Our Apex, NC veterinary hospital is equipped to provide Electrocardiography (ECG/EKG) services as well as consultations with cardiology specialists. ECGs can give veterinarians vital information to aid in diagnosing and monitoring heart conditions/heart disease. This a common test to assess for your pet’s heart rate and rhythm and to evaluate for any irregularities (such as arrhythmias or an enlargement of the heart).
What is a Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)?
An ECG is safe, noninvasive procedure that is used to record the electrical activity of your pet’s heart. Electrical signals travel in a particular frequency and pattern around the heart in order to pump blood throughout your pet’s body. ECGs can detect whether those electrical signals are firing correctly or if there is a potential problem. To obtain an ECG, electrodes are gently placed on the patient’s skin over their chest and legs. Below is an example of an ECG:
Symptoms of Common Heart Conditions
There is a wide variety of symptoms related to heart conditions in cats and dogs. Some pets are asymptomatic at first, showing no outward sides of a heart problem. As the disease progresses, symptoms may become easier to identify as heart function degrades. Here is a list of common symptoms of a heart condition:
- Loss of interest in playing or exercising
- Lethargic or no energy
- Difficulty breathing or increased resting respiratory rate
- Coughing (watch for any fluid being coughed up)
- General weakness
- Collapses or faints with physical exertion
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or if you think your pet may be experiencing heart problems, please give us a call at 919-380-1157.