How Do You Read Canine EKG Results?

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A canine EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart through electrodes attached to the skin. The EKG can be an important diagnostic tool in a physical examination and should also be monitored closely any time a dog is placed under an anesthetic. The EKG is also the only test available to diagnose an arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm. Determine the paper speed in milliseconds (ms) and calibration in millivolts (mV) so that you will be able to measure time intervals and heights respectively. This will vary from one machine to another, so consult the machine's operating manual. Always use lead II to measure time intervals and heights, and use a set of calipers to measure time intervals and heights accurately. Examine each P-QRS-T complex recorded. The P wave is the first deflection in the complex and corresponds to electrical activity in the atria. The QRS complex is the second and usually most drastic deflection and reflects electrical ... more
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