3628 Lynoak Dr. #107, Claremont, CA

THE WELL DOG

PLACE

Dr. Ken Tudor
Holistic Veterinarian

ECG readout can show dog heart failure. Dr. Ken Tudor has new portable ECG so it is part of regular exams.

The Missing Heart: Is Your Vet Monitoring?

April 25, 2016

When you take your dog to the veterinarian for an exam you assume that they are checking all the important things. But are they?

Heart issues are fairly common in dogs, especially as they age. 

Enlarged hearts are caused by defects of the heart valves so blood is not circulated throughout the body as effectively as when the heart is normal size. Rhythm abnormalities suggest that each beat may not produce the necessary pumping action needed to move blood through the body. These conditions are identified by administering an ECG. 

ECG or as you may know it, EKG, has been a mainstay of human medicine since 1895. Electocardiograms help doctors assess the health of human hearts. Veterinarians seldom rely on this technology to regularly monitor the health of their patient’s hearts.We know that heart problems are more easily managed when detected early. So why aren’t they being checked?

 Traditional veterinary ECG requires the attachment of wires with alligator clips that are painful and uncomfortable. Plus the dog is forced to lie down creating electrical disturbances and inaccurate results if the dog is uncomfortable. 

New technologies have made it possible to use a cell phone held to your dog’s chest that will instantly check the health of your dog’s heart. We have introduced this new technology to our practice and now an ECG is part of every wellness exam.

 What Does an ECG Show? 

An ECG shows a veterinarian two important things: 

1) The size of the heart.  This alerts the veterinarian to potential need for medical intervention to help the heart be a better “pump” of blood and decrease resistance to blood flow. 
2) The rhythm of the heartbeat.  Arrhythmias can be serious problem and need further diagnostic work-up and possible treatment. Some arrhythmias are not a concern. The ECG can distinguish the difference. 

Detecting heart problems in dogs no longer needs to be an ordeal. Make a heart exam part of your dog’s routine wellness exam.

Author
Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

The Missing Heart: Is Your Vet Monitoring?

Dog Preventive Medicine

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