Electrocardiography or ECG, is the measurement of the electrical activity of the heart. Many people are familiar with classic shape of an ECG trace. That “zig zag” line seen on medical shows and the patient “flat lining” when the heart stops is showing an ECG trace.
By attaching electrodes to the skin and connecting them to an ECG machine, a trace can be created showing electrical nerve impulses passing through the heart.
There are many types of heart disease that pets can develop. By taking an ECG your veterinarian can gain a greater understanding of what is happening with your pet’s heart, make a much more accurate diagnosis and therefore start an appropriate treatment plan.
At Karingal Vet Hospital and Ballam Park Veterinary Clinic we use several pieces of equipment to get an ECG from our patients. These create a paper trace of the recording for reviewing or alternatively, digital ECG traces can be used for monitoring anaesthetised or critically ill patients.
This is a very simple process where we clip four little metal clamps connected to wires onto the pet. It takes about two minutes to get the readings we need and the pet is done – no sedation and no recovery required!