We provide a service for heart monitoring or evaluation by ECG. Basic evaluation can be performed on site and, if necessary, we use the services of a specialist veterinary cardiologist for complex interpretation of the traces we have obtained.
ECG (electrocardiogram) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. The heart is a muscular organ that beats in rhythm to pump the blood through the body. The signals that make the heart’s muscle fibres contract come from the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node. As it beats, the heart emits electrical impulses.
In an ECG test, these electrical impulses are recorded on a ‘trace’ and usually shown on the machine’s screen or on a piece of paper. They can also be stored in a computer. A ‘normal’ trace is roughly shown below. It is marked with PQRST, to identify the different portions.
This trace is known as an electrocardiogram, recording any problems with the heart’s rhythm and the conduction of the heart beat (through the heart’s musculature) that may be affected by underlying heart disease.
If you are likely to want an ECG evaluation, please mention that to our receptionist when making an appointment for your animal. A longer-than-normal appointment will be required and you will be told what to bring with you.
An ECG session can provide invaluable information about the activity of the heart and can be used to monitor objectively the result of treatments.