in the size of specific heart chambers. While this determination is not completely accurate or reliable, it can suggest the need for further investigation via radiographs (X-rays) or echocardiography (an ultrasound of the heart).

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