ECG & Holter Monitor Services for Veterinary Practices
A Holter monitor is a portable device that records the electrical activity of the heart (ECG) over a period of time, typically up to 24 hours. Sticky electrodes are attached to the chest of the dog and the leads run to the recording device which has similar dimensions to that of a small mobile phone.
Holter monitoring provides a non-invasive means of recording a dog’s heart rate and rhythm over a period of 1-7 days. An ECG, although an excellent screening tool, is typically only done over a few minutes. An average dog’s heart will beat 150,000 times per day. Therefore, the in-clinic recording will only be showing 1% of the daily rhythm and the chance of detecting an intermittent problem is relatively low.
Holter monitors are used to record episodes of the following occurrences:
- Syncopal or Pre-syncopal events
- General weakness
- Occasional seizures
They are also used to assess the severity of cardiac rhythm disturbances in the comfort of the dog’s home when they are acting normally and relaxed. In addition, if treatment via anti-arrhythmic drugs has started, the reduction in frequency of arrhythmias can then be assessed to be certain that it has been successful or if an adjustment in dosage is required.